Getting used to Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School [Photo]

Preschool teacher Clarissa James reads with Aalayah Lemasters as Ja'renzo Hicks plays. The first day for students at the new Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School consisted mainly of getting used to the new surroundings.

The new Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School [Photo]

Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School opened its doors to students for the first time on Monday, Jan. 4.

Students enjoy lunch at the new Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School [Photo]

From left, Kyran Shirley, Kierra Pilot and Paige Niles eat in the new cafeteria at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School in the new cafeteria. The cafeteria is one of the biggest improvements over the old Field Elementary, where the gym doubled as the lunch room.

Bruce Hillis [Photo]

Bruce Hillis is the director of Missouri First Inc.

Smith [Photo]

New York Jets wide receiver Brad Smith, left, fends off Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall while running for a 57-yard gain during the first quarter of Saturday's game.

Brad Smith scores touchdown [Photo]

New York's Brad Smith, right, scores a touchdown past Cincinnati's Leon Hall as celebrating quarterback Mark Sanchez approaches during the second quarter Sunday's game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Nicole LaHolt serves as assistant coach for Columbia adapted sports volleyball team [Photo]

Assistant coach Nicole LaHolt directs members and volunteers of Columbia's adapted sports volleyball team on Oct. 1, 2009, in the New Haven Elementary School gym.

Adaptive sports teams help athletes with developmental disorders [Slideshow]

Shawna Fitzpatrick plays competitive sports on adaptive teams for people with developmental disabilities. Her favorite sport is volleyball.

Shawna Fitzpatrick plays on adapted sports vollyball team [Photo]

Shawna Fitzpatrick serves during practice with Columbia's adapted sports volleyball team on Oct. 1, 2009, in the New Haven Elementary School gym. Like other athletes on the team, Fitzpatrick has special needs; born with a cleft lip and palate, Fitzpatrick also has hydrocephalus, which means an abnormal amount of fluid has accumulated in her brain.

Learning Chinese via video conference [Photo]

Students at Trailwoods Elementary School in Kansas City, Mo. teleconference with their instructors, who lead them through lessons in Chinese.

Learning to count in Chinese [Photo]

In this Dec. 3, 2009 picture, second-grader Felipe Padilla Murillo, foreground, and his Trailwoods Elementary School classmates count in Chinese during a teleconference with their instructor.

MU women's basketball player Toy Richbow vs. Duquesne [Photo]

Missouri's Toy Richbow drives past Duquesne's Vanessa Abel on Saturday at Mizzou Arena.

MU women's basketball player Jessra Johnson vs. Duquesne [Photo]

Missouri's Jessra Johnson scored 12 points Saturday against Duquesne.

MU men's basketball player Laurence Bowers vs. Georgia [Photo]

Missouri's Laurence Bowers puts up a shot in an early season victory over Georgia. Bowers has learned to take advantage of his extra long reach on the court for the Tigers.

MU men's basketball team corners Georgia player [Photo]

Missouri's Zaire Taylor, left, and Kim English surround Georgia's Dustin Ware on Saturday in the Tigers' 89-61 victory at Mizzou Arena.

A Texas flag marks the entrance for a couple's private quarters [Photo]

In this Dec. 27, 2009 photo, Sgt. Miguel Perez, 24, waits for his wife Spc. Amanda Reyes, 23, to come home to their Containerized Housing Unit (CHU), 130-square-foot room at Camp Prosperity in Baghdad.

Military couples sport anniversary tattoos [Photo]

In this photo taken on Dec. 24, 2009, at Camp Prosperity in Baghdad, the word "October" is tattooed in Arabic on the arms of Spc. Amanda Perez, 23, and husband Sgt. Miguel Perez, 24, to commemorate the month they were married.

Municipal Court employees try to process 2009 records before the start of the new year [Photo]

Municipal Court Clerk Shara Meyer reviews a document with Andrea Wymer on December 30, 2009. "We're working hard to get everything in before the end of the year," Myer said, "But come Monday, it will start all over again."

Municipal Court employee processes files [Photo]

Andrea Wymer's work sits at the bottom of a pile while she helps a coworker migrate files from one set of folders to another. With the increase in cases at the Columbia Municipal Court, as the only person to enter the data, Wymer has been inundated with casework during the last six months.

David Webber [Photo]

David Webber is an associate professor of political science at MU. His commentaries appear in the Missourian and in The Missouri Record.