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Bleeding Orange and Maroon

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This week has been heartbreaking, and now anger is slowly replacing half of the sadness in my emotional goblet. In Blacksburg, many knots are being untied, and many strings are being unraveled. The more details I hear about the shooter and the reactions around the nation, the more I grieve. What frightens me is the backlash that has come about because of the gunman’s Asian heritage. I hear folks screaming about “the damn Chinamen” and “mean Koreans” all over the radio talk shows. Not only am I praying for the victims, their families, and the campus, I am also praying for Cho’s parents and his sistera fellow Hokie alumni a successful Princeton graduate working for the US Government.

With the Swallowtail Shawl only needing to be blocked, my fingers have been itching to work on a project. I did crochet a 24″x36″ baby blanket using a pound of worsted weight yarn (8 ounces of forest green Caron and 3 skeins of Panda’s FDK in green/white tweed). That project needs to be fringed, and I will post a photo when the blanket is an official FO. Turning to the pile of UFOs, I rediscovered the “Children of the Lir” stole in Aristocrat’s sage green. I knit a little over one ball to add a couple of sets, but with Monday’s horrible event, I wanted something that would provide quick comfort. I also wanted to make something in my Hokie colors of Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. I decided that socks and fingerless gloves would fit the bill.

The next question was which yarn do I use? I was met with an interesting surprise. I never realized how much maroon and orange I had in my stash! Throughout the piles of yarn, the shades of rich burgundy alternate with the tangerine and copper. I found variegated Trekking XXL, Kitten mohair, CTH Supersock Merino, and many others begging to be cast on. I am debating between knitting the Artyarns Supermerino, the Elsbeth Lavold’s Angora, and my Horsta silk/wool in both orange and maroon. Whatever I decide, it needs to be soon. Besides having to match my regular Hokies gear, I want the FO to match my Clapotis. 🙂

During lunch today I allowed myself to stroll in memory lane and wandered through Upper Quad, a section of of the campus where I lived while in the VTCC. There is one particular dormitory named for Major Lloyd Williams (Class of 1907) of the Marine Corps. This Distinguished Service Cross recipient was the first Virginian killed in WW1. What made him famous (among us Cadets at least) were his words when told that he had to lead his Marines back to where they came from after they had just arrived for battle: “Retreat? Hell [no]! We just got here.” The “no” part is what is on my only VA Tech t-shirt. I had traded for it with one of my VTCC ones (the other mysteriously disappeared while dating someone who greatly admired it) from a Major Bill resident. That quote seems perfect to promote “National Orange and Maroon Day” around all circles. If possible, please wear the Virginia Tech colors of Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange this Friday (April 20). I think the gesture would match Professor Nikki Giovanni’s beautiful words honoring the victims’ lives. Now I must find my bobblehead Hokie bird to annoy the University of Miami alumni at work… =:8

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  1. I hate generalisations anyway, but racist generalisations really, really p me off. There’s been more than one white criminal in the world. Heritage, race, country mean nothing. These people can and do come from any background. Sending hugs.

  2. There’s just no words left for all this sadness – and yet I’m so grateful that you shared your thoughts about these generalisations that are going on right now. On one hand, it might (!) be understandable that people everywhere are now searching for explanations and for anyone who might be at fault – but on the other hand, and that’s what I feel so strongly about, these generalisations that are obviously downright racism by now are so wrong, so terribly wrong! Actually, it’s this ignorance and intolerance of the society in general that sets off tragedies like the one happened in Virginia, wars and whatnot – and people still don’t seem to learn. This makes me very sad and even more afraid for what’s yet to come.
    Big hugs to you, my friend.

  3. I watched news last night and saw people trying to put rational thought to the words (and pictures) of a very mentally ill person. Trying to make sense of senselessness is exhausting. I have nothing orange OR maroon! But I’ll see what I can do. Take care.

  4. I can’t watch the news or listen to the radio talks shows without becoming so terribly angry and upset…
    NO ONE can predict what a crazy person is going to do–no matter what race they are…look at Oklahoma City!
    Continuing to pray…

  5. My heart goes out to all the victims, there familys, students, and faculty. I can’t imagine what they all must be going through right now. I’ve been watching the media coverage but yesterday I finally had to stop watching. While I know everyone want to now what’s going on in Virgina I do hope the media backs off and lets them grieve in peace.

  6. I hadn’t heard the racist bs, but now I’m flaming p—ed. I ADORE Nikki Giovanni and hadn’t read/heard her in about 5 years, so it was really nice to see her. Thanks for that link. I’ll try to find some orange in my wardrobe for tomorrow. Maroon, I’m all over it, but orange … hmmm … might have to get creative.

  7. Sending hugs from across the pond. Being a university student myself, I’m really touched by this tragedy :o(

  8. I’m so sorry, Kim – and thank you for remembering my connection to the school. I was only 10-12 when I went there for summer camp, but it made quite the impression on me as a beautiful, peaceful campus.

    The race discussion has started up here in the Berkshires because of the Simon’s Rock shooting that happened in 1992. The shooter in that instance was also of Asian descent so this school shooting has opened that can of worms back up again. Pisses me right off since race has nothing to do with insanity.

  9. I get so angry too. The tragedy is terrible enough, without people making a racist issue out of it. What matters is that a troubled person was so desperate he resorted to this – not the color of his skin or the country he was born it. Who cares about that?? I too felt terrible for his parents and family since day one – I can’t imagine what they must be going through.

  10. I didn’t recall that you were a Hokie. It is truly a sad time in SWVA right now. I’m dying to go to the campus and pay my respects but think I’ll wait until the media circus dies down. All I can do is pray for all involved and hope that my heart stops breaking. But the Hokie Nation is strong and proud and as Nikki put it, we WILL prevail.

  11. My heart goes out to you. And I’m so sorry that some people have made things that much worse with racist remarks. Change that radio station! In RI, I’d check out 1290AM. Be well.

  12. Kim,
    I’m in orange and maroon (probably for the first time in my life – oops – no, I wore my MS Ed. hood on grad day…) today.
    Thank you. I’ve been so remiss in NOT mentioning my sadness for the shooter’s family! I’m glad you said it!
    Another VT grad in pain….

  13. It seems like everyone is playing the blame game now. I too was very angry that one of the first things they mentioned was that the shooter was Asian, a foreigner, and his parents spoke very little english (I don’t think that last bit was even true). What the heck did any of that information have to do with the tragedy? I fear that once again our society will pretend this is an isolated incident and we won’t deal with the underlying issues.

    I’m glad you were able to find a new project to give you a little comfort in these sad times.

  14. Oh, Kimberly, I’m sorry I missed this earlier in the week. It must hurt with a huge extra helping to you as being an alum.

  15. My heart goes out to all of the Hokies, the alumni, and all the victims’ families…thank you for dropping by my blog, and please know I too wore maroon on Friday. As a Virginian, and as someone associated with an academic community, I could do nothing else.

  16. I made a trip into Hokie country yesterday, and was touched by all the signs showing support and prayers near Blacksburg and far beyond. VT colors everywhere on Friday as well. Sad to think that race comes up yet again in blame; I heard that Chos family is in hiding, also sad.

  17. My heart goes out to his family. Now they too are thrown into the bright lights of the media just because their son/brother was mentally ill. Such sadness for all 33 families and friends.

    I have not heard the racial reaction but am not surprised. Personally, I have tried to avoid the news of VT since two days after it all happened. I don’t want be part of the public that is demanding and thus creating this media circus for months to come.

  18. Hi Kimberly,

    I am sorry that this has happened to a place you hold so dear in your heart. I feel for you and the entire VT family.


  19. Kimberly…..the VT shootings are heart wrenching for the parents of the slain,VT students, Cho’s family and you. May all find solace in time to cope with such a devastating event. The toll of this event is enormous; may those who resort to prejudice learn that it is all wrong.

    Cindy ( Ocean State Knit and Crochet Guild)

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