As the events continued to unfold in Boston Friday, a local professor has been paying close attention to what's happening there. The Communications professor explains why he feels so connected to the city he was hoping to run the marathon in.
"I found myself feeling pretty disturbed by all the different ways that I'm connected to this story." It's one that's captured attention around the world, and Atlantic Cape Community College professor, Keith Forrest has been watching closely. An avid runner, he had hoped to compete in the Boston Marathon this year, and would've brought his family along to cheer him on. "I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 36 seconds," said Keith Forrest, "and of course, at the time I was very upset, but 36 seconds and maybe I'm there…and maybe I'm coming though at that time."
Forrest did post-grad work at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and studied political science. He knows a lot about the situation in Chechnya, where the alleged bombing suspects are from. "That's a volatile part of the world," he said.
Being a communications professor at Atlantic Cape, Forrest has been able to use the events in Boston, and how they've been covered, as a topic of discussion for his classes. "In the ‘twitterverse' that we live in now, with the domination of new media, it's much, much harder to police the flow of information," said Forrest, "I think that there's a lot less fact-checking that goes on…now the movement's towards being first instead of being right."
"I've been watching it closely," said Briar Gibbons, who aspires to be a journalist one day. Students at the school say it's been unbelievable watching the bombings, and all the events following them play out on television and social media. "Boston is in our backyard, its not far, it could've happened anywhere."
Despite what happened, Forrest says this unfortunate event in Boston won't keep him from his goal of one day running the marathon there. "Now I think it's almost a point of pride or defiance," he said, "to show our way of life cannot be stopped by these kinds of incidents."