Alex Carmichal
From a thread on SA 
17th-Apr-2007 10:37 am
Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.

One of the people killed, Reema Samaha, was my student.

She was a lovely girl with a luminous smile. She somehow gave the impression of being completely open, but also completely capable of hiding complexities unimagined by those around her.

When she spoke up in class others followed her example. Once she admitted sheepishly that she hadn't done the day's assigned reading, yet went on to be one of the most valuable and insightful contributors to the discussion.

She was a dancer. I envied her abdominals.

I'm looking at an in-class assignment she completed with a small group of peers. The class was discussing the role of mythology in modern culture and I challenged the groups to create a modern myth. Reema delightedly egged on the group as they created a silly story about chocolate milk coming from chocolate cows secretly raised on Colombian dairy farms. I can hear her giggling as I read her neat, exact printing on the plain sheet of college ruled paper. She did not know how to spell "distributor."

I would give everything I own to have the opportunity to correct that sloppy spelling again, to scold her for being late to class, to forgive her for both in an instant when she smiled.

She deserved better than my tutelage, better than to die on the floor of some nameless classroom, better than any of us could give her. I know she believed in a God and an afterlife. Perhaps she is in a better place, beyond pain and fear, and the events of April 16 were no more than a brief snarl in the thread of her life.

She is gone. That is tragedy enough for a lifetime.
Comments 
17th-Apr-2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
I can't stand to watch any more of the media about it.. just awful.
17th-Apr-2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
That just makes me ache reading that. :( I can't help but think of what her parents and friends thought about her, if this is what a teacher thought.
17th-Apr-2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'm also a teacher, and followed a link here. Your tribute to Reema is honest, touching, and so very sad. All day I've been looking at the faces of my teenage students, and asking them "How does one fail to see people as individuals?" I think the real gift of teachers is that we learn that every person who crosses our path is worthwhile and amazing in _some_ way. I am just sick about the losses that one angry boy has caused.
18th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughts - and now I feel terrible that I wasn't more clear with my original post ... I included an addition:

Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.
17th-Apr-2007 09:47 pm (UTC) - From Alaska To Virginia
I have been watching the news and was so saddened by the recent events that have taken place there in Virginia and wanted to drop a note to say how sorry I am for all of your losses. I also want to say how glad I am that those who made it out alive did in one piece. My thoughts and prayers are with you ALL. God Bless from Alaska.
18th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC) - Re: From Alaska To Virginia
Thank you for your thoughts - and now I feel terrible that I wasn't more clear with my original post ... I included an addition:

Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.
17th-Apr-2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
As a teacher who has experienced the loss of students in a tragic incident, my heart aches for you and your peers as well as for Reema's classmates. Your tribute is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your memories of her.
18th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughts - and now I feel terrible that I wasn't more clear with my original post ... I included an addition:

Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.
18th-Apr-2007 01:01 am (UTC)
I live about 3 hrs from Virginia Tech, in Hampton, home of one of the lost, Lauren McCain, and this story just touches home.

It's always happened in other states, away from here.
But this is so close.
I know people who knew the victims.

My heart goes out to each and everyone of them, and their families at this time.
18th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughts - and now I feel terrible that I wasn't more clear with my original post ... I included an addition:

Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.
18th-Apr-2007 02:55 am (UTC) - Reema
She deserved better than my tutelage,

As I read your comments, Reema came alive for me. I believe that if she were with us today she would say how blessed she had been to have you as a teacher. I know that I would have loved to have you for my professor.

I know that nothing I, or anyone else can say will ease your pain. I hope the words of this prayer, from Catholics Favorite Prayers will help comfort you and the whole Virginia Tech Family. My prayers are with all of you praying that the Lord gives you strength to carry on through the difficult times ahead.

Safely Home

I am home in heaven, dear ones;
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in heaven at last.

Did you wonder how I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh, but Jesus' love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And he came himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread;
And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still;
Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
Pray to trust our Father's will.

There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remains,
You shall rest in Jesus' land.

When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!



18th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC) - Re: Reema
Thank you for your thoughts - and now I feel terrible that I wasn't more clear with my original post ... I included an addition:

Edit - Just got home from rehearsal and found these comments ... it's important to make sure there's no confusion here. I was not Reema's teacher, and I did not write this (must remember that not everyone reads the subject line). It was posted on an online forum by her teacher and I was so moved by it, I felt the need to share it in my journal. I will try to locate the source and link to it directly.
20th-Apr-2007 01:49 am (UTC) - teacher's posting
Did you know that People Magazine online is linking to your page? They are not saying that that you wrote it, but that is how some of us are finding your page.

Thanks for posting this. I was touched, watching this girl's father in interviews and now to read that her professor her potential too, it is just heartbreaking.

I feel that the one thing I can do is to honor the lives of those who were killed by reading about them, knowing who they were before the horrific ending of their lives.

college student @ UNCC
20th-Apr-2007 04:50 am (UTC) - Re: teacher's posting
Wow ... thanks for letting me know about this. I just emailed the support staff at People.com and hopefully they'll be able to correct the link. I'm glad people are seeing the words, but I absolutely do not want anyone to think that I actually wrote them. It's far too important. I just wish I could find the correct author so proper credit could be given.

Thanks again.
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