Listening Experience 1: CNN News Report December 15th 2012 11:00amThe CNN reporter Chelsea J. Carter, started by reporting about the tragic event, which was the second in the history of United States after the Virginia Tech School shooting. It is the story of the mass school shooting that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown. Janet Vollmer, a teacher at the school recalled how the gunshots could be heard across the school halls and from the PA system. She opted to shield the truth from the five year old students.
I was hurt to hear a real life story where children were getting killed in a place where parents assumed they were safe. The first thought that came across my mind was that something was terribly wrong with today’s society. I struggled to stay composed as the news reporter continued interviewing the teacher. According to the reporter, the 5 yr olds in Vollmer’s class heard the noise but were too young to realize they were gunshots. I felt relieved when Vollmer responded to the reporter by saying that she read a story to them.
I anxiously waited to hear what she was about to say. Like the reporter, I wanted to know what transpired between the children and their teacher. “I was not going to tell a class of five year olds that the school was under attack, so I just had to tell them that we would be going to an area that was safe for more story book reading. ” Vollmer said. She sounded distressed and in deep emotional pain as she narrated the suffering. I was pleased to hear that she told the children to calm down.
If I would have been in her position, I presumed that I would have made the same move. The CNN reporter asked Vollmer how long she had taught at Sandy Hook Elementary. I found this question to be irrelevant to the current situation, given that Vollmer had gone through a traumatic ordeal. Despite the trauma that Vollmer must have had, she was still able to answer the question well. She quickly responded by saying “I have been teaching at this school for 18 years and it is my job to keep these children safe. ” I was amused to learn that people can be so dedicated to doing their jobs despite the situations that they encounter.
The reporter asked a question that I was dreading he would ask. He asked, “How many children were in the room? Where were you all hiding? ” I thought Vollmer would not be able to answer the question. I thought she would cry after she made a long pause before answering the reporter. I was surprised when she said there were 19 children in her class and went on to indicate what she did to calm them down.
“I had to hide them at the back of the classroom, lock the doors and put the blinds down. ” She said that she had to barricade the door and whisper to the children that there were bad people who were in the hallway.