The Virginia Tech campus was under siege again. We did what all good Hokies do: We turned on the TV, fired up the Facebook, tweaked the Twitter on our smartphones and laptops in Room 215.
No, we're not all Virginia Tech grads at the suburban DC high school where I teach. But we're all Hokies. In any given year, 250 or more of our graduates are attending school five hours south of here on the Blacksburg campus.
Leslie Sherman, one of the VA Tech massacre victims of '07, was one of ours. Our last three principals have been Hokies. We sent more than three dozen cherubs down to Tech last year.
Virginia Tech is a big ~ and good ~ state school. Except, I guess, when a crazy person lets loose with a gun.
Facebook and Twitter were buzzing all of Thursday. Yes, these social networks can sometimes be annoying, but they're great for keeping us connected. We didn't have that immediacy in the wake of 9/11.
It was heartening to receive a Tweet from a Tech freshman Thursday after the lunatic had killed two people and the campus was on lockdown. Last year's Sports Editor ~ a cherub for three years ~ from thanked me for my concern, and added a comforting PS: "Me and D. are safe...A. and S.are safe, too. It's a scary situation."
He knew I'd want to know about his other friends, also former students. He later Tweeted to his followers, "No longer on lockdown. Prayers go out to the victims, though."
And his last Tweet before I posted this? "Psalm 18. #lookitup"
Well, I did look it up. And I learned something. This particular Biblical gem is quite long, and a tad violent in parts. But this nugget spoke to me:
"I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from mine enemies."
From the mouth of babes, correctamundo?
PS: Sam Dean, a photographer who lives near the Virginia Tech campus, posted this snap yesterday. Notice the reflection of the sky and the idyllic campus next to the left arm of the SWAT team officer. Prescient.