I hope everyone had a great day yesterday. Today’s post is going to be a bit different than my usual posts. I need to reflect on a defining moment of my life. You see yesterday there were reports of yet another shooting at my beloved alma mater, Virginia Tech. And it got me thinking, I have never actually sat down and put into words what I went through on April 16, 2007. This might get a bit graphic, and detailed. I won’t be offended if you skip over this post.
April 15,2007- I was at UVa visiting Erik for the weekend and was getting ready to head back to VT, but it started pouring down rain and Erik turned to me and said, “why don’t you stay here tonight and drive back in the morning, I don’t want you driving in this weather.” So I stayed, happily. And the next morning I said goodbye and headed back to Virginia Tech.
April 16,2007- I arrived at my apartment just as my phone began to ring. It was our friend Hyojon.. The conversation went something like this:
Hyojon- “Dorsa are you okay??”
Me- “uh, ya I just walked into my apartment, why whats going on?”
Hyojon- “There was a shooting at your school!”
Me-” WHAT, *silence*…. uh Hyojon I gotta go..”
Honestly what happened in the next few hours almost seemed like a blur. I immediately turned on the television, and watch the madness unfold.. Then I called my mom, I said, “mom there was a shooting at my school, I just wanted to let you know that I am in my apartment and I am okay.” My mom had no idea what was going on, we hung up and when we spoke later on in the day, she thanked me for calling her so quickly. You can imagine that during the event it was very hard to get a hold of anyone.
I sat in front of the television calling all my friends and answering hundreds of phone calls, text messages, and emails. All I remember from that time was being in complete shock. We learned that the shooting centered around our Engineering Science and Mechanics building, the building where we had all of our classes. We saw our professor, Wally Grant, on the television with a bandage on his shoulder, covered in blood. I do remember crying a lot.
I called my friend Jenny and we talked on the phone for a while about what was going on.
She told me that the night before she was going to call me and ask if I wanted to go to Norris Hall (ESM building) to do some homework, but when she went to pick up her phone, she suddenly did not feel well and told herself that she would call me in the morning.
I believe there was a reason for her headache…I don’t really like to think of what could have and would have happened. I have had a lot of trouble dealing with this shooting, I have asked myself lots of questions. Why was the weather so bad the night before, preventing me from driving back to school? Why did Jenny suddenly get a headache and not call me, or wake up early to go to Norris Hall?
I have tried not to dwell on these questions, it has been very hard, but I have decided that there is a reason for everything that happens, and I am going to do everything in my power to live the very best life. Not only for myself, but for all of those people whos lives were cut short.
The next day we started getting the names of the people who were killed.. one of them was one of our professors. Professor Granata , he was an amazing man, and professor. He is greatly missed by his family, friends, and all of his former students. He was in his office on the third floor and heard the gunshots, he left his office and walked across the hall to the class that was in session and told them to go into his office and lock the door (the offices are the only rooms that have locks). He then proceeded to walk downstairs to see if he could help anyone else. That is were he saw our professor, Wally Grant, and they along with a student, ran into the bathroom and sat in front of the door. I don’t really know why they left the bathroom but both of our professors walked out and the shooter saw them and shot Professor Grant in the shoulder and shot and kill Professor Granata. I cannot imagine how horrifying that was, hearing and thinking about it gives me chills.
A few of our friends were in Norris at the time, and their experience was very surreal. Two of my friends Caroline and Sundeep had to jump out of the third story window in order to escape the shooting. Their professor held the door closed for the class as they all jumped out. I won’t go into any more details, it is too hard, and it really isn’t my story to tell.
All I will say is that the entire community came together like something I have never seen before (and hope I never have to see again). I love all of my Hokies, especially my ESM family,
Please take some time today to tell the special people in your life that you love them. 🙂
Have a great day!