Thursday afternoon was incredibly eventful at the Health Science Center.
I was chatting away in the lab with Jennifer while I waited for my film to expose and she waited for her rats to finish in locomotor when she got an email from the UTHSCSA. It said: Possible active shooter on campus. Please use caution.
We were both like, what the heck??? Immediately images of the season six finale of Grey’s Anatomy flooded my mind. I thought of someone who had lost their loved one and was in so much pain that they lashed out and freaking SHOT DEREK because of APRIL’S STUPID CRUSH ON HIM and then he almost died on the table and a lot of people actually did die in that shooting. Then I snapped out of it and remembered that Greys is a TV show, not real life and Patrick Dempsey is still alive and well. Then I also remembered that there was the threat of a shooter to me right then so I got my head back in the game. We started googling, but there was no recent news of a shooter in San Antonio. Then we got another email saying: Campus is now in lockdown. Lock your doors and stay where you are. Once Sarah got back in the lab, we locked the door.
Of all places to be trapped during a possible shooting, I feel like a lab is pretty safe because there is only one, lockable door into the lab, but then there’s a series of rooms all with lockable doors.And there are absolutely no windows.Our lab also has a picture of a newborn baby on it, so I think that’s a pretty good deterrent.We decided that we could defend ourselves by blinding the shooter with our Huge Fucking Laser if they got through our blockade. Then I thought that it would really suck if he shot at an oxygen tank or something and blew us all up that way. But oxygen tanks aren’t just lining the halls so those chances were pretty slim.
But of all people to be trapped with, Sarah and Emily were two of my least favorites. Jennifer is amazing and I totally have a life crush on her, so we just tried to keep the conversation light and non weird. Of course, Sarah turned literally any subject back to Pokemon GO. Have you been to this new restaurant? Sarah found a Charmander there. How is your mother doing? Sarah’s mom won’t get Pokemon GO. I obviously have no problem with Pokemon since I wrote my final paper for my English class on Pokemon GO last semester, but I don’t bring it into every conversation, especially when I’m talking to people who don’t play that game. It’s not just Pokemon GO, Sarah and Emily are both that weird, socially awkward kind of nerd that makes everyone else uncomfortable.
Anyways, Jennifer and I did our best with conversation until her alarm went off for her to inject her rats. Basically, if she misses this injection, months of science will be ruined, which would delay the start of her upcoming clinical trial of a new schizophrenia drug. My alarm had gone off earlier, but Jennifer told me my film could just be exposed again and it wouldn’t hurt anything. On the other hand, she needed to inject or her entire experiment would be ruined.
Just as she was about to risk it for the biscuit, we got another email saying the coast was clear. The police searched our campus and found no threat. When they questioned people who were in the area where the shots supposedly came from, no one had heard anything. So the police concluded that it was a prank call. I really hope it was a prank call and not some gas pipe bursting and we are all going to blow up in a few days. I’m sure they sent someone to check all of that stuff out, right?
Anyways, why would someone prank call the police and say there was an active shooter at a medical school and hospital? Why would someone worry thousands of people over nothing?
But at least it was nothing.
Why do some people just kill tons of other people? Why does anyone take a gun into a nightclub and open fire? Why does anyone drive a truck through a crowded celebration? Why do we live in a world where these things happen?
Sometimes I’m afraid to actually look at how fucked up the world is right now.
I hate looking at a problem, even one as large as world wide terrorist attacks, and not knowing how to solve it. If I focused on global problems, I would drive myself crazy. No single person can change the world, but we can all make a difference.
I’ve been trying my best to examine my own prejudices and judgements about people. When I think something negative about a person, I try to think about why I feel that way. I’ve always had a disdain for people who play musical instruments unless they are like in a band or something. To me, it was a rich kid thing to play an instrument growing up because it’s a very expensive hobby. But the more I talk to people, the less I find myself believing the stereotype I created. And a part it is that I’m jealous that I sucked at playing the flute in seventh grade and tried to teach myself the guitar but I could only learn one song and I couldn’t sing and play at the same time. Anyways, I’ve let that resentment go and now I am more accepting of others.
I also like to challenge other people’s perspectives. When Grace went on a huge rant about why Black Lives Matter was a terrible movement, I presented the foundation of the movement in a way she had not seen before and she changed her mind about its importance. It doesn’t always work out when you try to get someone to see the other side of an debate, but it doesn’t to present more information in a non-confrontational way. I’m not always great at the non-confrontational part, but I’m working on it.
Maybe I can’t stop a terror attack in Nice, but I can help shape the thoughts and opinions of those around me to be more accepting, more open minded, and more loving. Right now I’m trying doing what I can to help the world be a better place and all I can do is hope that I’m actually having an impact.