Friday, April 20, 2007

The English Department

Today's New York Times carries an important story by Marc Santora and Christine Hauser about how students and faculty of the Virginia Tech English Department had interacted with the student who Monday carried out the mass murder on that campus.

Please read the whole story but there's one part that sticks with you:

Ross Alameddine sat a few feet from Mr. Cho for months in a class examining contemporary horror films and literature. Both students were required to keep what were known as “fear journals,” where they chronicled both their reaction to the material covered in class and their own fears.

Mr. Alameddine, according to classmates, made an effort to speak to Mr. Cho on several occasions, trying to draw him out of his closed world and his refusal to interact with other students.

On Monday, Mr. Cho shot and killed Mr. Alameddine.

There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Cho targeted his classmate, but it is the first time one of the victims has been connected to Mr. Cho before the shootings.

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