Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012

Okay. I am sitting at Dulles in D.C. waiting for a 5:55 departure to Frankfurt. I flew into D.C. on Saturday night, having no real problems - aside from my luggage arriving on the flight after mine. No big deal though; I was in no rush (I knew there was a reason I was flying in a day early).

Sunday morning, I met Erin, David, and my dad and we did a long run on the Capitol Crescent trail. Boy ways it warm! Sweat was dripping down my legs and my shoes were soaked. I'd like to dedicate this run to my brother David. He turned sixteen yesterday and is growing up so quickly. I remember him being "pretzel boy" with rolls all over. He was such an adorable little boy! And now he is grown up. I told him on our run this morning that he really has matured, and I feel like we are becoming friends rather than just siblings. I think he enjoys hanging out with my husband more than me, but I'm okay with that. I love going to David's cross-country and track meets; I am so proud of his hard work and the time he puts into improving himself. I just love having a brother.

Sunday afternoon brought our first group meeting. Dinner was at the hotel - salad, chicken with mushrooms, and some sort of chocolate pudding dessert. After that we met Max and Hanne Liebmann and heard their story of survival of the Holocaust.
Max and Hanne
Monday we went to the USHMM and were able to tour it for three hours - not much time. However, we were sent with the task of focusing on artifacts and how those affect our understanding. We were then able to meet Suzy Snyder, a curator at the museum. She talked about various survivors and answered the many questions we had. That night we again had dinner at the hotel - salad, mahi mahi, and a brownie - and met Henry Greenbaum. Henry is a survivor of Auschwitz who later also survived a death march.
This morning brought a monuments run with Mom, Dad, Erin, and David. I then went back to the hotel, attended a meeting, and then met up with everyone (including Cody) for lunch at Pizzeria Paradiso.
Getting yogurt/ice cream.

This trip is going to be taxing both physically and mentally. I know there will be many changes to be made to my Holocaust unit upon return. One thing that has been stressed already - that we teachers do but at the same time do not - is rationale. What is the purpose not only of a lesson, but of using a particular excerpt or artifact? Particularly regarding the Holocaust, teachers oftentimes go for the shock factor - what images or stories are going to get students' emotions going. This, however, is not the point. Students might think about a situation for a short time, but the understanding is lost. Instead, what do students need to understand? What is the purpose? Sorry for the rant, but this is something I need to be reminded of every once in a while.

I've learned much already about teaching practices and history in general. I am so excited about what else there is in store on this trip. I'm running out of time, as people are getting their items in order so that we can board the plane. I'll try to keep you updated, but my last hotel did not have free wi-fi. 

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