Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

I remember on September 12, 2001, hearing someone refer to the events of the previous day as a "teachable moment." That phrase has always appalled me. "Moment" presumes to reduce to a manageable span events whose consequences will unfold across lifetimes and generations. And "teachable" presumes that we profs are in a privileged position to clarify, explain, interpret events that might better first be met with words of compassion and grief.

What happened today at Virginia Tech is not a teachable moment.

comments: 1

Genevieve Netz said...

What happened at Virginia Tech was evil, and any understanding we ever reach of the "reasons" behind it do not change the evilness.