Thursday, April 28, 2011

Great day . . .

The red eye to Washington DC was followed immediately with a bus ride to the heart of our nation's government.  We visited so many places today, that sitting here I can't recall them all.  So, what stands out so far.
  • The size and beauty of the buildings.  Everywhere you turn, there is beauty.
  • The opportunity to hear from the Supreme Court's chief clerk who has held this position for 19 years and, after the judges, may have the most important job in the system.  He shared his knowledge and experience with us.  It was a learning experience for me.
  • The National Archives with the opportunity to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  • The Library of Congress including the Thomas Jefferson building and parts of his remaining book collection.
Perhaps the thing that stands out for me thus far is the great appreciation that these young people have for these documents and for our country's history.  It was rewarding to hear them talk about them, to ask each other questions, and to see them buying souvenirs related to their unit of study. 

I'm looking forward to tomorrow where we start at Arlington National Cemetery, just the first of many stops for the day.  Oh, I would be remiss if I didn't share how impressed I am with the leadership that Gretchen Wulfing brings to this program.  Her experience, knowledge, and relationship with her students is very evident.  She is in charge and focused on the outcome, the competition while providing these wonderful learning experiences.  Her partner, Darcie Muller, brings additional expertise to support these young people as they prepare for Saturday's competition.

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