The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Different World

A Different World

            A deafeningly loud thud disrupted our Romantic literature discussion a couple days ago—“Hold onto that thought,” said the professor to a student in mid-sentence. “I just want to check if everything is okay out there. You never know these days.” She darted to the back of the room and peeped her head out of a door that had been standing wide open. “Oh, false alarm, a table fell.” Breathing a sigh of relief, she quickly (and quietly) fumbled with the classroom door and attempted to close it. “You remember, in these cases, that the doors of University Hall don’t lock,” she chuckles as she resumes her position at the front of the room. “Really makes you feel safe, doesn’t it? Sorry about that, but jokes aside, you really can’t be too careful, right? So where were we… Yes, the different interpretations of Victor Frankenstein…”
              It may have been the jitter-inducing subject matter of Wollstonecraft’s acclaimed novel. Or it could just have been that we were all waiting desperately for 4:15pm to arrive. Needless to say, a lingering jumpiness ensued and it took quite some time for the entire class to recover from that afternoon ordeal. This got me thinking: We really are living in a very different world.
               Years ago, never would have a surprising boom or a heavy bang occurring outside the hallways of an educational institution have caused as much frenzy as it did that Monday afternoon. Classrooms and school cafeterias, at least for our generation, have been known to provide the securest of environments. Students come here to learn, to make friends, to grow, and to mature. Never in a million years would tragedies such as Columbine or Virginia Tech ever occur—and yet, unfortunately, in the past decade, more than a dozen school shootings have terrorized campuses all around the nation. And if that weren’t enough, within the last year, there have been subsequent incidents at movie theaters, shopping malls, and medical facilities as well. When did we, as a society, begin living in constant fear of a weapon that was supposed to be reserved for warfare? What has this world come to?
                      Given the current debate surrounding gun control laws and other related issues, I felt that this was something worth exploring. Personally, as a student, I have nothing but cheerful memories of my elementary school days—painting, endless giggles, jungle gyms, and hopscotch—these were an implicit norm. I was barely out of elementary school when the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado occurred, and I remember watching the television screen in pure horror, praying to God that nothing like this would ever happen again. School, for me, was the epitome of safety and innocence. As I listened to the terrifying reports, I, as a naïve fourth grader, could not imagine a world in which schools would have to bear witness to the terror of guns.
               Sadly, this world that I could not bear to imagine has actually become our reality—last December, our nation was witness to yet another fatal massacre. This time, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. At twenty-two, I was no longer a fourth grader. And yet, I could not seem to wrap my mind around what had just happened. These are first graders, for peet’s sake! The biggest fears we had held onto in grade school had included cooties, pop quizzes, and times tables. Now, it seems that even the most innocent of young children have been forced to live through the most frightening and terrorizing of nightmares. This needs to change. And we, as a nation, need to take firm action to change it-- we all just want to crawl back under the covers and back into a different world where tragedies like these are unknown and truly unimaginable. 



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home