Indiana Daily Student

A day to remember

The whole day had an eerie, foreboding feel to it.\n I awoke Sunday morning, as many students did, to find a light rain outside my window and thick, gray clouds that would only darken as morning turned to afternoon. I realized I had fallen asleep the night before with both my stereo and my light on. It was the kind of day when half of you wants to up-and-away, out of the confines of your room and campus, and the other half wants to just climb back under the safety of a bedspread.\n And, of course, neither I nor anyone else had any idea how much IU, Bloomington and in fact, the entire state would change in a matter of hours.\nMy parents had JFK's assassination, the March on Washington and Neil Armstrong's trip to the moon. Their parents had Pearl Harbor, D- and V-days and Franklin D. Roosevelt's death.\nI have The Day Bobby Knight Was Fired.\nAlong with Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall and a few select other dates, I have Sept. 10, 2000, as a "Where were you the day … ?" day.\nI heard about the infamous news conference on the radio around 11 a.m. The word shot through my dorm and around campus at light speed. In my TV-less room, I could only wonder for a moment how big this all was going to get, and then shrug and go about my day. I wrote a story for Monday's IDS; I did homework. In the quiet enclave of Teter, all seemed normal. It was, I suppose, my own little eye of the swiftly growing hurricane outside.\n I, the naive out-of-stater (just west of Chicago), was foolishly oblivious to the fact that a Napoleon-sized empire was toppling about me.\nI headed out to storm-watch with my own eyes about 7 p.m. What I saw, standing on Jordan Avenue across from the Musical Arts Center, stopped me mid-step. A helicopter hovered menacingly overhead. Sirens screamed. The deep gray of the skies had been replaced by a red glow and smoky clouds seemed to race up from the horizon, sweeping northward, as if all of southern Indiana was afire.\nIt looked like the Apocalypse.\nI joined a small group of people running down the drive to President Brand's House. All the lampposts that guide me along my normally peaceful walk to the heart of campus were dark. But torches blazed around a fuzzy outline of the president's house. I couldn't even get close enough to see the police. I made my way quickly to the newsroom.\nA newsroom in the middle of a crisis is a thing to behold. So-and-so was heading out to the riot. So-and-so just got back from Assembly Hall and was gaspingly recounting a story about people knocking lights and signs down. Sixteen empty pizza boxes were stacked high next to the garbage can. \nWithin the next hour the doors to Ernie Pyle Hall were locked because of safety concerns, a parade of protesters marched down Seventh Street and the editorial board took a vote on whether Knight's firing was fair. After heated debate, the vote came out: 12-11 that the firing was fair. \nI went back to my little computer station, shaking my head, and started calling random numbers on campus for student reactions. \nSophomore Aaron Smith gathered with five of his friends in his Ashton dorm room to follow the action. Smith said he was sympathetic to President Myles Brand's side of things. "I think (Brand) had several valid points," Smith said. "I think the stuff he was saying was reasonable and understandable. Knight crossed a variety of social barriers."\nSmith is from Washington, D.C. An out-of-stater like me ' which makes me wonder who's more nutso: the Knight fanatics who threatened to quit, transfer, withdraw support, etc., or we non-native Hoosiers, for not completely understanding or empathizing with what was going on.\nI got back to my room that night around 11, having finished all my interviews and writing. At the newsroom, reporters would toil into the morning hours to chronicle Knight's return to campus. I wondered if it was mere coincidence that Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," burst through my stereo when I clicked it on. I fell asleep again with my stereo on, closing a day unlike any other day I had experienced at IU, or in my whole almost-two-decades on the planet, for that matter.\nSo … where were you the day Bobby Knight was fired?

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