Thursday, February 14, 2008

Go Huskies

The shooting at Northern Illinois University is unbelievable.

DeKalb is where I grew up.

I graduated from Northern. My sister works at NIU. I met my husband in DeKalb. My parents still live in the neighboring town.

As I watched the news coverage, I knew the name of the lecture hall where the shooting happened before it was published. I had MANY classes in that lecture hall. Shooting from the stage of that auditorium would be akin to shooting balloons at a carnival arcade game. All those students. No room too run, very little room to hide, just like a theater.

As soon as I heard, I called my sister who is an academic advisor in the College of Business on campus. I left her a message and tried calling my folks. The circuits were jammed and have remained jammed all evening.

The University is huge...40,000 students on 750 acres. It's an enormous and sprawling campus set in a rural farm town of about 33,000. My mother was a city administrator in DeKalb.

My sister said that when she walked out of the building, it sounded like a war zone...helicopters, sirens, bullhorns...and an eerie stillness. Student were trying to call home but the cell lines were overwhelmed. My mom says that portable towers have been brought in to help. The hospital where the victims were transported is just small local hospital...all my siblings were all born there.

Classes have been cancelled and it's just before midterms. The lecture hall where the carnage happened is basically in the dead center of campus. Walking to the dorms, library, student center, buses, health center....basically anywhere will take you past this location.

If this can happen in DeKalb, Illinois on an average Thursday afternoon, it can happen anywhere.


Jennifer said...

Yes, I have been watching the coverage, too, and it's so sad. I can't imagine being the family members of the wounded or dead, how awful that must be. But, like you, I can picture being in a theatre type classroom, and how terrifying that must have been... it's such a tragedy.

mama o' the matrices said...