It's maybe hard for some of us to believe, but it has been 2 years since the Virginia Tech massacre. Day of Remembrance activities in Blacksburg include a candlelight vigil, a memorial run, and an open house in the renovated Norris Hall.
It's amazing for me to think about how we are two years on from this event -- in particular, because I interviewed at Virginia Tech the week before, and turned down their offer the morning of the massacre, right before it happened. It was surreal, almost too much to believe.
Once I heard the news, I immediately emailed the folks I had met with, terrified of what it might mean if I didn't hear back from them. The department head let me know that everyone was unhurt; however, as time bore out, some colleagues found that although they survived, they were not "okay."
Blacksburg was a lovely little town, and Virginia Tech was a lovely campus and community from what I saw; I could not believe such violence could come to the idyllic place I had just visited. I can't imagine how people who live and work there feel, even still.
For faculty, I believe the option was given to them to stop their tenure clocks for a year to try to help recover in the aftermath. VT also opened the Office of Recovery and Support to help students, staff, faculty, and their families. I would be interested in hearing how effective those measures have been for those impacted by the shooting.
Virginia Tech canceled classes for today again this year; I understand that next year, April 16 will fall on a weekend, and the year after as well, so there will therefore be 2 more years of no classes. I believe the plan is for April 16 to return to the class schedule when it naturally comes around to the beginning of the week, which seems a thoughtful way to carry on.
Still... fierce hugs to all the folks at VT, and who were at VT.
From my visit to VT in April, 2007.
Thanks, Alice. The remembering matters. As we say here, neVer forgeT.
But community is a healing thing. Slowly, slowly. Mostly what we have learned is that each person moves forward in their own way and the best we can do is support one other's paths....