There’s this odd sense of opposites today on campus – the first day back to classes for students. It’s gorgeous weather out yet there’s a sense of sadness. There are people everywhere outside dressed in shorts and tee-shirts and yet when you look closely you realize that alot of these people are media, police officers or grief counselors. There are balloons, tents and flowers everywhere kind of like a football game day but they are remembrances to the victims. There is free food, music, stuff everywhere you turn but it’s not because the stores are advertising their products on campus as usual but because they’ve donated it to help comfort us. There is a sense of romance in the air because it’s spring… but is it romance or is it friends and lovers connecting with one another again, glad that each other are alive because up until last Monday they had taken each other for granted? A community that is trying to get back a sense of normalcy yet pain, grief, insecurity, and a general sense of sadness is hovering just at the surface ready to bubble up and over if the surface tension is disturbed in any way.
It’s kind of like a huge campus circus event except instead of animals doing tricks there is a prayer circle around the flag pole at Burruss, instead of three rings in the middle of campus there is yellow police tape, instead of laughter and awes from the crowd because of some clown joke or amazing acrobatic trick there are quite murmurs of tears, stifled laughter to avoid crying and smiles to everyone to reconnect with others in our community, instead of a circus ring-master there is the media and a memorial guiding our way.