Day 2: Monday
Monday was the first day of scheduled events in Washington, D.C. for the TAH cohort, and it was a great one!
The first stop of the day, after a great breakfast, was the Supreme Court. The building, like nearly every place we visited, was both beautiful and austere, as befitting its purpose. Inside, we divided into two groups: one group had the opportunity to enter the Supreme Court courtroom, and one group toured the building and learned the history of both the building and the Supreme Court.
The teachers who visited the court were in for a treat. Court was in session, and the teachers could see the justices face-to-face and watch them in action.
I was in the other group. We watched a short film about the court and how the members conduct their business. The film was very interesting, particularly because it featured the members, themselves, talking about what they do, how, and why. One aspect of the building design I found particularly interesting was the frieze on the front of the building. It features three “wise men” and law-givers: Moses, Confusius, and Solon.
Capitol Building Instructional Tour
Next stop was the Capitol Building. We couldn’t get the invite to visit the Capitol, itself, but the Capitol visitor center was great! Each state had two statues of people to represent their state–we found only one for New Mexico.
The National Archives were truly a highlight of the week’s events. We began with a presentation by a representative of their educational department. The National Archives, a massive collection of federal records, had a broad range of documents for research, everything from immigrant entry records and birth records to photographs of historical events. The Archive Reseach Collection provides tons of primary documents for classroom use. A good place for teachers to start is the Teachers’ Resource page of their website.
Monument Tour, “Chinatown”
The “official day” ended with a visit to several more monuments, this time by bus, including the Jefferson Memorial and the FDR memorial, which is a sprawling, outdoor park-like memorial that featured waterfalls and incribed quotations by FDR.
Afterwards, the bus dropped off a number of teachers in Chinatown. As our Close-up facilitator explained, this was not the Chinatown of San Francisco. Rather, it was an area more-or-less created by the city to represent the large Chinese population who used to live in that area.
And finally, this guy
I’m not sure what this is about, but it’s amusing, in a strangely patriotic way.
Definately, another great day!