Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

The Boston Marathon bombing was horrific and I felt like it was happening in my back yard. I felt oddly connected to every update, constantly checking different news sources on my phone when the man hunt was taking place. It rattled me to the bone. Not only because my family is there but I was flailing around in my own (so very minor) suffering from my car accident and felt out of control from that. The bombing was an extension of that feeling of unpredictability and powerlessness.

Newtown CT shootings. As a teacher in a community of teachers, the senslessness of this tradegdy hit close to the heart. I can't believe this wasn't enough to reform gun laws. I can't fathom someone thinking their gun was more important than our children.

Hurricane Sandy. It was surreal to live the hurricane experience again, but this time, there was something I could actually do to rebuild. It was empowering to raise money and bring friends along to help in the rebuilding efforts. I still feel terrible I only went once, it was similar to how I feel people were with Katrina-- doing something at first and then forgetting. It's hard to integrate service into your daily life with all your other distractions.

Same sex marriage is back in CA and more possible around the country thanks to Obama. Having worked on this for 5 + year very intently, it has been huge. Progress is possible. The work has paid off. Relief, joy, excitement for others who now will have access. And, maybe now it is time for me to focus on another area.

The possible, upcoming war in Syria. this is all still very new but it has really opened my eyes to what sort of politics I follow and believe in.

The economics of today, been working very hard to get a job and finally with reports of things getting better, we have both found jobs that have promising growth.

The fire that took place in New Jersey, on the Boardwalk, this week. It was the heels of the community finally getting the Boardwalk rebuilt after hurricane Sandy. I was saddened by the devastation that Sandy had caused, but then to have this happen right after getting it rebuilt and opened!?! Horrible. The cause is still under investigation. Here is a quote from one of the news stories and pix can be found there too. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57602986/jersey-boardwalk-fires-hot-spots-may-slow-search-for-cause/ "The boardwalk itself, battered by Sandy last October, was rebuilt five months ago. One of the big attractions in the stretch — the Funtown amusement pier — had not reopened after Sandy. It burned in the fire, with its landmark "Funtown Pier" sign collapsing in a cloud of flames and sparks, falling on the gray charred remains of a once colorful attraction."

The economy is really affecting the community in which I teach. There are no jobs here, so families keep moving away. With no kids left to teach, my job is in jeopardy every year!

There have been so many it is hard to pick just one. Natural disasters; man-made disaster (oil companies, gas companies) and wars. Except for the natural disasters, greed seems to be the driving force behind the others. When will politicians truly work for the good of all instead of the pockets of the few?

I would have to say the Trayvon Martin case. It really has impacted how I raise my son. I am nervous about his safety, yet I am adament about him not becoming a victim. This event affected so many lives directly and indirectly. It really showed our youth that, in case they forgot, racism is still very much alive even if we have a Black president. I put a picture of him on my vision board with the words "Don't Forget." I never want this to become just a memory. I want to remember it every day. I want it to be a reminder that I can and will do something to make change.