Friday, February 15, 2008

Northern Illinois University

It was the place where I studied to be the teacher I am today. Actually, that's sort of a lie: I did major in English with an emphasis in education, but I never was much of a student, spending way too much time at the student-run newspaper and student radio station. Whatever. They were a pretty good four years at a wannabe university. Today, it finally made national headlines as the latest location of a school shooting.

Several of my former students are there right now, some because of my recommendation. Hopefully they're OK ...

6 comments:

Ms. A. Nana. said...

Och. This post seemed uncharacteristically callous and flippant in a weird way, AP. Perhaps the news is unsettling for you, but a post about your alma mader "finally [making] national headlines" strikes me as beneath you. And uncommpassionate in a way I don't believe you are...

appopt said...

You're right ... it was more than a little insensitive. When I wrote it, I was in shock. I was pissed off. (Exactly which part of the constitution allows this?!?) Plus, when I wrote it, there were no confirmed deaths, just 17 injured. Then the reports came in. I just got an email that one of the dead was a Northern Star ad rep. That's the student newspaper where I sometimes spent 12-hour days, editing stories and writing flippant opinion columns. So, yeah. Sorry. My "national headlines" comment came from the frustration of graduating from a school that worked so hard on its reputation but not hard enough on academics, a school that rolled its journalism school into a communications major back when all I wanted was to be a journalist. (True fact: I actually worked two-and-a-half years at real newspapers after graduating from NIU, first in Kendall County, Illinois, and then in Brattleboro, Vermont.) My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Peace ...

Anonymous said...

ummm, why would you recommend anyone to a wannabe university, or does false flippancy strike again? hmmmmmm...................

FresH20 said...

I have seen said wannabe school go up against two Big Ten football powers in two years. I believe one day they will be the next Appalachian State in terms of David upsetting Goliath.

Everyone I've met from NIU is quality.

Truth is, what happened at NIU could of happened anywhere. When pistons get knocked loose in a guy's head, it doesn't matter whether he's at Harvard or Harold Washington College, he'll likely act in the same way.

I think this is a symptom of American culture in general, not any particular university's.

freelunch said...

NIU is a good state university, probably better than most of the state universities in Big 10 country that aren't actually part of the Big 10. All of the states around here have a university or two that are premier research and graduate institutions, but these states also support dozens of decent state universities, often former teachers' colleges, that don't have national or even regional reputations.

I didn't see the wannabe as a particularly callous comment when I first read it, though I understand the criticism. It's the feeling in all of these schools that they aren't treated with the respect they deserve, that they aren't even noticed because they are completely overwhelmed by the premier schools of the state. They want to be recognized, but none want to be recognized for this.

My condolences to the entire NIU community.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. A, I didn't know you went to DeKalb! Sorry about the sad news from there. And I agree with what all other commentors said - it could have happened anywhere... it has happened in a lot of places and will soon have happened in more places that hit home. I also feel the sentiment towards having gone to a Less-Than-Ivy league school. You can believe that "knowing someone" will help open doors in life, and those people who go to those 'special' universities may have more doors opened for them, but how much better of a person are you for opening those doors on your own, without that name recognition!