I can picture NIU and DeKalb, IL....
We were there for a debate tournament last year.
DeKalb is a typical college town -- anonymous in the way that college towns tend to be. The Best Western was the worst hotel we stayed in all year, the college bars advertised cheap beer and the 'Girls Gone Wild' truck was in town when we were... typical of the way I spent many weekends for 10 years.
I'm pretty sure some of our debate rounds were held in the buildings the shooter shot up. It is a typical classroom building. It has wide halls, lots of classrooms, vending machines and the typical wear and tear that comes when hundreds of undergrads shuffle to and from classes.
The rooms are like the classrooms you and I teach in every day. Most of them either have chairs bolted to the floor or those annoying chairs with the attached desks... yea, just like where I taught yesterday and where you'll teach today.
and that is what is so sad and scary. It really could have been one of our classrooms.
I'm not sure what has gone wrong in the world. I feel for the families who have lost students. I worry for the teacher and students who saw their classroom engulfed in the cloud of violence that surrounded a poor, sick, sad, terrible, soul.... the shooter.
I think I'll start keeping my classroom door closed. What else can I do?