Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Columbine Survivor and Author Meets With A&M-Kingsville Writing Class Through the Internet April 21

KINGSVILLE - April 16, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Marjorie Lindholm, author of the memoir A Columbine Survivor’s Story, shares her firsthand account of the infamous April 20, 1999 school shooting via internet conferencing with a first-year writing class at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Monday, April 21 from 1:30-3 p.m. in room 221 of the Memorial Student Union Building.

The University College class, Writing 0300, taught by lecturers Felicia Cain Dziadek and Laura Ponder Wavell, has spent the spring 2008 semester researching school violence and looking for solutions to it. During her research for the class, Dziadek and Wavell discovered Lindholm’s book and decided to incorporate it into the lesson plan.

In it, the author talks of being a freshman at Columbine High School, outside of Denver in Jefferson County, Colo., when two student gunmen killed 13 and wounded 21 before turning their guns on themselves. Lindholm was hiding near a school science lab during the shootings. She recounts the years that followed the shooting, which included learning to live through both the incident and her parents’ divorce.

During the course of the semester, student Jesus Torres discovered that Lindholm had a MySpace page. Dziadek contacted Lindholm through the page and asked if she could be a guest speaker for the writing class. The author, currently a senior in sociology with the University of Colorado Denver, agreed.

“These are first-year students who are engaged in their course, engaged in their community and are reaching out to a survivor victim,” said Dziadek.

“Marjorie was 22 years old when the book was written, so it is very age-appropriate for the students. They feel a connection with her and are so excited to have the chance to get to know her. They’ve taken her in as one of their own.”

Lindholm said this is the first time she has addressed a college-level class, and noted that she will be open to whatever questions the class may have for her.

Ultimately, she hopes the students will leave the class with a fresh point of view on the topic of school violence. “When you hear about incidents of violence, like Columbine, the focus will be on the shooter. I want to offer a victim’s perspective.”

Lindholm’s wish has already come true with student Torres. “Everything I learn in this class I know will be beneficial to me in the future, but what I’ve learned from Marjorie and her experiences will change the way I look at the world forever.

“It's in her experiences where she describes real, raw violence. Yes, it is sad but it’s even worse knowing these kinds of school violence are being seen more and more throughout time. Perhaps we can learn from these experiences and possibly make a change in our community to prevent or suppress any further malevolent acts.”

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