Not sure how to describe this one…

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College gunman disturbed teachers, classmates

For a race that really needs to have as much positive publicity, for at least the males, this one definitely took about 5 steps back for Asian men and more specifically Korean men.

I heard about this story: the winner of the Survivor show Yul Kwon (click on his name for his background & story) just less than a week ago, who I thought helped chances for many Koreans and Asians in terms of climbing the corporate ladder in the U.S. or other fields.  He’s a Korean American that was very aware of the image of Asian Americans in the media & relatively unselfish.  With the winnings, he even donated $50,000 of it to the Asian American Donor Program.  However, the guy in the above story will either place fear into people who don’t know me or will limit my chances potentially for advancement…at least there’s a chance now that when there’s any signs similar to the guy above, people may wonder, will this Korean guy shoot us all up?

This is a bit extreme to say this, but this story about Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s thoughts titled “South Korea fears shooting may stir prejudice” echoes a lot of my thoughts.  I do wonder…

It was a little odd that they’ve been pointing out the heritage of this student’s backround.  In other past incidents like this, we would call him Asian or otherwise.  At least when a Korean is the “bad guy” in a situation, the fact that he’s Korean is pointed out very quickly.  When he is the good guy, it takes quite a long time for his true ethnic background to be revealed.

Regardless, while I’m sad for Mr. Cho’s family and friends, it was a bit selfish of him to go out and kill 32 innocent people.  He not only killed many people, but took a huge step back for the Korean race.   Nevertheless, rest in peace Victims, Mr. Cho…and condolences to the families of all the victims.

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Filed under Kyopo life, Random thoughts

2 responses to “Not sure how to describe this one…

  1. Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, of Saugus, Mass. He was a sophomore English major who was gunned down in French class.

    Alameddine’s mother, Lynnette Alameddine, said Tuesday that she was “trying to get through the day here.”

    Alameddine was a graduate of Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Mass.

    Friends created a memorial page on Facebook.com that described Alameddine as “an intelligent, funny, easy going guy.”

    “You’re such an amazing kid, Ross,” wrote Zach Allen, who also attended Austin Prep, according to his profile. “You always made me smile, and you always knew the right thing to do or say to cheer anyone up.”

    Lynnette Alameddine said she was outraged by how the events were handled. “It happened in the morning and I did not hear (about Ross’s death) until a quarter to 11 at night,” she said. “That was outrageous. Two kids died, and then they shoot a whole bunch of them, including my son.”

    ——

    Jamie Bishop, 35, an instructor in German and German literature. According to his Web site, Bishop spent four years living in Germany, where he “spent most of his time learning the language, teaching English, drinking large quantities of wheat beer, and wooing a certain fraulein.”

    The “fraulein” was Bishop’s wife, Stephanie Hofer, who also teaches in Virginia Tech’s German program.

    From 2000 to 2005, Bishop was an academic technology liaison at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to WRAL TV.

    At Virginia Tech, he also taught classes via the Faculty Development Institute on different computer programs and the use of blogs and other online tools in higher education, WRAL said.

    He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia.

    Brian Bluhm, age unknown, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a civil engineering graduate student.

    Ryan Clark, 22, from Martinez, Ga., a biology, English and psychology major. He was a resident adviser on the fourth floor of the dorm where the rampage began.

    Just a month from graduation, he was a member of the Marching Virginians Band and intended to pursue a PhD in psychology. Called “Stack” by his friends, Clark carried a 4.0 grade-point average, said Vernon Collins, coroner in Columbia County, Ga.

    “He was just one of the greatest people you could possibly know,” Gregory Walton, a friend who graduated last year, said as he fought tears. “He was always smiling, always laughing. I don’t think I ever saw him mad in the five years I knew him.”

    Arielle Perlmutter posted on MSNBC.com that she had been friends with Ryan for a decade. “Ryan and I worked at Camp Big Heart, a camp for children and adults with special needs for part of every summer since I was in high school,” she posted. “Ryan was one of the most amazing, loving and caring young men I have ever met. He went into every day of camp, trying as it could be, with a smile and a open mind. I rarely, in the years I knew Ryan, saw him frown.

    “Ryan directed the music/dance program at camp and brought cheer to all the campers around him. He was constantly smiling and dancing, signing and cheering. The campers would gather around Ryan and hug him. We have a picture of a year that Ryan was at camp on his birthday. All of the campers were surrounding him, hugging him, and all you could see of him was his head sticking out above the crowd. They all loved ‘Mr. Ryan’. Camp will never be the same and we will all bear the scar of this tragedy for many years to come. Ryan will never be forgotten, and always be missed.”

    Perlmutter, 27 and a teacher in Buford, Ga., later told MSNBC.com that Clark had always wanted to work with kids. “We’d joked about him coming to work at my school, so that we’d be closer.”

    “I don’t think there’s enough words to explain how you feel when someone passes,” she said. “But he was one step above a lot of people.”

    Austin Cloyd, age unknown, was a freshman majoring in international studies and French.

    Cloyd, born in Charlotte, N.C., lived in central Illinois with her family for several years before moving to Blacksburg. She graduated from Blacksburg High School.

    Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, age unknown, a French language teacher and former Montreal resident, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Her husband, Jerzy Nowak, is a Virginia Tech horticulture professor.

    Elizabeth Taggart, of Reston, Va., posted to MSNBC.com that she had stayed in touch with her freshman French teacher despite switching to Spanish last semester. “My Spanish class was in the classroom in Norris right after hers at 10:10,” said Taggart. “She and I had reconnected this semester since I would always arrive early to keep up with my French.”

    Taggart remembers her former teacher as a “one of the most caring, loving teachers I have met on our campus, an incredible professor and woman.”

    Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, a student from Peru who was studying international relations. He was shot during French class, according to his mother, Betty Cueva.

    His father, Flavio Perez, spoke of the death earlier to RPP radio in Peru.

    He lives in Peru and said he was trying to obtain a humanitarian visa from the U.S. consulate here. He is separated from Cueva, who said she had lived in the United States for six years.

    A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Lima said the student’s father “will receive all the attention possible when he applies” for the visa.

    Kevin Granata, 45, an engineering science and mechanics professor who was married and had three children. He had served in the military and later conducted orthopedic research in hospitals before going to Virginia Tech, where he and his students researched muscle and reflex response and robotics.

    Department chief Ishwar Puri said Granata was one of the top five biomechanics researchers in the country, working on movement dynamics in cerebral palsy.

    Engineering professor Demetri Telionis said Granata was successful, but also kind. “With so many research projects and graduate students, he still found time to spend with his family and he coached his children in many sports and extracurricular activities,” Telionis said. “He was a wonderful family man. We will all miss him dearly.”

    Caitlin Hammaren, 19, of Westtown, N.Y., was a sophomore majoring in international studies and French, according to officials at her former school district.

    “She was just one of the most outstanding young individuals that I’ve had the privilege of working with in my 31 years as an educator,” said John Latini, principal of Minisink Valley High School, where she graduated in 2005. “Caitlin was a leader among our students.”

    Minisink Valley students and teachers shared their grief Tuesday at a counseling center set up in the school, Latini said.

    Vanessa Oratvz posted on MSNBC.com that Hammaren was her dorm resident adviser. “She was the nicest person I have ever met,” Oratvz wrote. “She would do anything for you at the drop of a hat without any questions. She was always there to help you, or just talk. Late night she would stop in and say hi whenever she could. She was always dedicated to helping her friends and the community.”

    Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, of Bellefonte, Pa. A graduate student in engineering, he had two undergraduate degrees from Penn State, one in biochemistry and molecular biology from 2003, and another in civil engineering from 2006.

    “Talkie, talkie, talkie, everybody likes to talk,” read the description in the Bellefonte High School yearbook of the 1998 graduate. Below was a picture of Herbstritt, with a sly grin, talking on a pay phone.

    He grew up on a small farm just outside the central Pennsylvania borough of Bellefonte, where his father, Michael, raised steer and sheep.

    His career goal was to be a civil engineer, and he talked of getting into environmental work after school.

    “He liked to work on machinery, take a lot of stuff apart and fixed it,” said the victim’s grandfather Thomas Herbstritt, 77, of St. Marys. “He was a studious kid.”

    “He was a wonderful student and person, and will be greatly missed,” Amy Sten posted on MSNBC.com, identifying herself as a former teacher of Herbstritt’s.

    —-

    Rachael Hill, 18, of Richmond, Va., a freshman. She had graduated from Grove Avenue Christian School.

    Hill, an only child, was popular and funny, had a penchant for shoes, and was competitive on the volleyball court.

    “Rachael was a very bright, articulate, intelligent, beautiful, confident, poised young woman. She had a tremendous future in front of her,” said Clay Fogler, administrator for the Grove Avenue school. “Obviously, the Lord had other plans for her.”

    Her father, Guy Hill, said the family was too distraught to talk about Hill on Tuesday, but relatives were planning to have memorial events later in the week. “We just need some time here,” he said tearfully.

    Emily Jane Hilscher, 19, from Woodville, Va., according to family friend John McCarthy. She was a freshman majoring in animal and poultry sciences and equine science. “Emily was a beautiful, talented, sweet kid who had a world of potential,” he told MSNBC.com.

    McCarthy said Hischer was known for her love of animals. “She worked at a veterinarian’s office, and cared about them her whole life,” he said.

    A friend, Will Nachless, 19, said Hilscher “was always very friendly. Before I even knew her I thought she was very outgoing, friendly and helpful, and she was great in chemistry.”

    Matthew La Porte, age unknown, from Dumont, N.J., a freshman majoring in university studies. He had been an Air Force cadet at Virginia Tech, according to his former platoon leader, David Wheeler.

    La Porte credited the Carson Long Military Institute in New Bloomfield, Penn., with turning his life around during his years there from 1999 to 2005. “I know that Carson Long was my second chance,” he said during a graduation speech, printed in the school yearbook.

    “Matthew was an exemplary student at Carson Long whose love of music and fellow cadets were an inspiration to all on campus,” Carson Long said in a statement.

    La Porte graduated third in his class and was also drum major for the school’s drum and bugle corps during his senior year.

    Jarrett Lane, 22, from Narrows, Va., a senior majoring in civil engineering who was valedictorian of his high school class.

    His high school put up a memorial to Lane that included pictures, musical instruments and his athletic jerseys.

    Lane played the trombone, ran track, and played football and basketball at Narrows High School. “We’re just kind of binding together as a family,” Principal Robert Stump said.

    Lane’s brother-in-law Daniel Farrell called Lane fun-loving and “full of spirit.”

    “He had a caring heart and was a friend to everyone he met,” Farrell said. “We are leaning on God’s grace in these trying hours.”

    In a posting on MSNBC.com, Jessica Green wrote that “the small but very close community of Narrows, VA lost a dear friend and an amazing guy. Jarrett Lane was a very humble and down-to-earth guy and there couldn’t have been any sweeter person to have a conversation with. Our small town is feeling the effects of this heinous crime that took place just 20 minutes away.”

    Henry Lee, age unknown, from Roanoke, Va., a freshman majoring in computer engineering.

    Liviu Librescu, 76, an engineering science and mechanics lecturer. Born in Romania, he survived the Nazi Holocaust and emigrated to Israel in 1978 before moving to Virginia in 1985.

    An Israeli citizen, he had taught at Virginia Tech for 20 years and was internationally known for his work in aeronautical engineering.

    “His research has enabled better aircraft, superior composite materials, and more robust aerospace structures,” said Ishwar Puri, the head of the engineering science and mechanics department.

    After surviving the Nazi killings, Librescu escaped from Communist Romania and made his way to the United States before he was killed in Monday’s massacre, which coincided with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    Librescu’s son, Joe, said his father’s students sent e-mails detailing how the professor saved their lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot.

    “My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said from his home outside of Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”

    G.V. Loganathan, 51, was an Indian-born lecturer at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

    “We all feel like we have had an electric shock, we do not know what to do,” his brother G.V. Palanivel told the NDTV news channel in India. “He has been a driving force for all of us, the guiding force.”

    Loganathan, who was born in the southern Indian city of Chennai, had been at Virginia Tech since 1982.

    Married with two daughters, he won several awards for excellence in teaching, had served on the faculty senate and was an adviser to about 75 undergraduate students.

    “Dr. G.V. Loganathan was my favorite professor and was my graduate advisor when I was a civil engineering student at Virginia Tech in the late 80’s and early 90’s,” Glenda La Rue said in a posting on MSNBC.com. “Dr. Loganathan was an excellent teacher and mentor … I will always remember him for his kind heart and patience he displayed towards me and his other students. He truly had a passion for teaching and getting to know his advisees. He was a primary reason that I chose to pursue a career in the engineering specialty of water resources and I credit much of my success to him. He will be missed greatly.”

    Lauren McCain, age unknown, of Hampton, Va. An undergraduate majoring in international studies.

    Daniel O’Neil, 22, of Lincoln, R.I. A graduate student in environmental engineering, he also played guitar and wrote his own songs, which he posted on a Web site, http://www.residenthippy.com.

    Friend Steve Craveiro described him as smart, responsible and a hard worker, someone who never got into trouble.

    “He would come home from school over the summer and talk about projects, about building bridges and stuff like that,” Craveiro said. “He loved his family. He was pretty much destined to be extremely successful. He just didn’t deserve to have happen what happened.”

    O’Neil graduated in 2002 from Lincoln High School in Rhode Island and graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., before heading to Virginia Tech, where he was also a teaching assistant, Craveiro said.

    A Lafayette publication said that while there O’Neil was vice president of the Arts Society. His high school yearbook noted he was on the cross country and outdoor track teams, the drama club and the National Honor Society, according to the Providence Journal.

    Juan Ortiz, 26, a graduate student in civil engineering from Puerto Rico, was killed while teaching a class, his father said.

    Ortiz graduated magna cum laude from the Polytechnic University of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and arrived at Virginia Tech last August. He was married to a fellow student pursuing a teaching career, and they had planned to have a child soon.

    “He was an extraordinary son,” his father, Juan Ramon, said. “On his wedding day, I told him … what I felt in my heart, I thanked him for being my son, it was special.”

    Ortiz was also in a band with his father and other relatives. “He loved salsa dancing,” his father said.

    Erin Peterson, age unknown, graduated in 2006 from Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., along with a second victim, Reema Samatha. That is the same high school that the alleged gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, graduated from three years earlier. It was not known if Cho knew the victims.

    Mary Read, 19, of Annandale, Va., according to her aunt, Karen Kuppinger, of Rochester, N.Y.

    She was born in South Korea into an Air Force family and lived in Texas and California before settling in the northern Virginia suburb of Annandale, said Kuppinger.

    Read considered a handful of colleges, including nearby George Mason University, before choosing Tech. It was a popular destination among her Annandale High School classmates, Kuppinger said.

    She had yet to declare a major.

    “I think she wanted to try to spread her wings,” said Kuppinger, whose niece had struggled adjusting to Virginia Tech’s large campus. She’d recently begun making friends and looking into a sorority.

    Kuppinger said the family started calling Read as news reports surfaced.

    “After three or four hours passed and she hadn’t picked up her cell phone or answered her e-mail … we did get concerned,” Kuppinger said. “We honestly thought she would pop up.”

    Reema Samaha, 18, from Centreville, Va., a freshman who also performed with the school’s Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Her brother Omar, a Virginia Tech graduate, told NBC’s TODAY show that she was shot dead while in French class.

    Her sister Rhonda added that “she was pretty much my second half, we did everything together. I looked up to her, and she looked up to me.”

    Their father, Joe Samaha, told “Dateline NBC” that “she was a beautiful person and that’s what I’ll remember her as. We’ve lost a very talented beautiful young lady who was growing here at the university. Her heart was in dance and theater and she belonged to a contemporary dance ensemble here and she loved that very much.”

    Katerina Rodgaard, in a posting to MSNBC.com, said she had been a dance instructor to Samaha. “I will never forget her constant smile,” she wrote. “So much positive energy. She was such a beautiful dancer as well. … We were all like a family and she will be missed dearly. She loved being in dance class and I was so proud to hear that she continued her dancing in college. So young, so beautiful and so talented. I’m still in shock.”

    Samaha and another victim, Erin Peterson, graduated from Westfield High in Chantilly, Va., in 2006, three years after the alleged gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, graduated from the same school. It was not clear if they knew each other.

    Leslie Sherman, age 20, a sophomore majoring in history and international studies.

    “Leslie Sherman was a remarkable young lady,” an anonymous poster wrote to MSNBC.com. “Everyone looked up to her.”

    The poster, from Springfield, Va., recalled running cross country and track with Sherman in high school. “She always put 100 percent effort into running, as well as into every other aspect [of]life.”

    Maxine Turner, age unknown, from Vienna, Va., a senior majoring in chemical engineering.

    An anonymous poster told MSNBC.com that she had been a classmate of Turner’s at James Madison High School in Vienna. “She was at the top of our class and did really well in school … Vienna is a very close, tight-knit community and I know those from our graduating class of 2003 and all other JMHS students past and present are grieving from this tragic loss of life.”

    Nicole White, age unknown, of Carrollton, Va., a junior majoring in international studies and German.

    “I grew up with Nicole White,” Michelle D. Clay, of Toccoa Falls, Ga., wrote to MSNBC.com. “She was one my four best friends, and we all shared everything.”

    “I never imagined she would be gone in the blink of an eye.”

    Source: MSNBC

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