“I couldn’t really talk about the shooting if I didn’t talk about trauma in general and how it affects people.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. I've been thinking about this a lot and I felt that I couldn't really talk about the shooting if I didn't talk about just trauma in general and how it affects people. Because whether you were on campus or not, whether you were someone who were acquainted with the victims of the violence or not, you -- if you are a member of, you know, people who go to MSU, people who have to come to campus, people who have to be, you know, on site, then it's affected you, I think. I tried to tell myself that it didn't, but I think it did. So I guess when I think about trauma, it's hard to think about trauma in any sort of real sense. I feel like -- I have to put this somewhere. I feel like when someone experiences trauma... Okay, maybe I shouldn't -- it's not an objective thing. It's a very subjective thing. When I experience trauma, when I think about the trauma that I've had in my life, it's like this invisible string. A very fine string is just -- like it's wrapped around my body, just kind of entangling me. And it feels at first like a surge of adrenaline. Like, "Oh my God. Oh my God. I gotta get out. I gotta get out. I gotta be safe. This is not safe. I need to be safe. This is not safe. What do I do? What do I do? Oh my God. What do I do?" And it can almost feel -- I -- it almost feels euphoric just because it's so much energy and maybe I'm not used to having that much energy and adrenaline. Sorry, I'm pausing a lot. But anyway, yeah, if you've been traumatized, maybe it feels the same way. That's what it felt like for me. Like, initial trauma. The thing is, people don't often -- they're not lucky like that. We don't just get traumatized once and that's it. It's easy to say, like, people get desensitized to things. But we don't. We can pretend, but we really don't. You don't get desensitized to traumatic things. You might want -- you wish -- we all wish we could get desensitized to these things, but we don't. I'm sorry. I'm getting a…

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“But then they told me why there was no school, and it made me really sad.”

Today, I'm gonna be talking about what happened in 2023 on February 13th and how it impacted my life. From what I remember, on that day I was – so, I – when I got up in the morning and came to my parents, they told me that there was no school, so I was happy. But then they told me why there was no school, and it made me really sad, and a bit frightened, too. So, I'm pretty sure my family closed our blinds and stayed inside our house for that day. But I don't remember it perfectly. I know that I was pretty scared, and I was sad at the thought that some students had just gone to campus, um, from their home, and then never returned home. And I thought about how devastated those parents must have been. And I remember my friend telling to me that his brother, who was 13, I'm pretty sure, was on campus, like, at that time. But he didn't – my friend didn't really tell me any more details about that. And I guess when I heard the news that some of the people in the hospital who were there when the shooting happened – I mean, like, some of the people who got hurt, um, recovered well, and were back on their feet. I would just say that I guess it sparked a little hope. And now – um, and then I'm pretty sure a bit later, like maybe a month later, I heard that there was a shooter in the building – in like a school building in Texas, and I was just really hoping that my school could still be safe. And when the shooting happened here, and not in Texas, um I know – I think she wanted school shut down. But what really was the worst about it – well, what really made it so bad (which, it was) was that normally in [town name], everyone is, like, safe. And nothing really bad happens. Or if it does it's pretty minor. But I assume that in some places it's not quite as big of a deal, of a deal. But here it really was, and I was really sad that that happened. And I was thankful that – um, that only three people died and – when it could have been more. But, I was…

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“To this day I cannot comprehend what was going on in that man’s mind when he decided to kill a bunch of people my age in my community.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. Finding out a classmate died is a jarring experience to say the least, and I cannot say – like, it's thrown me for a bit of a loop. I can't say I'm in like a state of grief, exactly. Like, he seemed like a nice guy, but again, I exchanged maybe five sentences with him over the past three years, like I don't – I don't know. Over the past three or four years. Like, I don't –  Like, I – it's, it's horrible. It's sad and I'm – I feel sad. I feel like – shocked, I feel whatever, but, you know, like, it, it doesn't – like I mean, it's not like this is gonna – you know. Again, it's not like this is gonna send me into a state of despair. At least not this particular death, I guess. There are certain aspects of the death that are freaking me the f*** out, but – and again, like, I don't mean to sound insensitive. I don't mean to sound – like I hope I don't – I don't mean to sound – like I – it's horrible. It is horrible, but like, you know, I cannot say that like I am gonna be the one – I guess, like, that's, that's the thing. Like, I am not going to be the one most deeply impacted by this. You know? This is not the death of a friend or a loved one. This is the death of a guy whose face I recognize, which, you know, is still horrifying and sad and – I – you know.  But, you know, like, again. There are a few things, I guess, like, my thoughts. Like how this is connected to my own – and I feel like, I feel like it's almost narcissistic to try to, you know, connect this to my own existential dread at this point. But this is what I'm thinking about. This is what it's caused. This is sending me into a little bit of a spiral at the moment. Um, if you can't tell by the kind of incoherent rambling, but, um, you know, like, on the one hand – Like, on the – one part of it is, is more or less some of the same stuff that…

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“My body just kind of had like a reaction going in. Like, I got tense…”

I have not done one of these in a very long time, but I thought that I would record, um, my own sort of follow-up diary about the violence that happened at Michigan State on February 13. It's now almost a year later, and for the most part I think things have kind of gone back to normal. You know, classes have been in full swing and we're like back on our regular calendar. Um, but I was just thinking -- Okay, so I am teaching in Berkey Hall this semester for the first time since the shooting. And I kind of surprised myself by having a reaction the first time I went in this semester. I kind of was back in this like swing of normal, everything's back to normal, and I saw flowers and reporters outside Berkey Hall that first day of classes and, you know, my body just kind of had like a, a reaction going in. Like, I got tense and I kind of felt like a little bit of anxiety. You know, it's small but it is something that I felt and I'm guessing that I'm probably not the only one, you know, I'm thinking about students that were going in. Have to go back into that building for the first time. And what they are -- how they're holding up. I -- yeah. Just wanted to note. You know, it's a small -- it's a small impact, but it still exists.

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“I feel guilty for saying that I’m not thinking about it, but I think it’s kind of like a survival mechanism.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. Coming up on the one-year anniversary of the, um, shooting on Michigan State's campus last year. Um, I don't know. It's kind of weird. I -- like I've been talking about it and thinking about it more in the past week or so as we approach it, but it's also making me realize how little I've thought about it lately, um, like in the past, you know, four or five months. Which, I feel guilty for saying that I'm not thinking about it, but I think it's kind of like a survival mechanism. You know, I can't every single time I walk on the campus spend all my time thinking about that, um, or else I wouldn't be able to walk onto campus. But I do feel like I'm sort of like, I don't know, doing, doing it a disservice by not spending more time being thoughtful about it. I have a class in Berkey this semester and I've never had one in Berkey before. And Berkey the building isn't very linked with that event for me because I wasn't there. I know it's linked with it, but it's not really linked with my experiences and my emotions towards it. Um, well I actually feel worse when I walk by, like, the back window of my old apartment that I lived in when it happened. That freaks me out more because that was like, so much more associated with my experience with it. And I don't feel that way going into Berkey, which is nice. I'm really lucky for that. In the first week of classes they had service dogs in Berkey. They had snacks. They had counselors available. And I really appreciate that. But then, they haven't had it since. And I get it. You don't have the resources to do that all semester long. That's very reasonable, but, I don't know. I guess it just contributes like this general feeling of guilt I have that it's not just me. Like, everyone's sort of thinking about it, you know, when it's convenient. My, my professor made a joke about it, kind of, the other day in class. The professor that I have – I take the Berkey class with. I don't know, it wasn't a joke, but, we were going around saying where…

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“It really touched me that he kind of acknowledged that we’re coming up on the anniversary of that event.”

I went to a concert last Wednesday. And it was Yo-Yo Ma, an incredibly famous cellist, who -- surprisingly, not everyone I've talked to has heard of him. But yeah, Yo-Yo Ma and a famous violinist and pianist who I hadn't really heard of were all playing at the Wharton center on Wednesday, and I was very excited. Had a whole fiasco with tickets that I will talk about later, but the important thing is all three of them when they came out on stage were wearing baseball caps with the Spartan logo on them. And yeah, Yo-Yo Ma was like, "Go Green!" and everyone was like, "Go White!" Um, and then in between the first piece and the second piece, Yo-Yo Ma talked a bit about, like, "Spartan Strong" and, you know, touched on, you know, him caring about what happened on the 13th. And I thought that was really sweet that this famous guy who travels all around the world playing his cello, he's incredibly skilled -- that he cares about this university that I go to, that my friends go to, that -- yeah. It really touched me that he kind of acknowledged that we're coming up on the anniversary of that event.

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“For the year anniversary, I’m going home.”

I'm scared to see reports of what might happen that night which is part of the reason to why I'm leaving. I'll be back like, the week after and then it'll be spring break and everything which is in itself a whole 'nother weird thing. It's just – yeah. Sometimes I gotta put me first and, and leave, take a little mental health break while also – you know, not really necessarily a break, but just going to be back, doing all my work remotely. I feel like that's the one good thing about living in this day and age is even though I have feelings about last year, at least the good news is I can do homework and everything from the comfort of my room. Quite honestly, I might have like a glass of wine or something on that day, pay tribute to the victims and their families, do a prayer for them. I know my parents are probably going to do that, and so it'll be nice to join them, I think. I think it'll be nice to join them. It'll be nice to just kind of process it, realize, "Okay. You know, I'm fortunate enough to be in this position of still attending this university a year later," without totally, you know, being rude or hateful or spiteful in a way. It's just, I need a break. Um, really need a break in general, but you know, it'll be like a peaceful time to – at my home at least, to just pay tribute to the victims and their families and to all of us as a community, 'cause I feel like that's the biggest thing that doesn't get talked about is, uh, the survivor's guilt and everything, um, and how that impacts us mentally. 'Cause I – where I was last year I could hear it, and that was kind of traumatizing within itself, looking back and realizing. And the amount of like therapy sessions and everything, but, I feel like at MSU we have a pretty good community. We have – I, I'm just so grateful to be in a community where we all – you know, ordinarily I would say on a day-to-day basis we might not seem like we care about each other. But on days where it's coming up to the anniversary and everything, I would hope – and I, I've…

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“I just, like, dropped the rod and ran away screaming.”

I have never been hunting, but I have been fishing a total of one time. So. It wasn't, like, actual fishing, it was fishing at, like, a fishing pond thing. It was like a fishing place where they dump tons of fish into the river to make it easier. So a little bit even extra cheating is that my brother was, uh, under the age of six, so we could fish in the six-and-under pond.  So I'm fishing in the six-and-under pond, and I am not catching anything at all because I'm just flat out bad at fishing. Like, I was afraid of the fish. So I finally did catch something and I pulled it out really fast and I just, like, dropped the rod and ran away screaming because it was just, like, so scary. The eyes, it was all moving, ugh! And then some, like, random guy walked up to me and is like, "Do you want help with that? I can tell you haven't done this before." So I'm like, "Yes, please." And he helped me, and my mom said thank you to him. And yeah. Never wanna go fishing again. It's not really my thing.

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“I should have made a stink about it, ’cause tree theft is tree theft.”

In my house in Mililani – I only have a townhouse. Well, we were not allowed to grow trees, fruit trees, in our yard. In the, in the back patio, the enclosed patio of our townhouse. So I got a notice saying, "You're not allowed to do that." So how I get around it is I put it outside the fence, right outside the fence. Just outside the fence. And unfortunately because it was right outside my fence, the neighbor two up – her – and – I think it w- – I – and it wasn't a permanent neighbor, it was just a temporary neighbor a couple hou- – townhouses down came and stole my tree and put it right outside their backyard. I should have made a stink about it, 'cause tree theft is still tree theft. But that – yeah. 'Cause o- o- – um, I had it outside the back and one day it was gone and over a couple of apartments down. That was pretty bad, but they were not a permanent neighbor. That was just – every year new tenants. Not a good landlord. 'Cause they've had a tenant that's – and the tenant that – I mean, I re- – I can't remember if, if it was the tenant with the two boys. I wonder if it was the two boys who stole it, or what? And pla-, planted it over there. But those two boys discovered that the attics of the entire row of townhouses are all connected. And they would – they would go walking through the attics. You could hear the footsteps.

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“A time when someone gave me ‘the talk.'”

A time when someone gave me 'the talk...' I assume we're talking about the sex talk, but maybe I'm way off. My apologies. Um, when I was in sophomore year of high school, my mom sat me down and talked to me about what it is and what I should be doing or not doing and when and, um – in some ways, kinda laughable. It came about because I had a boyfriend and she was worried about what we were gonna be doing, and we were already fooling around. So like, when she's talking about how things work, like, I was well aware.  But my mom had a belief that abstinence was the only option because she was a teen mom. And so instead of talking about how to avoid teen pregnancy via birth control, she talked to me about "You just don't do it" and, like, threatened me a little bit and tried to scare me. So that was kinda how that went down. Uh, not successful. Though I never got pregnant in – as a teenager, it certainly didn't stop me from having those experiences with, with people I was dating. So. Not effective, not effective. Gave me so much to reflect upon when and if I get the chance to talk to a child about that myself.

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