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Maksim and Washington DC

Every year, the eighth graders at Maksim's school take a three-day field trip to Washington DC.  Maksim was ambivalent about going, but I told him he needed to go.  The trip was inexpensive, as these things go, and he should take advantage of a chance to see the capital.  Eventually, I learned that he was more than a little scared about flying.  However, we discussed it quite a lot and in the end, he went.

He had to be at the school by 4:15 AM on Thursday so the bus could leave for the airport by 4:30.  Oi!  I dragged myself out of bed and got Maksim up.  He was already packed--a single backpack filled with clothes and snacks--and he woke up fairly quickly, since he was nervous and excited.  When we got to the school and the buses were filling up, Maksim reported that he had forgotten his glasses.  I could have cheerfully murdered him right then.  I tossed him out of the car with his backpack and told him I would try to get home and back in time.

I rushed home--the school is seven minutes away--snatched up his glasses, and drove like mad back to the school.  I got there just as the buses were getting ready to leave.  The incident somewhat marred what should have been a cheerful, "Have a good time, son!" moment.

While they were gone, I got text messages from Remind, a mass-texting system I use with my own students, that told me what the students were up to, with occasional photos.  Maksim sent the rare text himself and said he was taking lots of pictures.

Over three days, the class visited Arlington, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, Mount Vernon, Capitol Hill, and other places.  They also took a river cruise for supper and took pictures of themselves outside the White House (no tours were going on that day, unfortunately).  Maksim said they walked sixteen miles a day.  (Keep 'em busy, keep 'em tired!)  You may have heard about the shooting outside the White House during this time, but the class was fortunately elsewhere in DC at the time and they were unaffected.

On Saturday, Darwin and I went down to the airport to pick him up.  Maksim was both exhausted and chatty.  He was full of stories about what had happened on the trip.  He discovered flying wasn't scary at all and was, in fact, pretty amazing.  He'd run afoul of airport security more than once, though, because he had packages of Pop Tarts in his backpack, and they showed up as blank squares on the x-ray machines, so the TSA pulled aside a fourteen-year-old boy traveling with his class in order to search his bag.  Yeah, that's not a waste of taxpayer money in any way.

He also brought home several souvenirs--tri-corner hats, slap-on bracelets, a DC mousepad, and a parchment copy of the Bill of Rights for Darwin and me, which we appreciated very much, considering the civil rights battles have won and are still fighting.

Maksim slept twelve hours straight after he got home!



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2016 04:14 pm (UTC)
Good lord. Flash backs.

Born and raised in Canada I tend to forget certain parts of my childhood because it Just Was. But born and raised in Canada to two USA ex citizens...

I remember almost exactly the same tour. The only difference is that John (my father's brother) was working under the Secretary of Health at the time (he was the guy doing the budgets back in the day for them)... so some of the tours were a liiiiittle different. The Capitol buildings to this day are a vivid memory.

So glad he went. And some time for you and Darwin!

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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