[Milton-L] What have we become?
rwill627 at suddenlink.net
Tue Apr 17 15:33:06 EDT 2007
Now that we are realizing and trying to deal with yesterday, we have
attitudes to adjust.
Many thanks to Ryan for the Lycidas quote -- one of the functions of good
to remind us that our tragedies may be unique in details, but not in the
Man has been here before, and Milton, through his experiences and the
experiences of those
about him, was keenly aware of that; he can help
Some years ago, when a student in the school where I taught walked into
class singing "Here
Comes Peter Cottontail" and shot his history instructor in the face, the
adminstration locked down
the campus immediately and an administrator who was a war veteran went in
and talked the
gunman down. It worked that time -- who knows if it would again?
In dealing with students in the aftermath then, and if dealing with Virginia
students today, my first move was/would be to remind them of the thousands
of students who were NOT injured. In the most dangerous situations, any one
person has a small chance of being on the sword's point. If you find
yourself on that point, you deal as best you may.
Some of the students yesterday saved themselves and others; some were not
able to do so. As Caesar said, "If it is not my day to die no man can kill
me; if it is my day to die no man can save me."
We Americans are blessed and spoiled -- we are not accustomed to facing the
fact that death is all around us, and we stave it off when we can however we
can. One would think, with all the time we spend speeding down crowded
freeways, we would be more aware of this, but we are not. When something
like yesterday reminds us, we must help
our students cope while we are coping ourselves. Today may be our last, but
it is unlikely to be. So we do
our homework and prepare for a future we shall probably have to face.
Somewhat strangely perhaps, this little Dorothy Parker gem helped my
students in that crisis:
THE FLAW IN PAGANISM
Drink and dance and laugh and lie;
Love the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die--
But alas, we never do.
> I had a conversation with my rector this morning about
> feelings of vulnerability - >
> The rooms I teach in this term - like most classrooms on our
> part of the campus - are not built for escape. One is part of
> what was once a swimming pool in the basement.
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