Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The signs were everywhere. The red flags were up. The late Mr. Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, had written " disturbing " stuff for a creative writing class. Turns out folks knew he was " Troubled. "

Yesterday we knew nothing about the guy. Today? We know his name. What he was majoring in. His nationality. And his mental status. Monday it was Mr. Cho we hardly hardly know ye. Tuesday? We know more about this guy than we know about half of our cousins.

English major. Wrote scary stuff. They shoulda known! He was crying out for help for Christ's sake. Sure. Using that kind of logic Stephen King would have been in protective custody before he had a chance to write Carrie.

I'm a creative writing instructor. Facilitate a workshop once a week. Wednesday mornings. 10 am to 11:30 am. What am I supposed to do now, in this post 4/16 world? Look for signs? Be alert for red flags. Drop a dime on a writer whose story disturbs me or other writers in the room?

Mr. Cho was an English major. They can be weird. They read books and write stories, essays and poems. They keep journals, have blogs. I was an English major.

I have a modest proposal. Keep an eye on those who decide to major in English. Know what they read and read what they write. Look for signs and red flags. If what they read is " disturbing, " and if what they write is that, too...

Keep an eye on the bastards. No telling what they might do.

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