NIU Shootings

ccoupkir(z5 Il)February 16, 2008

Hello to all my friends on the ws forum.

Although I haven't been posting much this season, I have still been lurking and enjoying all the topics. I just wanted to let all of you know that NIU is where I am pursuing my PhD. I am also teaching 2 genetics labs. I was just entering the the parking deck when the shootings occurred. As I pulled out of the deck, the streets had already been blocked by police cars. I was probably one of the last cars allowed to leave DeKalb before they locked the campus down. I had to drive for almost 20 miles before I found out what happened. I really thought that there had been another terrorist attack, maybe aimed at colleges and universities.

To make a long story very short, I am asking all of my good friends here to keep the NIU family in your thoughts and prayers. One of my students was in the lecture hall at the time of the shooting. He escaped unharmed but I am sure highly traumatized. We don't know when classes will resume or how many student will opt to not return. It has been a truly shocking and cruel experience that I thought could never happen to our isolated school "in the cornfields of Illinois".

So today the shock has finally worn off and I realize that I, as well, could use the support of all my friends. I am now fearful to be on campus at night and am pondering whether to continue on. Wonderful people, like my ws buddies, will help to keep me sane during this tough time. Thanks to all of you for being who you are. I appreciate each and every one of you.

May God bless you all,

Cheryl ::] (ccoupkir)

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shimla(5 Upstate, NY)

Hi Cheryl -

I was saddened by the story on the news. When I see a post from a cyber-friend after a tragedy, it makes the world seem so small and as if the tragedy happened in my own back yard.

I cannot imagine how you must be feeling being a part of this incident and knowing people who personally witnessed what happened. I think that it is something you must go through to obtain a true understanding.

Have you contacted NIU about the counseling they are offering? They have top-notched specialists that come to help you work through this type of traumatizing event. A group meeting is very beneficial because you can actually talk with people feeling the same anxieties you are experiencing. You'll find that is not uncommon. If you don't get a chance to express your feelings and work them out it can have a lasting effect on you, which you don't need as a part of your life.

A year after 9/11 folks were finding they needed to get counseling for post traumatic stress syndrome and just got signed up for help. These weren't only the people that witnessed the event but all over the country.

I'm sure a lot of what you are going through is just a part of the grieving process which takes time to lessen. Time is the only medicine when grief is involved.

As far as your personal safety, IMHO, I feel that everyone around you will have a sense of 'high alert' and will watch out over one another like they have never done before. NIU should be instituting heightened security measures to help all of you feel more secure and protected. If you need to be there after hours, the buddy system is a wonderful tool. If there isn't a security guard on hand, just having a girlfriend to walk with relieves so much of the stress.

I wish you all the best, I'm sorry you have had to be a part of this experience.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Hi Cheryl,

I was so emotionally moved by your letter,i only live abour 20 min.away from NIU,we were glued to the T.V.,like every one else,you are so right, we just never thought we would have such a tragic thing happen,as you said, "In the corn fields of Il." What can a person say in times such as this?There really are no words,i hope you are talking to some one,Shimla had some good advice,it will take you a long time to recover from something so devistating.

I can only offer you encouragement to keep up your studies,it seems you have come so far,it would be a shame to let 'The shooter'stop, yet another person from living life to it's fullest.You have so much to thankful for that you were able to get out of there.I am so sorry for the great pain this has caused so many of you.

Thw last thing i did before i fell asleep that night was to say a prayer for all of you,we do not know each other,but yet we do,all hearts are joined by love,and you should never feel you are alone, please talk to some one soon.We are all here for you also,any time you need to YELL,we will listen.

Many thoughts and prayers to you and the world.Carol

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 1:08PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Hi, Cheryl. I have been thinking about you and hoping that you have had an opportunity to talk about your anxiety with a counselor or a group of people from your college that have also found this traumatic. The advice above sounds good to me.

I have appreciated your postings and helpful suggestions in the past. Please know that I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 9:46PM
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It is a horrible feeling to work in an environment where you don't feel safe. I completely understand where you are coming from. My city is big, but small at the same time. We now have a serial rapist/murderer on the loose and everyone is a bit frightened. I go to school where he preys, and we stick in large groups, or have campus security escort us to our cars. I work a block away from where the last victim's body was found, and once again have a co-worker or customer walk me out to my car. It can be a frightening world at times. It definately makes communities pull together and watch each other's backs though. It is kind of sad that it takes something really bad to happen in order to see the good in others.
My advice to you, talk to those you trust about how you feel. Don't keep it bottled inside. Remain cautious on campus, and don't be afraid to ask someone to escort you somewhere. Also....if you LOVE teaching, please don't give it up. A good teacher is extremely hard to find, and even if the pay is not good, your hard work is definately appreciated by your community.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 2:07AM
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hi cheryl, we always keep praying about the safety of the schools and campuses. i worry so much about them. i took my kids out one of the reasons is for that, even though we live in a tiny town i still worry, one day it will happen at our school, and i don't want my children to be there when it does. so i started homeschooling them. it has been threatened twice in the neighboring town also small. and they've had lockdown several times last year at this school because of threats according to my son and no parents were told. how safe am i supposed to feel that we were not told??
makes me think and know, what is this world coming to anymore??
i pray for the family's losses and their psychological stuff that those people are gonna go thru that were in the vicinity. its crazy!! but i am thankful not more were hurt. its crazy that i don't know any of them but i feel that way.
a serial rapist/murderer? geez. i am so glad i live in a farming community!! this town has probably 200 at the very most and they are all spread out. maybe 100 of us live in town. the worst ya have to worry about is if someone;s dog gets into your trash or people walking thru your yard. occasionally ya hear of someone's house getting broke into. and here peopel actually sleep with their doors open sometimes. geez not me!! mines locked all the time, living in the city toooooo long and to many scary movies!! LOL

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:20PM
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