Thursday, October 16, 2008
In 1978, a very young and exuberant 20 year-old graduated with her BA from CSU, Fullerton. She was there at an unusually young age-not even “legal” upon graduation. Full of hope about taking the broadcast journalism field by storm and making her mark in the world. We all wore our hair long, our jeans tight and dragged around tote bags instead of the prerequisite backpack that now is the must of students, no matter what their age maybe.
That young whippersnapper was me-except then, I ran around campus in 6” platform heels, suits or dance outfits and my purse of choice was my dance bag-which held at least 2 leotards, one 35 mm camera, jazz shoes, deodorant and a sweat towel-oh, a wrap around skirt.
This was also the time when the “massacre in the library” happened.
A year or so ago, a massacre happened on a university campus in Virginia. Then a student did the dirty and scary deed. I wrote a blog about it. I wrote about how it brought up long ago buried feelings about what happened when an employee came onto our campus and killed several library workers and a couple of professors.
I felt knowledgeable enough to write something about it because I was there that day. In fact, my study group and I should have been in the library at that exact time. Why weren’t we?
We weren’t there because we were “sun bums”. That’s truly the only reason. It was a glorious Southern California day and we felt if we had to study for the damned CommLaw final, we shouldn’t have to do it while cooped up in the musty old library!
Back to today’s blog-I’m writing about this because one of today’s Titan students read my blog and asked if I’d be part of a mini-documentary that he and a couple of classmates were putting together for a Radio/TV/Film class.
Without a moments hesitation-I told him “of course, anything for a fellow Titan-especially one from my own school of thought!”
“Tristen” asked me to meet his group in front of the library. As I exited the freeway for the first time since I left the campus after 1 year of grad school back in 1979, I literally gasped!
My goodness-what did they do with Langsdorf Hall???? What was this huge building covering it up? A Carl’s Jr. and a gourmet coffee stand on the campus? And where did all these new buildings come from?????
Thank goodness for the original buildings! I found the old humanities building and used the bathroom-I swear the sinks, toilets and even the broken purse shelf were the same.
The quad area is exactly the same as it was when I would sit out there in my tank tops and shorts and worked on my ever famous tan. And believe me, it was famous-some of my classmates for their mini-doc, asked me to be the “star” of “How to Get the Perfect Tan”.
Back to my visit-I got to the library. The hair on my arms literally started to stand on end. And I started to feel tearful. I don’t even know why! I met up with the latest bright-eyed and talented young people. They sounded like me-”the guy who was supposed to show us how to use this was sick today! How do we know what to do with the camera? You’re not going to believe this-the battery’s low!”
It might be 3 decades later, but the problems are still the same.
We finally got into our private study room and the taping/interview proceeded. They asked me what went on, how I felt, did they evacuate the school-my answer to that one shocked them. I told them no, in those days evacuation wasn’t even a viable option.
They thanked me profusely for coming out and agreeing to be in their video.
I loved being on the campus, watching the old and new mixing is both the normal and unusual ways-buildings, kids, professors, the student union and the ever popular quad area.
It is truly I who needed to thank them-and I did.