This week has been very hard.
On Monday there was a suicide in the dorms at my university's main campus. It was in actuality a planned school shooting. It is said in the news that the student pulled the fire alarm as he was planning to shoot students as they left the building. The student's roommate heard the fire alarm and came out of his room where he came eye to eye with the gun, ran back into his room and called 911. The student went into his own room and killed himself.
They found multiple guns, over 200 bullets and self made bombs in his room. They also reportedly found a bomb in the parking garage next to the apartment tower.
This could have been horrible. It is horrible, it's a life that's been loss that didn't need to be. But thinking about what could have happened, what almost happened, so close to home? It's frightening.
I'm writing a paper in english right now about media sensationalism. It's focused around school shootings and the werther effect that surrounds it, how much the media runs the story and how they always dig into the killer's life and make their names extremely well known. As this activity unfolded I watched the exact thing I've been researching and writing about come to life. The Orlando Sentinel was running a story "Who is _______?" digging into the student's past. The news spread far and fast, where so that I got phone calls and texts from Canada making sure I was okay. As I sat at work the story was followed hour by hour as new news was released about it. In the end, it's a tragic suicide, but the effect of the could have been school shooting was everywhere. It was too close to home.
My campus ran as usual, with some students from main campus missing morning classes due to cancelled shuttles (all of main campus was closed in the morning). There was discussion of the events everywhere in the halls and study rooms, and to be honest, I couldn't help but look at the door each time it opened. Death in general makes me feel uneasy. The fact that is happened at my university, or almost happened at my university, while I was studying it, it all felt a little too close and left me a little uncomfortable.
Today we had an amazing guest speaker in my lodging class discussing Loss Prevention, Security and Safety. The presenter was scheduled at the beginning of the semester and just so happened to fall two days after the previous mentioned events. He discussed how he set up the security for all of universal studios then for Rosen Shingle Creek as well as Rosen College. (Our school has some pretty cool security features!) He did mention some of the bad things on the job though, how you react to scam artists, burns, cuts, and yes, suicides that happened at resorts he worked. Again, it was a little too close to home.
It didn't help that we watched 3 Bones the other night that were about sexual harassment, murder and child soldiers.
So my heart has been pretty heavy this week. And it's reinvoked fears that I've been trying to get over. When I lived in Vancouver I used to not only walk home a couple miles in the dark at night, I used to go for 5+ mile runs at night. I just tried to step out the door to run, and I was scared. Of what? I don't know. We live in a regular neighbourhood, with nice houses. But I couldn't make myself go. I don't want fear to run my life, and it usually doesn't, but perhaps this is just a week to be okay with things like that. To run in the morning, to appreciate life and to just accept things that aren't up to us. Sometimes being a little irrational is okay, as long as you don't let it take over. It won today, it won't win tomorrow.
It's been a rough week. People don't always understand why I'm so affected by things that have nothing to do with me. I don't know if it's my compassion, my ability to relate, or my happy world disposition. I find harming others such a horrifying thought, maybe it's my inability to understand that makes it so hard to deal with. So I deal with it the best way I can, to write a little about it, get it out of me and onto a page, and somehow that cleanses it away. I don't forget, but it's not held as closely to my heart.
It's been a tough week. One that makes you want to reach out and love a little harder, enjoy everything a little more and make sure each day means something.