Since our return from Colonial Williamsburg, VA, the students have been immersed in how the government operates. Last night they took part in a debate. Today they visited numerous monuments including the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II and Vietnam War Memorials. During these visits they discussed various governmental issues and tonight they participated in their very own mock congress with all the other students attending Close-Up this week. There are students from Alaska, California, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Puerto Rico; as well as other Louisiana students from Archbishop Chapelle, South Lafourche, and Ursuline Academy in the greater New Orleans area and The Glenbrook School in Minden.
While the students stayed in Washigton DC today, the teachers once again traveled. Today we visited the Civil War Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland where the Battle of Antietam took place. This area is still strikingly similar to the way it was in the 19th century and provided an amazingly vivid perspective of what life and war was like 150 years ago.
Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to tour the Capitol Building and meet with Senators Vitter and Landrieu and Andrew Ruether, a member of Cogressman Steve Scalises staff. We will conclude the day tomorrow by watching “A Christmas Carol” and historic Fords Theater.
I asked our students tonight what they have enjoyed the most and the least, and what is the single most important thing they have learned. Obviously, the answers varied, but the overlying theme was they have learned how to debate and that our country is greatly diverse and that is hard at times to understand other points of view. I also believe that all of the students have been affected to some extent by seeing such a large part of our nations history up close.