:: Student reacts to tragedy
This is one of those times where everything is put into perspective.

On Monday afternoon I was sitting in class taking a test. I was sick to my stomach, tense and sweating. I couldn’t focus. Yet, the test was the least of my worries.

Pen in one hand, cell phone in the other, I anxiously waited for any sort of news from friends or family regarding the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Passing grades and credits didn’t matter anymore.

Throughout the day I sent, made and received almost 100 phone calls, text messages and IMs. Slowly, just like the live reports, news began to roll in about my friends. One of my friends was still out of town. Another was still sleeping in his off campus apartment. My old roommate had gone to Blacksburg for the weekend, but called in to say he was safe.

I know my feelings and mood for the past few days are similar to countless others. Virginia Tech is one of the most popular post high school destinations for my alma mater in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s a feeling and memory that will stick with me forever. I remember every detail from September 11, like most people. The only difference between then and now is that this strikes a little more close to home and my heart.

It doesn’t make it any easier either with the recent passing of Effie Lemons and Mike Forman. Once again, I know I share the same feelings as many other students and extend my respect and prayers to his family and friends.

It has been a tough week. I can’t imagine it getting much worse and I know I am not the worst off. But I do know that the person next to me feels the same way and I can look to them for support, friend or stranger.

I doubt anyone can give you a straight answer about what to do next, but the nation’s response could not be better. There are shoulders to cry on and people to talk to. We are in this together.

Editor Emeritus: Nathan Rode - 04/19/07