The tsunami disaster is so huge, it's hard to wrap one's mind around it. It's like when someone talks about a billion dollars...it's too big and it's very hard to relate to. You see the pictures on TV and you know this is a horrible, horrible thing. At the same time, unless you know someone there, you feel distanced from it. When there is a disaster, and they tell the number of Americans who died on the news, it can be infuriating, like they're saying that's what matters. I think the purpose, though, is to make it more real for people. I pay more attention to things that happen in the world now if I have, or have had, students from that country, or if I have visited that place. Also, because this was perpetrated by nature, not human beings, the sense of helplessness is compounded. There is no one to hunt down and punish. I guess all people can do is make some contribution towards disaster relief, or for the very bold, go and help with it.