One of the things I most admire about others is their intellect. Seriously. Which is why I've always been attracted to college professors, I guess...
And the list of teachers I've loved over the years is long. Very long.
So returning to the Virginia Tech tragedy, I need to share this information about a professor who was a hero -- and gave his life that others might live.
Professor Liviu Librescu
Liviu Librescu -- 76-year-old Holocaust survivor -- sacrificed his life to save his students during Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech College.
Professor Liviu Librescu threw himself in front of the shooter, who had attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," related Virginia Tech student Asael Arad.
Several of Librescu's students sent emails to his wife, Marlena, telling how he blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives.
"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said (in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv). "Students started opening windows and jumping out."
Those interested can read more about him here. Professor Librescu was a highly honored -- and clearly brilliant -- individual who had won many awards for his work. He was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Engineering, Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.
What an amazing man! He survived the Holocaust -- then gave up his life to save his students. It's just remarkable.
The convocation was moving, I must admit. In spite of whatever reservations I have about our President, he did a good job during his speech.
For the record, I remain unconvinced that there isn't a need for someone to take responsibility for this situation -- regardless of all I've heard to the contrary.
No, I'm sincerely not focusing on blame, as I stated before. In fact, I'm trying to see any potentially positive elements about this, as horrible as it is. (Though with little success at this point, I admit.) Yes, I remain a positive person in any and all situations, doing my best to avoid dwelling on the negative (which is more than many people can say, I think).
But ignoring the mistakes made here is an unwise thing, as far as I'm concerned. Not that there won't be many people who prefer to do so. Personally, I can't say I blame those parents who are upset with President Charles Steger, regardless of the standing ovation he received during the convocation.
(Good grief! Why? Just because he's seen as a 'symbol' for the school? Maybe some would be applauding less if they'd caught him with Katie Couric where he actually smiled during her interview...)
Oh, by the way -- if you happen to be someone who disagrees with me about this, that's fine. You have a right to your opinion, whatever it is. But I do hope you'll recognize my right to my opinion, which frankly hasn't changed. And for the record, my opinion wasn't formed due to any media nonsense. I wrote yesterday's blog entry while watching coverage prior to -- and during -- the first press conference yesterday. (Yes, I've heard a lot of crap from the media about varoius aspects that I find entirely annoying. Hey, but I don't blame them for repeatedly revisiting the question of why some sort of alert didn't go out to the campus-at-large. Granted, they probably couldn't have reached everyone. But it's entirely possible they might have reached some of those people who were killed or injured. And why not try, at least? I don't understand it and probably never will... Nor do I think this is a question of hindsight, folks. We're talking more than two hours of elapsed time here.)
Anyway, I'll drop it now. We're all hearing plenty about this on TV as it is, along with internet news sources, radio, blogs -- like mine -- and on and on. I'm sure we'll be sick of it before too long... (sigh) And obviously nothing we say (or write) can bring back the dead. I just hope we've learned something that might help keep someone else alive in the future...
In other news (smile), I've still got a ton of software to install (reinstall?) on my computer (after my recent crash), so I guess I'll get back to it.
And it's nice to be home -- even though we had a great time in Vegas! Yes, yes -- I do still plan to share about our trip! (smile)
Plus I need to catch up here at LJ after being away -- and do some moderation duties... That's what happens when you're away for several days!
I need to spend some quality time with Colin, too, who missed us terribly, it seems! (Poor baby.) At least he didn't bite us the way Rich's cat did him! Awful! (Colin did bite June, though. Bad boy! He was trying to give her a love bite, but got carried away...)
Anyway, back to work!