Tonight I was reading the news before I went to bed. The major story of the day is in regards to the shootings at Virginia Tech. The insane man who took the lives of 33 other people hasn’t been identified yet.
One item that was released by the college newspaper, The Collegiate Times, was the name of a professor who was killed that morning. Given the professor’s name, it is pretty easy to find the professor’s staff page. Then there is an email address which leads to his personal web site, with notes about his hopes and dreams, photos and family. And then you realize how that this was a living human being, not just an image on a television set or in a newspaper.
But it hit me even closer to home when I clicked on his resume and saw that he used to work in an IT department at another university in North Carolina. From there, I realized that I was probably less than six degrees away from him, since I used to work with someone who is now in charge of IT at another North Carolina university.
Or, to take another path, I believe his father is a well-published science fiction author. And I know I have read some of his work before, whether it is hidden at an anthology in my shelves or in the attic of my father’s house. And that makes this all too real as well.
Maybe if the insane man knew his victims better, he wouldn’t have done what he did. In a way, the world isn’t nearly small enough.
If you want, you can visit Jamie Bishop’s site for yourself.