Today went down as terrible, but one strange face in the world became one face I will trust not to plan my destruction. Seven billion people are a lot to get to know. Maybe that's the only way.
One of the things I never really said out loud until recently was how reluctant I was to return to teaching at Joplin East Middle School after the May 22, 2011, tornado.
Next year, my eighth graders, for the first time, will have iPads. Technology is here, no matter what trepidations we have with it. With all of the world's information at our fingertips, the future is here, but at what cost?
While 2011 established a record for the number of individual U.S. weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage, 2012 is expected to eclipse 2011 in terms of the aggregate amount of damage done.
John Brosio, who paints Texas twisters with the aplomb and sensitivity of Corot, is an artist who can make you smile and scare you at the same time.
How could the race go on when people are suffering without shelter, heat, water or food? Would the marathon be a symbol of inspiration and hope, or incite controversy in a city already struggling?
While everything else is in a states of crisis, taking a few minutes to think about what is going to happen with your financial situation is important.
Again, the people of Joplin, people of all faiths, banded together to show the Islamic community its support, showing that the miracle of the human spirit is alive and well in Joplin.
For far too long, the well-heeled enemies of public education have tried, with increasing success, to label public school teachers as godless liberals.
Two separate exhibits of photography at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that tore through Joplin on May 22, 2011.
Generosity has been given a new meaning for the people of Joplin. From across the nation and around the world, individuals have put their lives aside to take part in the efforts.
At just 19, Meg Bourne started a project to bring art to children's lives. After seeing the joy art brought to one boy's life, she decided to create "an organization dedicated to mobilizing creative healing and encouraging creative development in children."
One of the things I remembered hearing in Joplin was Will's mom saying to, "Live Your Life Like Will". Her loss and message helped guide me in those early days.
It was just a building that was destroyed, one that had packed many memories into its two years, but just a building. The circumstances that brought us together were horrific, but what a wonderful school year.
How often does that happen to a non-famous person? What did I possibly do for such a thing to happen to me? I've asked those questions of myself a lot lately, and I may have an answer.
Living in the southern edge of "Tornado Alley," I take these "weather phenomena" seriously and anytime a tornado watch is declared for our area, we keep a close eye on the Weather Channel -- and on those dark, threatening clouds.