Mission accomplished... what mission you ask? To take feisty and energetic teenagers and wear them to the point of collapse. The awards went well, despite half the students sleeping through them. Moultonborough didn't take home any major awards, but the feedback we got in our judge sheets was fair and all the students grew through the process. Jake and Ryan took home an award sponsored by the Library of Congress for Outstanding use of Primary Sources, which was an incredible honor.
Our flight home was delayed, then cancelled, then rebooked, then delayed, but the amazing thing about adversity is that it brings people together and we rise above it. The flight issues made for a long day, but I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be with... and bonus we bumped into Matt, Jacob and Charlie at BWI!
On Wednesday we headed out to DC early to meet Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Senator Maggie Hassan for their coffees with constituents. We also toured two museums: Newseum and the Holocaust museum. Both are relatively new and incredible experiences. Due to the timing of the Senator visits we didn't get to the staple museums on the mall, but those two do incredible justice to history, so it was worth spending the time there. The senators were a little preoccupied due to the emergency situation regarding Representative Scalise, but they were kind enough to meet with the students and talk briefly about the competition. Some students enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the interns to learn about that as a possible path.
One of the many things that makes this trip mentally tough-- is that it isn't just fun and games. Tuesday is judging day and man did our kids dress to impress. Liz looked like a full-time staffer at the White House, Kayla had on a power suit, Zach was looking fly in his slick grey tie... I could go on but you get the idea. Judging was between 11-2 and some of our groups judge times over lapped, so I ran around campus (as did the students) to try and catch as many as possible. Collectively we were able to divide and conquer so that everyone had an audience to support them at their judging. The presentations I saw were very well done. Moultonborough students know their stuff!
After judging most students were ready to relax, so we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the Recreation Center to play! See Kayla's video below! After judging we headed to the Mall for a walk around the monuments. See next blog post.
If you are ever in DC, the best time to see the monuments is at dusk, when the sun is setting and the lights on the monuments are coming on... it is really a site to take in. The walk is long, but worth it. On our walk students were asked to consider three things:
Vietnam War Memorial:
Alexa said, "The fact that it is long and black shows just how many people died, which is quite a message in itself." Zoe added, "the amount of names stretched out emphasizes the amount of lives lost... [it] was a bit overwhelming... war should not be glorified."
Abraham Lincoln Memorial:
Some students disagreed here. Tyler said the "gigantic structure look[s] beautiful and greatly reflect America and its wealth and sense of unity" while, Alexa said, "by depicting Lincoln that large it takes away from the war." Other students noted the symbolism of the states around the top, showing unity. Students agreed that Lincoln's sacrifice deserved the prominent recognition. Zoe summed it up well, "Lincoln is... monumental."
Korean War Memorial:
Seeing this in contrast with Vietnam stood out to students, given that they were both completed in 1982. Zoe explained, "The... memorial is the opposite structure as the Vietnam and is a little more in depth because there are soldiers walking through woods. Additionally, engraved in the walls were different people as well as the message 'freedom is not free.'" Zach did not like the faces on the wall because some were larger than others, he said, "this made it seem like someones sacrifice was more important than someone else's." But Zoe disagreed, "I liked having the images to associate the memorial with in my head." Many students noted the international effort represented in the names of the UN countries that supported the effort.
WWI and Armed Forces Memorial:
Tyler said, this "doesn't really do it justice. I thought it would be bigger and more significant" given the events and people it symbolizes. Other students enjoyed the romanic simplicity.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
Alexa may have said it best, "I think the fact that he has a monument is pretty powerful, as it is the only monument that is not for a war or a president." Kellee did not like that the stone was white. Tyler loved that the monument was "full of his inspirational quotes."
Franklin Delano Roosevent:
The monument to FDR is probably the most comprehensive stretching a large portion of the distance between MLK and Jefferson. Alexa said, "I think the fact that it is so long and has so many parts symbolizes the message that FDR was a very influential president."
Thomas Jefferson Memorial: