Complexity & freedom in D.C.

Posted by Timothy Moore - 21 March, 2012

School comes to life

By Saahil '16, The Raid

Today was a day that was extremely school-related, especially for me. It was fascinating to see some things that we have talked and studied about in history class come to life.  It was also really cool to see the Newseum, because I am a member of  The Raid, the 7th and 8th grade newspaper.

The first stop was the Capitol.  It was a very cool and somewhat intimidating building because of its size.  Its architecture was amazing, and the attention to detail was outstanding. We started off in the visitors lobby, and there were a lot of statues of people from different states.  Helen Keller was a person from Alabama who was depicted in the lobby.  To start the tour, we watched a movie about how great Congress is and how they get so much done, which I am guessing is a little outdated.

After the movie, we went to the Rotunda, which was the central place of the building.  That was the place where the architecture, art, and statues really impressed me.  I recognized many of the paintings, because they were in our textbook.  Seeing the tremendous size and complexity of the Capitol represented how complex our government is, and it brought our history class to life.  Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the building and I learned a lot.

After our tour, we went outside and we waited to meet Senator Richard Shelby.  One thing that we noticed was the tremendous amount of security.  The security guards had giant machine guns, so none of us wanted to mess with them.  We later found out that the reason for the stepped up security was because the Irish prime minister was visiting, and President Obama was going to meet with him.  We found that out when there were bagpipes playing. Senator Shelby's visit was very brief, but it was still cool to meet him.

After going to the Capitol, we went to eat lunch and hang out at Union Station.  We were allowed to go by ourselves around the station.  This freedom is one of the cool things we have on this trip.  The teachers trust us to be careful and it teaches us to be independent.

I ate at Chipotle with some friends and some teachers.  It was by far the best meal so far.  My eyes literally lit up when I saw the restaurant.  It was awesome!  We went around the the station after we ate and enjoyed the freedom we had.  I had a lot of fun just walking around and hanging out with my friends.

Another thing that was also very interesting was the Newseum.  I had been there the summer before 7th grade, but I appreciate it even more now because I am one of the members of The Raid.  It reminded all of us how important the media and news is to all of us.  One of the things that I saw in the Newseum was a 4-D movie about the importance of the finding facts and reporting the news.

I also saw a 9/11  section of the Newseum.  It was very powerful.  There was a wall of newspapers from around the world that showed the reactions of this tragic event from points of view from around the globe.  It was really emotional, and I really felt it.  There was an interesting daily news section where the front cover of major newspapers from every state and major countries.

One thing in the Newseum that connected to history class was the freedom section of the museum. This was a section that explained the importance of the freedoms that we have, especially the freedom of the press.  Other sections included an Pulitzer Prize picture section, which had extraordinary pictures that were very powerful, a Berlin Wall section, and  FBI section.  This was my favorite part of the trip so far.

At the end of the day we saw the play Shear Madness.  It was funny, and was cool because it was interactive.

It was a great day, and was my favorite so far.

Yesterday's Question: What did you learn today that you can directly connect back to what you learned in U.S. History class?

Crossan said "I was reminded that the Constitution is a document that not only applies to the beginning of our history but to all of American history. It is an inseparable bond that unites America, past and present."

Daveraj was reminded of a story about Andrew Jackson that his tour guide told him. He talked about how a man tried to shoot President Jackson. When his gun misfired, Andrew Jackson chased him through the Capitol building trying to beat him with his cane.

Aly enjoyed her visit at the Newseum, and spent a lot of time looking in every corner of the museum. She was excited to find part of Common Sense written by Thomas Paine in the museum. This was something she enjoyed learning about in Mr. Moore's history class.

Topics: 8th grade, Academics, curriculum, history, Middle School, Off-campus, the world, Washington, DC, writing

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