Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nikki Giovanni and Cho Seung-Hui

At the service after the Virginia Massacre I thought that the woman speaking looked vaguely familiar to me. Her image went past the screen so fast that I didn't get a good look. To my surprise I later found out that it was none other than Nikki Giovanni. She is an English professor at Virginia Tech and may have been the first professor to notice the strangeness of Cho Seung-Hui and also the first to report him. It is so believable that Nikki Giovanni could stare down a potential mass murderer and say, "Not in my class." Notice that he left her alone.

From The Professor Who Said ‘Not in My Class’ report:

Nikki Giovanni is a noted poet, a popular professor at Virginia Tech and one of Oprah’s 25 “living legends.” She also may be the first at the university to express serious concerns about Cho Seung-Hui...

In interview after interview in newspapers and on TV, Ms. Giovanni has described a student whose behavior caused her creative writing class to drop from about 70 to 7 students in the fall of 2005...

Her next step was to lobby the department head, Lucinda Roy, writing a letter requesting he leave the class, she told CNN. And she was ready to go all the way.

From her speech to the students of Virginia Tech (MP3):

The Hokier Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid...

Update: This is a interesting blog post that goes into more detail about Ms. Giovanni's encounters with Cho.


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