Thursday, April 19, 2007
For whom would you die?
The words of Ancrene Wiseass on the death of Liviu Librescu at Virginia Tech made me ask myself: would I die for my own students? (Professor Librescu, a Holocaust survivor [why does that fact add so much more poignancy to a situation that requires no more?], died while blocking the door to his classroom so that his students had time to escape).
I'd like to think that the answer is yes, that I would demonstrate for my students the heroism (or is it simply the humanity?) that Librescu did for his. I certainly care deeply for the young men and women I am teaching. I want them to have a future that endures. But when faced with the choice of sacrifice or preservation, would my confidence falter? Am I more frail than I would like to suppose?
I don't know the answer to that, and I hope that I am never tested ... but I would like to believe that in the face of something so terrible the best part of me would triumph. Perhaps that is why I am in such awe of Liviu Librescu.