Resilient Hokies Return to Finish School Year
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Today, students and professors return to classes exactly one week after a gunman opened fire at Virginia Tech. Those students who left campus after the shooting have been returning, and NPR's Noah Adams brings us a few of their stories.
NOAH ADAMS: We met Kevin Care(ph) at a parking lot that was quickly filling up. Kevin is a freshman from Warrenton, Virginia. Late last Tuesday he decided to leave this campus, and he offers this word to best describe the trip back home.
KEVIN CARE: Quiet. Just kind of me and my thoughts. The kid who was driving me, he was real quiet, too. I had to answer a couple phone calls and talk to people about - and asking how I was, but it was really a lot of just meditating on yourself and your friends and how much everything means to you.
ADAMS: And that's what worked best during his time in Warrenton, just hanging out with old friends. It worked best once the questions were out of the way.
CARE: Everyone's asking you, you know, were you there? Did you know anyone? And I was. I mean, I heard shooting so I did talk about it a lot more than I wanted to. I would have rather just kind of not talked about it, enjoy being kind of away.
ADAMS: The questions were also an issue for J.P. Nelson(ph), a freshman from Alexandria, Virginia.
NELSON: Monday completely changed whenever I talked about it - definitely hard to talk about at times. Especially, like, some people just don't know how to ask the right questions, so it kind of brought out some strange emotions.
ADAMS: For Kristin Allen(ph) - sophomore, Woodbridge, Virginia - it was good being home; good support, not much talking. Coming back to Blacksburg is difficult.
KRISTIN ALLEN: It's weird seeing so many people here. It kind of reminds you of what happened. I - you know, it kind of, sort of left my mind when I was home, and then I came back here and it kind of hits you again.
ADAMS: Chris Lafabadie(ph) was rolling his luggage through the parking lot. He also returned from Northern Virginia.
CHRIS LAFABADIE: I haven't seen the news ever since Tuesday. So I don't really feel like catching up on it. I've got to take a few finals, and then I'm out of here. I'm leaving as soon as possible. Just need to bring up my organic chemistry grade and that's about it.
ADAMS: The freshman we first heard from, Kevin Care, is concerned about the few weeks ahead.
CARE: This is a lively campus at Tech - just coming back and seeing how quiet it is and how solemn everyone is, the Drillfield being turned into a memorial. We need to remember all the people that died, and we need to keep memorials up and pray for them and all this. But we really need to come back to a semblance of our own lives so that others don't fall apart because of this.
ADAMS: Noah Adams, NPR News, Blacksburg, Virginia.
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