POTUS, Nightmares, and My Entire Career

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello there..

Before we get started, please be sure to read the required pre-reading for this edition of {the ivy project}.  Yep, seriously.

Those Manhattan Mini-Storage ads?  Awesome social commentary on life in New York City.  There are some others that are even less blog-appropriate.  You can google if you want.  It's just funny people.  But the latest seen-on-the-subway pitch to store your stuff with their company that has nothing to do with storage?  It kind of struck a chord with me...

Now, you should also know that I waited almost an entire week after the last presidential debate before writing this blog.  I needed to calm down a bit, and anything I wrote about it last week would have been just as annoying as all those political Facebook posts that cause you to unsubscribe to "friends" statuses.  Because last week I was kind of mad.  So here I am, calmly discussing it.  It's not about who I'm voting for or who you're voting for.  I don't care who you vote for...but I do care that you vote.  

I'm quickly approaching the end of coursework for my doctorate at Columbia.  In June, I'll (hopefully) officially be ABD...all but dissertation...at which point I can move anywhere and do anything and just write that pesky little 400-page paper.  And the topic of that pesky little 400-page paper?  How campus leaders respond to and make sense of tragedies like mass shootings on college campuses. 

There are several reasons why this topic is important to me, and we don't really need to get into it all right now.  Something about helping people who have to go through it handle it, even if it's just a little bit.  Even though I can tell you all the strategies and tactics and best practices for how colleges should respond to campus tragedy, my heart still stops every time I actually hear about something awful happening.  I can read the official report of a campus crisis and tell you what they did right or wrong, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened again.  Somehow I've kind of become an expert in the subject.  

Which makes me say, with a good amount of confidence, that it is going to take more than just creating more "two-parent families" to stop crazy people from taking automatic weapons into safe places and killing people.  There, I said it.  Education reform and parental involvement definitely helps.  But single parents do not lead to mass violence.  I'm also pretty confident about that one.  It is going to take gun control enforcement and mental health awareness and people speaking out when they think there might be a problem.  And maybe even this guy who has been riding around Columbia's campus all week...

So I will keep on with my 400-page book that no one but my advisor will ever even skim through, and I will pray for every campus that finds itself qualified to be a part of my research.  

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