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.


The Dental Maven said...

And when you do come down here, you darn well better let The Maven know! Sounds like a great trip they have planned. In as much as it often sucks having national politics in your own back yard, DC is a Fabulous city with lots to offer.

Scott Oglesby said...

You should have got him to read The Lost Symbol by my favorite whipping boy Dan Brown. Although his prose is as clumsy as ever and I already knew most of his ‘secret gems’ it did make me want to see DC again if just to see the Washington as Zeus mural.

Scott Oglesby said...

You should have got him to read The Lost Symbol by my favorite whipping boy Dan Brown. Although his prose is as clumsy as ever and I already knew most of his ‘secret gems’ it did make me want to see DC again if just to see the Washington as Zeus mural.

RW said...

Lived in DC for a spell in the past and - if you can survive the spring monsoons - it's not a bad place to be. I'd recommend getting a lesson in... um... diversity... by going down to DuPont Circle and hanging out. I doubt Schwartz's is still on Conn Ave near S but that was a terrific little drug store / lunch counter with a crabby old black waitress and the best scrambled egg sandwiches on the east coast.

Who needs monuments when you had Schwartz's?

Mrs. Hall said...

awwwww..... so sweet. Kind of sad though, I mean, as a mom, if that were my kid, I'd totally want to be there.

but, it sounds like this trip would actually be better sans mom.

best to let him spread his wings in the safety of this type of trip.


Jim said...

Aah yes, one of those documents that smells like formaldehyde (sp?) . . . I can send him a Va. Declaration of Rights, by George Mason, if he wants one of those. Colonial money . . . John Smith's map . . . even a sample of genuine Va. tobacco.

No trip to Alexandria, oldest town in the DC area? Dental Maven and I can fight over who gets to be the chaperone, when you guys come back.


Anonymous said...

Oh, man, Frack is gonna have a fantastic time! We went to DC around this time last year. I hadn't been back there for about 10 years. The place had a completely different 'energy' for me. DC makes you very proud to be American.

Here's a bit of my journey in case you missed it.


SkylersDad said...

I wish I could go back and tour with your son's class!

Slyde said...

DC? thats some darn school trip.

I was lucky to get a trip to the newspaper plant.

Scope said...

Glad to know that today's youth isn't completely lost. Glad he doesn't feel he's gotten enough history just living around Boston.

Cora said...

Oooooh, my daughter will get to do that with her school next year and I'm already fidgeting in excitement! I've never been to DC. I wonder how many parent volunteeers they need?....