Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Ultimate History Lesson
My son left yesterday for Washington, DC with his school on the big Washington school trip. They will be gone for an entire week and will be touring all the major sites. Yesterday they went to Philly and saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and today they will tour the White House, the Holocaust Museum and the Air and Space museum. My kid told me excitedly last night that he bought an actual copy of The Declaration of Independence for $5 bucks at the gift shop. I was amazed he spent money on anything that didn't involve a stick and a ball.
Frack was so excited he could hardly contain himself. He loves American history to begin with and he almost squealed with delight as we packed him up and looked over his itinerary. And now he is in the beautiful city where history is everywhere he looks. They will tour all the memorials, Lincoln and Jefferson, the US Capitol, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, of course. It's funny though, because most of these places are already familiar to him. Though not because of his history books. They are familiar from the movies. Movies like "Night at the Museum" and "National Treasure" have made our DC landmarks regular "celebrities" in the minds of our kids.
Arlington Cemetery, Iwo Jima Memorial and the WWII Memorial visits are scheduled, and I know my son will be fascinated by the stunning symbols of respect and courage at the beautiful, somber places. This year they have added a visit to the infamous Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln met his fate one night. The kids are proud to be the first class to be touring the theatre and I'm sure will have all kinds of macabre questions about where and why our beloved President Lincoln was shot. Kids are good for that.
Their assignment while there is to take pictures and journal all that they do and see while they are there. Upon their return they have one week to produce a scrapbook detailing their Washington journey. It will count for two major grades, one English, one History; so it is a major part of the curriculum.
Nothing could prepare him for this experience about the history of our nation and he knew that when he excitedly left yesterday. I wish I were with him, to see his face as he experiences these treasures, but someday we will return to the city together. For now, he is exactly where he should be, and I wait each night for the phone call explaining the days events.
Sometimes I'm not sure who is more excited; him or I.