Monthly Archives: May 2011

Titanic: 100 Years: Launch

I am going to try and follow the Titanic‘s 100th anniversary which is taking place from now until April 15, 2012.

One hundred years ago today, on May 31, 1911, the Titanic was launched from the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Ireland.  Titanic was then moved dry dock to be fitted-out.  Workers used 22 tons of tallow and soap to lubricate the slipway.  The event lasted a little over a minute.  Titanic was not christened, a policy of the shipyard, and many blame that fact for the sinking of the ship.


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Reflections on the First Year of Grad School

After completing my first year of grad school, I thought I would reflect briefly on what has transpired since last August.

The most important thing that I have gained from grad school is a more in depth understanding of the history field itself.  The courses I have taken have broadened my understanding of history and of Public History.  Learning about the historiography of history has been very important.

JMU’s Quad at Twilight

I have gained an even greater respect for the professors I have worked with, not only at JMU, but at Crowder and MSSU as well.  The professors I have worked with at JMU not only teach classes, but direct thesis committees, oral committees and still find time to conduct their own research.  I have also had a little insight in to the world of teaching when I was given the opportunity to prepare a lecture for my TA course last Fall.  I only prepared one 50-minute lecture, but it took over 2 hours to prepare.  Keeping the material fresh and engaging students are not easy tasks and I am glad to have had that experience.

Finally, some advice, grad school is every bit as challenging and involved as everybody said it would be.  There is a massive amount of readings, and not only for courses, but for thesis research as well.  This summer I have a list of approximately 50 books to look over for my thesis research.  My advise for handling this work load is creating checklists.  I create a checklist each Thursday of things I need to have done before the end of the following week.  This allows me to not only see what needs to be done, but also helps me budget my time.  More importantly, however, is giving yourself time for things you enjoy.  I make time to sit and watch the race each Sunday or watch the newest episodes of my favorite TV shows.  It is important to take time for yourself.  If all I did was school work all day, I would have gone crazy last September!

I have found that I have grown as a professional and a person by moving to Virginia and taking on grad school.  I look forward to my second year and what will follow.

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Joplin Memorial Service

This afternoon, President Barack Obama and Governor Jay Nixon attended a memorial service on the campus of Missouri Southern State University to mourn those lost in the May 22 tornado and to honor those working hard to restore the city.  The memorial service was lead by Father Justin Monaghan, Rev. Randy Gariss, and Rev. Aaron Brown.  The message of the service was that of strength and faith.  I am glad I was able to watch it online.  You can watch the full service on KOAM.

The service proceeded as follows:

-Opening hymn: First United Methodist Church choir.

-Presentation of colors: Missouri National Guard.

-National Anthem: Lt. Col. Regina Kilmer, Missouri National Guard.

-Invocation: Father Justin Monaghan, St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

-Scripture readering: The Rev. Randy Gariss, College Heights Christian Church.

-Inspirational message: The Rev. Aaron Brown, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

-Remarks by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. (Video)

-Remarks by President Barack Obama. (Full Text of Speech) (Video)

-Closing hymn: “Great is they Faithfulness,” entire congregation.

-Benediction: Father Justin Monaghan.

While in Joplin, the President toured the damaged area.  Here are some photos from the President’s visit:

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Joplin Recovery Photos

The recovery in Joplin has begun.  Sources report that there have been over 12,000 volunteers, too many, in fact, for coordinators to handle.  These are some pictures that have been taken from local sources of those working with recovery.  I will be adding to this post are more photos become available.

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Joplin: Before and After

I hope to start posting photos of the recovery soon and will do so as it begins.  The Daily Mail published these before and after pictures and I thought I would share them.  It really shows the extent of the damage.

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Source: Daily Mail

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Joplin, Missouri Tornado News and Updates

After seeing the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, I wish I was there to help. Although I am from Neosho, I have spent a great deal of time in Joplin and was born at Freeman Hospital. My connection to Joplin comes not only in the form of attending MSSU, but I have many friends and family members that call Joplin home. See familiar landmarks in Joplin destroyed saddens me.

I am going to use this post to do several things. First, I will keep it updated with the latest news. I will provide some video footage from YouTube and photos that have been shared on Facebook and Twitter. Social media has played a key role in the aftermath by informing the public, organizing relief efforts and collections, and giving people a way to contact friends and family members at a time phone service has been spotty. My news updates will come largely from the Joplin Globe as they have the most up-to-date information available.

PLEASE keep everyone in Joplin in your thoughts and prayer and try to avoid making trips to Joplin for the next several days. Rescue teams do not need the extra traffic. Tune into to the local news sources listed below for full coverage.

UPDATE: I am keeping a list of links on the sidebar —->

Tornado’s Path


The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday, May 22 has been classified as an EF-5. The death toll, as of 3PM central time June 9, is 151. All those missing have been located. There have been over 1,100 injuries reported. The damage to Joplin is extensive spanning from St. Johns Regional Medical Center to Rangeline Road. The damage in between is almost too much to bear. Many of Joplin’s schools have been severely damaged, and the school district has received permission to close for the remainder of the school year. There have been reports of debris from Joplin as far as 70 miles away. There are many organizations accepting donations. Donations can be dropped off at MSSU since the Red Cross is using Leggett and Platt.

UPDATE (Monday): NBC’s Brian Williams and Al Roker, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CBS’s Harry Smith, Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper are all reporting live from Joplin. Catch their respective networks for coverage.

UPDATE (Tuesday): Tide Loads of Hope will be available at 7th Street Walmart for residents of Joplin beginning Thursday.

UPDATE (Tuesday): President Obama is expected to visit Joplin when he return from Ireland later this week.

UPDATE (Tuesday): Eqecat Inc. (a catastrophe risk modeling firm) estimates there has been $3 billion in insured losses in Joplin.

UPDATE (Tuesday): Carthage High School seniors raised $15,000 for their project graduation. They decided to donate the full amount to help Joplin.

UPDATE (Tuesday): The city of Joplin has just issued new phone numbers if you still want to assist. To donate your time call 417-625-3543, to donate items call 417-625-3542, and if you’re a volunteer group, church or business call 314-623-9991.

UPDATE (Wednesday): REMINDER: There is still a boil order in effect for the entire city of Joplin. Boil the water for at least 3 minutes.

UPDATE (Wednesday): Walmart has donated $1 Million to Joplin relief, as has TAMCO roofing.

UPDATE (Thursday): A list of the missing has been posted HERE.

UPDATE (Friday): There has been such a incrediable amount of donations that many organizations are not going to accept new donations until after the weekend, giving them a chance to go through what they have collected.

UPDATE (Friday): Information has been given to residents about how to sort and place debris on the curb for removal. That document can be found HERE.

UPDATE (Friday): Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has approved $25 million in relief funding for Joplin and has signed an executive order forbidding insurance companies raising rates or dropping coverage for those effected by the tornado.

UPDATE: (Friday): President Obama, Governor Nixon, and local religious leaders will lead a memorial service Sunday at 2 PM on the campus of Missouri Southern State University in Taylor Performing Arts Center. There will certainly be live feeds from the service for those unable to attend.

UPDATE: (Friday): Flags in Joplin are to be flown at half staff from now until further notice by order of Joplin Mayor Mike

UPDATE (Friday): Flags across Missouri are to be flown at half staff on Sunday by order of Governor Jay Nixon.

Local News Outlets:

Joplin Globe



Social Media Links:

The Salvation Army

People Accounted For

United Way


Ozarks Red Cross

Joplin Tornado Information

Joplin Tornado Recovery


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Joplin’s Damage from the Air

Storm Chasers view of the Tornado

Tornado from KSN’s Tower Camera

St. Johns Hospital area – From Weather Channel

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How to help Joplin, Missouri

You can help those effected by the tornado in Joplin by visiting the newly created Joplin Recovery page or the Ozarks Red Coss. It is going to take grat effort from the community to recover from the devastating tornado.

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