Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Six Degrees of Separation
Yesterday, I got e-mail from a fellow chaplain at the hospital. Her nephew's a graduate student at Virginia Tech. He's okay, thank God, but the shootings happened in the dorm next to his and in his engineering building, so -- like everyone there -- he has a lot of healing to do.
One of my colleagues at work has a friend who'd just been at Virginia Tech interviewing for a teaching job there. My friend thinks that one of the classes she visited was probably one where Cho was a student.
A student who came to my office for an advising appointment yesterday said that his wife was really rattled because she's a Virginia Tech alumna; he was going to go home to "be there for her."
Driving home, I listened to a list of thumbnail descriptions of the victims on NPR, and started crying. I was especially moved by the information about Jamie Bishop, the German teacher who was killed, and whose wife also teaches in the foreign language department there. Now I've learned that he was the son of Michael Bishop, an award-winning science-fiction writer whom I've met, and who's one of the world's kindest people.
This is like 9/11: everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who was there. Really, we're all connected, although sometimes we only realize it when something tears us apart.