Thursday, May 02, 2019

UNC Charlotte Shooting

Given that writing is a fundamental way I express myself, it's been curious that I have not felt much urge to write about the shooting that took place on my campus two days ago. It's been an intense emotional time. I wasn't even on campus when it happened, and so for many people it is even more intense. I had to drop my daughter off somewhere and then I planned to go to the gym on campus. I saw the emergency text message and hoped (or maybe tried to convince myself) it was a false alarm or just the police being careful. Then the news got worse and worse.

I went to the vigil yesterday evening, and seeing our Chancellor break down while talking might have been the most emotional moment I've experienced in my 19 years as a professor here. My eyes are welling up now as I think about it.

With campus closed, I stayed home yesterday but was unproductive, and I expect that was the same for most people. When I thought of the victims, I kept thinking about how even though I don't know them, they're my students too. But I also think about my own children and the news the victims' parents had to get, and I can only barely imagine what that must be like.

As the Chancellor wrote and also said, "This is the saddest day in UNC Charlotte's history." Right now we're just doing our best to move forward, but it's hard to focus on anything else.

Update: Adam Johnson, the instructor of the class, just wrote about the experience here. Not easy reading.


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