Back to School: Excited and sad [Photo]

Here are some pictures of my son, Kai Jerke, on his first day of first grade. We homeschooled him last year, so this is all new to him. He's a bit excited and sad!

Back to School: Brothers off to school [Photo]

Patrick headed off to first grade this morning, and James is starting preschool. They could not be more excited. Mom, on the other hand, is a bit conflicted (OK, weepy) about the baby heading off into the world.

Back to School: A funny pose [Photo]

Cameron Reeves makes a silly pose right before he walks to Russell Elementary School with his neighborhood friends.

Single file [Photo]

Jessica Touchatt, 6, center, waits in line before heading into Grant Elementary to begin her first day of first grade on Monday. Grant Elementary enrolled 323 students in kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2009-10 school year.

Catching up [Photo]

Rock Bridge sophomores, from left to right, Jacob Jackson, 15, Korey Sexton, 16, Daniel Keeton, 16, and Jordan Davis, 15, wait for their classes to begin on Monday morning for the start of the new school year. "One of the core values," Rock Bridge principal Kathy Ritter said, "is freedom with responsibility," noting an exceptional level of student freedom during the day.

Back to School: At the playground [Photo]

Kathryn West talks with her son, Max Black, 7, as he waits to begin his first day of second grade. Tausha Hall helps her daughter, Tianna Hall-Patton, 5, with her shoes, before her first day of kindergarten. Both Max and Tianna are excited to start school at Grant Elementary School on Monday. Grant Elementary School enrolled 323 kindergarten through fifth graders for the 2009-2010 school year.

Back to School: A family moment [Photo]

Mary Beth and Chris Schneider help their children, Nina, 6, and Nathan, 7, as they prepare to enter Grant Elementary School on Monday. Usually quiet, Nina has been chattering about her first day of kindergarten for over a week, according to her mother, Mary Beth Schneider.

Back to School: Young Minds [Photo]

Parents watch as their children line up to go inside on their first day of school at Grant Elementary School. Grant teaches students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Monday is the first day of classes for Grant and the other schools in the Columbia School District.

Back to School: Familiar faces [Photo]

Students greet each other before they begin another school year at Hickman High School on Monday. In June, Hickman High School was named in Newsweek as one of the top 1,500 American high schools, placing it in the top six percentile of schools nationwide.

Rebecca Mowry in her MU lab [Photo]

University of Missouri master's degree candidate Rebecca Mowry holds an electrophoresis gel rig in her lab in Tucker Hall. Mowry is conducting research to gauge Missouri's river otter population by extracting DNA from samples of otter scat.

Faculty hand out Tiger Stripe ice cream [Photo]

Theodore Tarkow, associate dean of arts and sciences, works with Billy, Cilicia and Kristi Jamison to hand out an MU tradition: Tiger Stripe ice cream. They were participating in the 15th annual Tiger Walk, on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU Color Guard participates at Tiger Walk [Photo]

Allie Scott, one of four captains of MU's Color Guard, spins as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU Golden Girls participate in Tiger Walk [Photo]

The Golden Girls, MU's dance team, perform for the crowd as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday night at Francis Quadrangle.

MU Golden Girls' pompoms sit in the grass at Tiger Walk [Photo]

Pompoms rest on the ground as the Golden Girls, MU's dance squad, line up to perform as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk, on Sunday on the Francis Quadrangle.

MU students take part in Tiger Walk [Photo]

Freshmen stream through the Columns at the Francis Quadrangle as part of the 15th annual Tiger Walk on Sunday. Tiger Walk, which began in 1995, symbolizes the students' entrance into the MU community.

Atogwe motivated [Photo]

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, right, catches a pass for an 11-yard gain before being hit by St. Louis Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe during the first quarter of Friday's preseason game in St. Louis.

Entrance to Missouri State Penitentiary [Photo]

The entrance to the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8. The penitentiary was in service from 1836 until 2004, and was the only maximum security prison in the state until 1989.

Penitentiary residential units [Photo]

The entrance to one of the residential units in the MIssouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8.

Showing off makeshift weapons [Photo]

Mark Schreiber shows makeshift weapons confiscated from inmates in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on Aug. 8. Schreiber was the deputy warden when the penitentiary closed in 2004.

Keys to the prison [Photo]

Ray Miller displays keys for the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City before a tour on Aug. 8.