Opinion

Are these MY people?

Fully aware that I am a teacher who believes in public education, an acquaintance recently said he hopes schools switch over to online-only learning permanently—even after the coronavirus pandemic is over. When I asked why, he looked me in the eye and said, “Getting rid of all those worthless teachers would cut my property taxes

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The Magic of Bees and Fireflies

My mind is a beehive of activity these mornings.  On my early morning walks, I look for wild black raspberries that ripen every June along our southern woods.  In a nearby row of sweet gum tupelo trees, a red-winged blackbird emits a crack of alarm like a rifle shot, annoyed that I’m about to harvest

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Checking My White Privilege

In the early 1990s, I worked at a small grocery store in Columbia, Missouri, called Eastgate Foods. It was a grimy little building situated on the dimly lit corner of Old Highway 63 and East Broadway. A far cry from the shiny new supermarkets that have taken over Columbia in the years since, Eastgate was

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Shared Meals and Conversations

“Come to the table,” Lamya announced.  Thus began the sharing of a meal and conversation at the home of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi and his wife Lamya Najim.  Sharing conversations over meals with the Hamoodis and their five children—all born and raised in Columbia—has been part of a remarkable journey that has brought us together often

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Art is Our Salvation

By: Travis Naughton “The world is burning, people are sick, oppression is real, and in the middle of all that I just finished my book. It’s insignificant in the big scheme of things, but feels good in my own tiny space.” – Sara Bennett Wealer My friend Sara is a gifted author. She’s already had

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Saying Goodbye in Today’s Covid-19 World

By: Cathy Salter For the past three months, America has been besieged by a deadly coronavirus pandemic that has changed our lives profoundly.  We have sheltered at home, self-quarantined, and redefined how we interact with each other and the world. We shop from home, follow rules for social distancing when in public, cook and exercise

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A Very Special Love Letter

Now that the school year has officially ended, so has my dream job of being a music teacher. One of the many reasons I loved my job so much was the team I was blessed to work with. The specials teachers at Southern Boone Primary School are some of the most wonderful human beings I

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Sharing a Memorial Day Food Memory

In every family, there are food memories and traditions that are passed down from one generation to the next.  Each year, on birthdays, and at holiday gatherings, the preparation of treasured family recipes and the sharing of their backstories have become a part of the family’s collective food memories. This Memorial Day 2020, the world

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Commencement Address 2020

Members of the Board of Education, Superintendent Felmlee, Principal Van Deven, High School Faculty and Staff, Friends and Family, and last but not least, Members of the Class of 2020; Good afternoon. Today is the 30th anniversary of my high school graduation, and as such, it is also the 30th year in a row in

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Life Two Months into Staying at Home

As the world continues to struggle with how to deal with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, people are staying at home.  The longer we remain sheltered in place, the   more local our personal world becomes. The most vulnerable rarely leave home at all.   Groceries and medicines are ordered by

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