5 TakeAways from #DENsi2015 – Day 2

Today was a day of connection and reflection.  We got to connect with new and old Discovery Education friends through experiencing the historical city of Washington, DC together.  Nothing like remembering, honouring, (yes I spelled it with a “u”… I am Canadian. :)) and reflecting on the past while forging relationships with awesome people.   People who are so willing to give of themselves and share their personalities and wealth of knowledge and experience.  He goes…

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1.  I stood silently and in awe for a few minutes where Martin Luther King looked out from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his powerful “I Have A Dream” speech to hundreds of thousands of people calling for the end of Racism.  It is a speech I present to my students yearly.  We discuss it, analyze it, and celebrate the person who gave so passionately of himself in calling for equality for all.

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2.  I learned Franklin D. Roosevelt was a man of the people, the only president to be elected to 4 terms of office, and was confined to a wheelchair because he had polio.  I was also awestruck by his words that were etched in stone, as I meandered through his (FDR memorial).  He words celebrated his fellow person and honoured the people who elected him.  I also loved the tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt as well.

 

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3.  I took a quiet reflective walk by myself through the Vietnam War Memorial.  It is humbling to walk the path that honours those who died or went missing during this difficult time in American History.  I am Canadian, and to be honest seeing the almost 60, 000 names listed on a beautiful reflective wall beside the path made me feel lucky I have never had to go to war and feel enormous amounts of respect and honour for those who did for a greater cause… their country and their fellow person.  Whether you agree with war or not… reflecting on someone’s purpose can help you understand your own in deeper manner than before.

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4.  After a morning of Memorials being able to walk through the Smithsonian Museum of Natural history with my friend/colleague Robyn and my new friend from Nova Scotia, Erica.  It truly was an impressive walk through this collection of historical artifacts and stories from early man, sea life, to the dinosaurs.  Seeing the Dinosaur exhibit with Triceratops, T-Rex, and the archaeologists working was a definite highlight of this visit for.  I wish I had more energy to continue on to other museums, but by 4 pm I was in need of a much needed nap.  In the future I would love to see the Holocaust Museum and the Air and Space Museum.

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5.  After the bus ride back to American University I took a much needed nap, grabbed a quick bite at the cafeteria and then took off with some cool new friends to ride the metro and see the White House.  It didn’t disappoint.  I even loved catching a little video of the fireflies that danced on the grass as we approached the White House.  I also loved being able to see the Washington Monument from any spot I stood in the city.  Amazing!

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I am amazed by the sheer number of monuments and historical places there are in Washington, DC.  It is the perfect place to reflect, connect, and learn.  I am extremely thankful to my district Surrey and Discovery Education who made this experience possible.

I think it is awesome that American’s honour their history in such a way.  I can’t help but reflect on my need to visit Ottawa with my kids and take them across our country in telling the story of the country they call home.

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