Thoughts from a mother bear

I drove into work today with a heavy heart for my students.

First, I consider every student on campus mine. I've always thought that, it's not a motherhood thing, but I feel that it lives in the same place in my heart & soul.

The last time I felt this much dread for my students was September 12, 2001. If you recall, the cries of the terrorist attacks were from Arabs was already flying around. I believe there was already a hate crime reported from somewhere like Oklahoma. With the high number of students who identify as Middle Eastern, I felt fear for them. Would they be safe at home? On campus? Walking around town? How did they feel 'knowing' that someone who looked like them might be responsible for the attacks?

Today I drove in worried for them and how unsafe they must feel. Being at a university in the middle of Chicago and in an area where students' parents still think is "the worst neighborhood" in Chicago I feel that if the shooting that happened at NIU yesterday happened here might not be a big surprise to some.

I saw a student from NIU say on the news last night that "This isn't how it is at NIU." I doubt that this is how it is anywhere in this country.

NIU isn't that far. I know many of my students have friends at NIU. I have a good friend whose son goes there. I know at least one person from high school works t here. DeKalb feels like a world away, but when something like this happens, it's just down the street. One of the victims hailed from my hometown. I don't think I know the family, but knowing they came from the same town makes it even more personal.

I just needed to get all this out into the ether before I buckle down for a hard day at writing. I can't quite focus on mentoring networks when I have all this weighing on me.

It's days like this when I think that I feel too much. That I care too much.

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