“I actually was impacted more than I kind of expected…”

And then I guess the other thing that I would say about my experience about the shooting is that I think that I was a little bit in shock the next day, so the Tuesday, where I was kind of like, “Okay, something bad happened. Now let’s, now let’s get together and do what we can to do our job and to fix things and to whatever.” And the university was sending out emails saying like, you know, “We’re gonna cancel classes and make sure to take the time you need to be okay.” And I was in – my body was in like action mode, and so it surprised me as time went on to find that I actually was impacted more than I kind of expected. Like, I think for the last week, I’ve been kind of randomly bursting into tears, like at anything. At bad news, at good news, at somebody being a little bit nice to me, at just anything. It kind of reminds me of grief almost, where it’s like, you know, most of the time you kind of carry on, and then suddenly out of the blue you’ll remember that the person that you love died.

So I guess that’s the other thing that I think is notable about my experience here, is that like basically a week after, I feel more impacted than I felt the day after, and maybe part of that is, you know, listening to stories from my students who, you know, went through their own traumas that night, either, like me, listening to the police scanner, listening to the sirens go by, listening to the helicopter as they search for this guy, or my students who were on campus, you know, hiding in their dorm room on lockdown, hoping that they’re not next, you know. I think our whole community has been touched by this trauma, and I guess the flip side of that that makes me something I am grateful for is that, you know, Mr. Rogers says like, “Look for the helpers.” And I think almost everybody that I’ve interacted with has stepped up to try to be a helper for other people, so, you know, all of the community resources, the free counseling that’s available, the businesses that are like opening up. Like, I went to Strange Matter the next day, and they were just giving out coffee for free to anybody who came by. Like, even the students on my research team, shout out to you guys, who have consistently been looking for ways to help each other and help support me as their professor. It has been really beautiful to see people come together through this grief.

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