George Washington University--Mount Vernon Campus--Saturday, June 14, 2013
We are here in D.C., we are checked into our dorms at George Washington University--Mount Vernon Campus and we are preparing for the introductory dinner tonight. We will get to meet Mr. Albert Small, the host and sponsor of this most excellent Institute. The past 24 hours in D.C. have been very fun, eventful and interesting....but remember the ancient curse, "May you live in interesting times." Ha!

Good Luck: We landed, met up with another teacher-student pair from Kentucky and suddenly Mr. H. was the tour guide for a group of four. As he led them through the metro, on the first transfer from the yellow line to the green line, things went flawlessly--or so it seemed. "As the train sped away into the tunnel, I suddenly realized that my camera bag with my very nice camera and lenses inside was no longer with us," Mr. H. said. He immediately ran up the flight of stairs to the metro station office to notify the transit authority. They put out a call to the operator of the train who conducted a sweep of the train---nothing. Then, as sudden as the camera bag took off, a call came over the intercom stating that a camera bag had been turned in at the next station. We hopped on the metro, ran off at the next stop and were greeted by Mr. H.'s camera bag. Turns out, some very kind-hearted individual saw it sitting there and turned it in to the next metro station office. Needless to say, the kindness and charity of that stranger is very commendable and a great example of how we should all behave. "Whether he knows how much that means to me, financially as well as emotionally, it was amazing to get it all back in one piece," Mr. H. said. 

Heartbreak: Four years ago, as a 7th grader going on 8th grade, Mattii went to Washington, D.C. as a student in the Salk Middle School STEM magnet program. That year, on the day the group was to tour the Holocaust Museum, a shooting took place at the museum killing a security guard and closing the place down for a week. That was her one top location to visit on that trip and she was very saddened by the terrible event of that day, not to mention missing the opportunity to see this hallowed institution. 

Fast forward four years, Matti is a junior going on becoming a senior, and Mr. H. was able to obtain tickets for the two to visit the Holocaust Museum. We arrived, we toured it, and Mattii got to experience the emotional trauma that comes from just such a place. "It was heartbreaking to go through there but it was simply amazing to experience and I'm glad I got to see everything firsthand as difficult as it was to do," Matti said. 

New Friends: As Mr. H. writes this, we are with roommates, we are dressed in Class A formal wear,  we are gathing to take the shuttle to dinner and we are meeting people we have only otherwise known through our teacher and student blog responses in preparation for this Institute. Mr. H. and Matti will blog later tonight after the opening reception but for all those wondering, we are having fun, we are well rested after a two-hour Thursday night, and everything is looking positive for a most awesome experience. 

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06/15/2013 2:28pm

Ron and Matti,

I'm glad you got your camera bag back and that you got to see the Holocaust Museum this time.

I am following your every word.

06/15/2013 2:35pm

Please convey my thanks to Mr. Small when you meet him for sponsoring this institute. It means much to me to know my brother is not forgotten - even after the 70 years since he died.

10/01/2013 9:24pm

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