Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--Part Three

Friday was a long (but good) day spent in meetings. Our principals gathered with Global Education "experts" who communicated the needs for Global Education within our schools. TGC participants had various sessions in which we evaluated student work samples for evidence of Global Ed, began developing some essential questions pertaining to travel to our individual specific countries, and looking at ways to successfully interact with those from other cultures.

Following the long day several of use took a walk down the mall to see the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials. Then we taxied over to Fado to meet with Sarah Yabroff. Sarah works with the Goethe Institut in Washington and leads tours for teachers to Germany. Sarah was my guide this past summer and the guide for Nicole Means two summers ago. It was great to see her again!

Saturday involved a planning meeting in which we were able to work with our principals and others within our state's "delegation" to work on strategies to improve (or implement) the focus of Global Education into our schools. Then we as country teams were able to meet with a teacher from our country of travel to learn more about cultural specifics and educational systems within our countries.

Saturday afternoon, Mr. Smith and I, along with a couple of other teachers had a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building...not as long nor as thorough as of a tour as I remember from previous years...but the new visitors' center is impressive! Later we visited the World War II Memorial and the White House. Dinner was eaten (feasted on rather) at a great Tex-Mex restaurant near DuPont Circle. I highly recommend Lauriol Plaza and it's lamb fajitas.

Today Mr. Smith and I ventured over the Arlington Cemetery. I was able to see more at Arlington this time than I have in the past. We saw the traditional touristy spots of the graves of the Kennedy family (which now includes Teddy), the Tomb of the Unknowns with both Changing of the Guard and two wreath laying ceremonies, and the Custis-Lee House. Previously, I had not seen the Unknown Solider from 1812, the Spanish-American War Memorial (I'm not talking about the mast of the USS Maine), nor a grave which I only caught because I happened to turn my head in the right direction...former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. A walk over the the Iwo Jima/Marine Corps Memorial rounded out the morning/early afternoon.

Mr. Smith headed back to the hotel while I ran to a couple of stores. While shopping it dawned on me that it would be cool to go see the Indonesian Embassy while I was in DC. So rather than heading back to the hotel at that point I did take a detour back the DuPont Circle area. Following my return to the hotel and some time of resting we did venture out for dinner. If you are in DC and miss out on Old Ebbitt Grill then you have committed a crime...crab cakes and peanut butter pie at one of DC's oldest culinary highlights.

Tomorrow we return home to Oklahoma City and so will end Mr. Smith's venture to Washington. It's been a great trip, especially in getting to see some sites familiar to me through the newness of Mr. Smith's eyes. Sometimes our roaming of remote roads might simply be a revisiting of a familiar road but seeing things in a different light.

Pictures will come soon!!!


  1. Love your blog and pictures of D.C., it is one of my favorite cities to visit. Having worked for a U.S. Senator in my past life, I was able to visit D.C. several times and I never get tired of it, so much to do, too little time. I just wish I'd known about all those great places to eat before we went last summer! Of all the monuments my kids were deeply moved by the Korean War Memorial. They just couldn't seem to leave it and Clara commented on how sad she felt when she looked at it. A little trivia on the WWII Memorial, all the bronze work came from a little factory in Joseph, Oregon, about 70 miles north of La Grande. Too bad your Sabercat didn't have time to visit the new Presidential wax museum or the Spy Museum, very entertaining places!

    1. Natalie, I'm going to try to get to the Spy Museum in October when I go back. The TGC program is bringing all of the teachers back for a summation symposium. I too find the Korean War Memorial very moving; the names on the Vietnam have a major impact but there is something about the faces--the eyes that pierce your soul--on the Korean that makes much more of an impact in my perspective.