I’ve been a student at Northern Illinois University for about three years now. This semester I didn’t register for classes in time to get in, and ended up staying home -I plan to go back for summer classes.
Yesterday’s shooting is still settling in for me. When the phone started ringing here at home, I answered the calls and assured concerned friends that I was safe… all the while wondering how serious the situation really was. The schools website only said there was a campus alert and to avoid the King commons (near the student center and about 100 yards away from Cole Hall, the building where the shooter was). Later, when I got more details, I started to feel a little panic.
So far I haven’t heard any names, and I hope to god that it wasn’t anyone I know. I’ve had classes in that very room, and in fact I considered taking a Geology class this semester because it would have fulfilled an interdisciplinary credit I need. I keep imagining what it would be like to be sitting in one of those huge lecture auditoriums and see a gunman walk in. They’re really huge, like an old movie theater, with a sloping floor and wooden seats that are uncomfortably close together. The scramble to escape or crouch down into the rows would have been terrifying.
If I had been registered and attending classes this semester, I probably would have had my 8-month-old in the campus daycare, which is also just about a two minute walk from Cole Hall. My heart would have stopped in my chest if I had to go and collect the baby, knowing that his life was in danger like that. My thoughts go out to everyone who was on campus yesterday, and everyone affected by this.
It’s almost hard to believe this really happened. I guess I can be grateful for my issues with procrastination, for once.