Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dark, Early Morning

My schedule this quarter has me getting up early and leaving the house while everyone else is still asleep. I get to campus and find a primo parking space. My classes start at 7 or 7:30 a.m., which means I arrive on campus any time between 6:30and 7.
I lock my car with a beep and walk across the parking lot to the brick walkway. Sometimes I'll see delivery trucks backing up to the cafeteria. An occasional maintenance worker hovers near an outdoor trashcan with a cigarette in hand. The campus is dark and my heels echo against the bricks before I climb a few steps and enter the building that houses the English department.
This morning, I had a substitute because I'm in North Carolina for a conference.
This morning at 7 a.m., the police were called because a woman was raped in the women's bathroom in that building that I walk into every morning.
"...10 mins bf i got there," texted Marcus who subbed for me. "good thing u weret @ wrk 2da. Teribl."
I don't want to minimize the awful thing that happened to this woman by saying it was a close call for all the other women who did or did not walk in that same door after her. Rape is one of those weapons that men continue to use against women. No matter how equal we are. No matter how smart or how successful, a woman is always at risk.
I imagine for the next few weeks campus security will be more of a presence for those early morning and late night classes.


Linda said...

Gosh, how awful. I've had a few narrow escapes of one sort or another and it's such a scary feeling. It's hard to feel safe when something like that happens.

Lucia said...

I know what it's like to have a narrow escape, saved by a friend once. YOU be careful and if you don't feel safe to walk alone don't do it!

Paulita said...

That's the difficult part. If I had asked security to walk with me to the building, they would have left once I got in the building, and the rape happened in the bathroom. I need to ask my students to start pairing up as they come to class. I'd hate it if turned out to be one of my students being attacked.

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