Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Nov 2004, 9:41 a.m.

RIP Iris Chang

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2004 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

When I was a sophomore at UC Berkeley auditing Andrew Creighton's wonderful introductory sociology class, he had us read chapters from Iris Chang's Rape of Nanking first off to remind us what humans can do to each other. Yesterday Iris Chang died at 36, apparently by her own hand. My shock and sadness leads me to another of Dr. Creighton's teachings. Once, he told us that a close friend of his had leapt from a bridge years ago. If you ever consider killing yourself, don't. You're hurting the people around you for decades to come, he said brusquely. I wish Iris Chang had known that.