Jenny Pedersen: Support the Hokies

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Jenny Pedersen: Support the Hokies

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By: Jenny Pedersen
Posted: 4/18/07

Let's be honest: this isn't my original column.

I was up late last night scribbling down something about "relationship people" and trying to finish a paper. Like most of us I didn't get enough sleep, I woke up late and barely rolled into lecture.

In spite of the usual college stresses, I still managed to start smiling after my morning latte. However, all things changed once I read the morning news. In the state of Virginia, lattes are not enough to make anyone smile.

I've been to Virginia; it's where my favorite high school history teacher grew up, and one of my best friends attends a college two hours north of Virginia Tech. The state was green, the people were friendly and I had an amazing fudge sundae at a place called Shoney's.

Virginia Tech has been described as a quiet place where not much happens. It is an agricultural school in a small town similar to Davis and the school website shows pictures of students feeding large groups of mallard ducks just like the ones that patrol our own campus.

We both have slightly ridiculous mascots - we're the UC Davis Aggies and they're the Virginia State Hokies. We have The California Aggie and they have The Collegiate Times. Much like us, students online discuss the lack of nightlife options in the mountain town of Blacksburg, Va. and jokingly point out that the town doubles in size when school is in session.

Instead of an annual Picnic Day, in Virginia they host the International Street Fair each April. I imagine before yesterday Hokie students could easily have complained about bored Blacksburg cops breaking up their parties, citing them for noise violations and other such superfluous things, just like we were probably ecstatic about the start of spring because nobody knows what to do with themselves in a small town when it's cold.

They're college students just like us in a community much like ours. They had no idea that this would change for them on any other Monday morning in April.

The last time I checked, 32 people were killed; two outside of residence halls and 30 inside classrooms. The students of Virginia Tech experienced a violation of their safety in the worst way. They lost friends and faculty on their campus, in their classrooms, at their college, the place they go to gain skills for their future, to learn the tools that will help them for the rest of their lives. Education is what we hope will make the world a safer place; it is an institution we count on to protect us and our children from the likes of global warming and terrorism.

The parents who lost children to the shooting probably thought there was no safer place in the world for their children to be than attending school in a small town in the United States. They weren't serving in Iraq, or living in "crime-ridden" big cities, and still they were not entirely safe.

I'm not saying that we should all be paranoid and I have no suggestions for preventing school violence. What I am saying is that as fellow students we have a certain responsibility to the memory of those lost at Virginia State. If only for the rest of this week I want to acknowledge this responsibility and show appreciation for a campus that hasn't known fear or violence.

I'm going to smile at strangers, students and staff because they are happy, healthy and here. I'm going to appreciate that the last time I talked to my mother it was to ask her about tax forms and not to tell her that I was injured in open fire. I'm going to appreciate that because I live and breathe, I have the luxury of fighting with my roommates and procrastinating on Facebook. Most importantly I'm appreciating the fact that it still only takes a latte to make me smile.

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.californiaaggie.com/media/storage/paper981/news/2007/04/18/Opinion/Jenny.Pedersen-2848939.shtml>The California Aggie - April 18, 2007</a>

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Jenny Pedersen

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The California Aggie

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2007-08-23

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Sara Hood

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Eddie Lee <editor@californiaaggie.com>

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eng

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Jenny Pedersen, "Jenny Pedersen: Support the Hokies," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1206, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1206 (accessed November 28, 2014).