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     My third EAHI trip with the Colorado teachers was to New York City:  the City that Never Sleeps, the Big Apple, or simply the City.  An attempt to go further would be remiss without an expression of my thanks and gratitude to Dr. Jonathan Rees, Dr. Matt Harris, and Scott Whited.  These gentlemen put together another great adventure.  From Jonathan’s programs in the city to Matt’s upstate adventures and Scott’s unending coordination of schedules; this was a grand adventure.  Thank you.  This final blog post of my EAHI experiences will serve two purposes; first to recount our adventures in New York and, secondly, and perhaps more importantly, to give my impressions of the value of this trip to myself and my colleagues.

     As teachers of history how can we not benefit from visiting and, more importantly, experiencing the things we teach about.  The experiences we encountered on this trip were non-stop from the beginning.  We hit the ground running from day one.  After we checked into the hotel, Hutch, Wendy and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge at night. I have to say my first impression of NYC was breath-taking.  Our first day was spent at Hyde Park and the homes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  It was a very impressive stop.  Springwood is like a museum unto itself.  To see FDR’s wheelchair and personal office was a moving experience.  The museum and library complex were full of FDR artifacts and information. I learned more about Eleanor at Val-Kill than I had I did FDR, but I think that is a good thing.  She was an incredible lady.  The activity we did on human rights can easily be used in a classroom and I picked up a few primary source documents at the gift shop.  We finished the day at the CIA, no not that one.  We had a great meal at the culinary Institute of America.  Pretty fancy for this Colorado Rube, but a great experience.

     We spent our next day at the City Museum of New York in the capable and energetic hands of EY.  While the displays were nice the real value was the hands-on activities we were engaged in.  I liked the city planning exercise the best.  The next day we were on the bus and off to Harlem and the Bronx, with Dr. Kenneth Jackson of Columbia for our next adventure.  Harlem was not what I expected, but the Bronx certainly was.  Lunch in Little Italy was a nice touch.  I picked up an Italian-American newspaper for my class.  I could visit museums anytime, so our visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art was great.  The Americana collection had some great things, but I must admit I enjoyed wandering through the area with the paintings by the masters.

     Our next three days were spent with Ed O’Donnell from Holy Cross.  We walked what appeared and felt to be a good chunk of Manhattan including:  Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Colonial New York and, my favorite, the Lower East Side.  Central Park is huge.  It is hard to believe you are in one of the largest cities in the world.  The Brooklyn Bridge is an impressive work in the daylight.  After reading The Great Bridge before our trip, I found myself almost inspecting the bridge as we walked across.  The colonial section of our tour and Wall street was, for me at least, dominated by our stop at St. Paul’s and the 9/11 memorial.  It was cool to actually see Wall Street and the NYSE.  The Lower East Side was the New York I expected.  Five Points, Chinatown and the tenement district were just about what I expected them to be.  My favorite stop here was the tenement museum.  It really brought things I teach about into perspective for me.  I was bummed by the no pictures rule, but I learned so much from our guide about the tenement factory system.  Lunch at Katz’s was a bonus.  A note for other teachers on future trips – always trust Dr. Rees when it comes to food suggestions. 

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     The next day was spent with two historical icons; Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  Our Ellis Island experience was great.  We got the behind the scenes tour and hands-on teacher activities.  We also walked away with a flash drive loaded with primary sources and lesson plan ideas.  The Ellis Island Museum was an incredible experience.  There is so much history there and it is personal history. It is the story of individuals and their experiences in America.  The Statue of Liberty is simply awe inspiring.  There is no other way to put it.  I should have bought the extra ticket and gone inside.

     The New York Historical Society was impressive, yet disappointing.  The building was undergoing renovation, so we were packed in a small foyer area.  Their collection is impressive, but we were rushed through it.  I did like the activities, as they were very classroom adaptable.  Free materials, no matter what they weigh, are always a good deal.  And, we got to hang out with the Grateful Dead.

     Alas, our time in the city is done, but I think I was ready for the change.  Teddy Roosevelt’s home at Sagamore Hill was one of the best stops.  It was impressive in so many ways.  Our guide gave us several TR stories that will be very useful as classroom tidbits.  Then, it was back on the bus and we headed upstate.

     Our first stop was Cooperstown.  If you are a baseball fan then I need say nothing more.  The Baseball Hall of Fame is great.  However, Cooperstown has other treasures to share.  We went to the Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers Living History Museum.  These were both great stops.  The Farmer’s Museum reminded me of Old Sturbridge Village and New Salem from previous trips.  A busy day followed with a visit to historic Seneca Falls and the surrounding area.  The Women’s Rights Museum was cool.  It is small, but I enjoyed the displays.  We visited the homes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary M’Clintock, the co-authors of the Declaration of Sentiments.  William Seward and Harriet Tubman were next on our list of home visits.  We were a little rushed, but the exposure was good.  We finished the day with a trip on the historic Erie Canal.  We got to experience going through a lock on the canal.  Raising our boat twenty-five feet in five minutes, using 2.7 million gallons of water was cool. 

     Our final day of activity evolved around the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.  We visited Fort Ticonderoga and the Saratoga Battlefield.  Our guide was Jim Hughto and he was a wealth of information.  The fort was as impressive as I had imagined.  The battlefield at Saratoga was cool, but once again, we were pressed for time and got the “cook’s tour” from our guide.  Dinner at Salty’s was great.  A fifteen day tour wound up with a visit to President Arthur’s grave sight and a plane ride home.

       My trip included a visit to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, 9/11 site, two Broadway shows, several rides on the New York subway, Coney Island and Nathan’s, eating Russian food at Brighton Beach, and a visit to Yankee Stadium for a game.  I am sure I left some things out, but hopefully you get the picture.  This trip covered so much history it was incredible, but it has a second value, as well.

     In the bigger picture, this trip was not about what we saw, but what we took from it.  We were presented with incredible amounts of classroom ready materials.  We were exposed to websites and CDs and books.  I took 1,600 pictures, many of which will find there way into classroom presentations. We were exposed to several outstanding primary documents and ideas on how to use them.  We were treated to many excellent presenters and guides and were allowed to pick their brains.  However, an equally valuable aspect of this trip was the opportunity to spend it with fellow educators and pick their brains.  My colleagues are the people in the trenches everyday, fighting the good fight and making a difference.  What grade level you teach becomes irrelevant.  I had several discussions with John (middle school) and Mark (elementary school) about classroom ideas.  I learned several things from reading other blogs about what people do in their classroom.  In the end the goal of these trips is a simple one – to make us better teachers of history.  We were exposed to great historical sites and events and equally important, we were exposed to each other and our unique approaches and ideas.  In the end, it is our students the benefit and that is the ultimate goal.

     Thank you, once again, my friends for the opportunity to be a part of the grand adventure.  May you lives be blessed and your classrooms small (ok, at least the first one).

PS for my elementary and middle school friends.  If you check the comments on my Teddy Roosevelt post there is a comment from Kerrie Hollihan.  She has written a book about TR for middle graders with 21 activities.  I do not know who she is, but might be worth checking out.

    

     Up and out to the bus early today. We were off to see Fort Ticonderoga and the Saratoga battlefield.  We picked up our guide, James Hughto, and we headed north, at least I think we went north.  Ticonderoga and Saratoga are significant battlefields in American history; Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution and the battle of Saratoga is considered the turning point of the American Revolution.  Not only does the Continental Army win the battle, but the victory leads to formal recognition by France of the new United States.

     Mr. Hughto was very informative.  On the ride to Ticonderoga he filled us in on the campaigns and the background of the region.  Ticonderoga was everything I expected it to be.  It is an impressive place.  Jim, as I have said, is quite knowledgeable and added greatly to my understanding of the events.  I took several pictures that should be very useful in my class.

     Ticonderoga would be a great place to bring students; a totally impractical thing for Colorado teachers, but none the less….  There are people dressed in period attire that will give you information.  They are not entirely role players, but they do add to the ambience of the fort.  Talking with “Sergeant Shoeless” would help bring conditions in the Continental Army to life for students.  The museum sections of the fort are designed to chronologically cover the history of the region and the fort, as well as fine displays of arms, and a great display of the battle of Carillon.  The closest thing in our neighborhood would be Bent’s Fort.  They, too, have people in character that can explain life in the fort in its heyday.  Bent’s Fort may not share the national importance of Ticonderoga, but it is a field trip worth taking.  We left Ticonderoga much too early, but it was off to Saratoga.

  

  

     Jim filled the entire route with stories of the fall of Ticonderoga and the British pursuit of the Americans as they retreated south.  He told of the hardships facing Burgoyne’s army and spoke of certain individuals, such as Saint Luc and the role he played.  These stories added to my knowledge bas and will hopefully become evident in my class.  As we followed Lake Champlain and later the Hudson River south we got a mini geography lesson on the region as well.

     We passed through the little town of Whitehall, which claims to be the birthplace of the American navy.  This is due to Benedict Arnold and the ships he builds for the Battle of Falcour Island.  An interesting side note;  In discussions with my students I mention that most people of my generation can tell you where they were when they heard JFK was assassinated.  As we drove through Whitehall Jim said he lived there for a time and as we passed a certain point on the street he said that was where he was when he heard about JFK.  I had to chuckle to myself.  You can bet my students will hear about it.

     Saratoga was a nice stop as well, but I wish we had more time to look around.  As our guide said, “we got the cook’s tour.”  I would have liked to have looked around more and taken more pictures, but it was not to be.  We did hit the highlights and were given great descriptions of the battle.  I wanted to see the monument to Benedict Arnold and was glad we took the time to stop.  Saratoga, like most battlefields is not something you can do quickly, so I was a little disappointed, but at least I have been there and have a clearer picture of the events.  It was a good thing we had a guide as I would have had a difficult time figuring out the red and blue posts.

  

     Off to Salty’s Pub for dinner.  It is not really Satly’soga, but it went with the theme of the day.  Salty’s was an excellent stop.  I do believe a good time and huge meal was had by all.  Off to Albany for our final night.  It has been a great trip.  More on that later.

     Today was a whirlwind tour through upstate New York.  We were constantly on the move, but it was well worth our time.  So much history – so little time.  Seneca Falls was an interesting stop.  I think we all know about the women’s rights movement, but I wonder if we give it its historical due.  The Women’s Rights Museum was nice.  I like the displays, especially the ones comparing jobs and wages for men and women.  You made a career choice and the board instantly displayed the information.  The museum was a snapshot, or maybe a better word is collage, of the women’s rights movement that traces its origins to Seneca Falls and the Declaration of Sentiments.

     I found it very interesting that Mary M’Clintock was a co-author of the document, but she has been mostly lost in time.  I teach about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott, but I am guilty of never mentioning Mary.  As our guide informed us, Mary and Elizabeth co-wrote the Declaration of Sentiments in Mary’s home.  Perhaps this oversight is due to the fact that Elizabeth and Susan carry the banner of the movement following the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.  This is an oversight I can easily fix in my classroom.  I do have my students read the Declaration of Sentiments and we make the obvious connection to the Declaration of Independence.  I have also used “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth at times as a focal point for both abolition and women’s rights.  We discuss how women became involved in other movements in order to gain a voice for the women’s rights movement.  Our guide gave us a great example of this when she told us about Stanton and others going to London for an abolitionist conference and being told they could not participate because they were women.  It was a difficult struggle.  Following the museum, we proceeded to the Stanton home, which was quite modest and then on to the slightly more upscale M’Clintock home.  Today I walked away with a better “feel” for the events of Seneca Falls.

  

  

     Off to the home of William Seward.  Seward is best known for being the Secretary of State that negotiated the purchase of Alaska.  The home was quite impressive in both size and historical scope.  It was like entering a museum (which technically it is now).  It was full of original Seward artifacts and possessions.  Mark and I talked about how Presidential it looked.  One could certainly tell that he was a person of some importance.  The people he knew and entertained would fill a historical who’s who volume.  An interesting comparison for students would be Seward and Daniel Webster.  Both were leading politicians of their age with presidential aspirations.  Both were influential Senators and Secretaries of State, yet both falling short of the dream of the White House.  Yet, both men make huge contributions to American politics.  To sum up our visit to the Seward home – nice shack.  It would be interesting to study the history of Auburn, New York as I noticed several “nice shacks” throughout the town.

We made an abbreviated stop at the home of Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous women of the time.  She was an abolitionist and women’s rights advocate.  Our stop here was too much talk and not enough house, but that was due to the circumstances.

     Our tour continued through the Burned Out District of New York and its Second Great Awakening fame.  We were in the vicinity of Charles Gradison Finney, Henry Beecher and Joseph Smith.  Smith was the founder of the Mormon Church, one of today’s fastest growing churches.  I teach the Second Great Awakening, so I can use today’s tidbits in class, especially since the Mormon Church has a significant presence in the San Luis Valley and the Western Slope of Colorado.

     Our day ended with a cruise on the Erie Canal.  This was a very nice stop.  It was historical, informative and relaxing.  I teach about the canal, so it was nice to actually be on it.  Going through the lock was an interesting experience.  Our boat was raised twenty-five feet in five minutes using 2.7 million gallons of water.  It was impressive.  The canal system built in the 19th century was much more extensive than people believe.  Using the canal system, the people of New York City can be connected to the Great Lakes and then the Mississippi River system and the city of New Orleans.  The central part of our country can be linked to the Atlantic.  It was interesting to find out that they drain the canal to a level of two feet in the winter.  The canal is an engineering triumph, made more spectacular with the realization that it was a pick and shovel venture using mostly Irish and German immigrant labor.  I explain to my students that today’s equivalent would be digging a ditch forty feet wide and ten feet deep from Fountain to Albuquerque, New Mexico and figuring how to go over Raton Pass.  The pictures I took will help explain the lock system as my drawing leaves a lot to be desired.

  

     I was struck by how the landscape in upstate changed.  This part of the state is much flatter than the regions we saw yesterday.  It helps explain why the Erie Canal was built in this part of the state.  It was a good historical day. I got a lot of information that can be incorporated into my classroom.  We ended the day ay Bill Wahl’s Microcreamery for ice cream.  BW’s is the home of the periodic chart of ice cream.  See Wendy’s shirt.

    

     It was an All-American day.  The great American pastime, American art, and American farms were on the menu today.  We spent the day in Cooperstown, New York; the center of the baseball universe.  A visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame was our first stop.  It was everything I expected it to be.  Before I get ahead of myself, the Hall of Fame has a great educational program.  Our guide, Anna, demonstrated the program for us.  The online resource is free to teachers, unless you want a video conference.  The lessons looked fantastic.  They covered a variety of topics including several social studies areas, using baseball as the hook.  I think they would be high interest to kids.  The lessons are available at baseballhall.org.  After answering a few questions (questions from teachers signify interest), Anna turned us loose in the Hall.  I am sure we acted like kids in a candy store. 

  

     The Baseball Hall if Fame is an exceptional museum.  There are displays from the beginnings of baseball all the way through things that happened just a few weeks ago.  Any fan of the game should make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown.  You will find your favorite player and team somewhere.  Personally, I migrated toward the Cardinals.  From an educational standpoint, the Hall has all the attributes of any museum, with the aura of America’s pastime thrown in. The history of baseball is history.  A nice assignment for students would be to study baseball throughout the different eras in American history.  I would think an obvious one would be the Civil Rights Movement, using Jackie Robinson, or labor relations using Curt Flood as the subject (anti-trust laws).  One could show the video clip of Rick Monday rescuing an American flag from two guys trying to set it on fire during a game to launch a discussion on patriotism, freedom of speech, or protest movements.  Using baseball as a hook can be very effective.

     Following the Hall were visited the Fenimore Art Museum.  It is another impressive art museum.  They had some great displays.  Among my favorite were the American Indian Art and the Magnum Photos. The magnum photos display was a great display of what have become historical photos take by Magnum photographers.  A good message for students is the value of photographs as a way to study history.  The display of fashion was also neat.  It would help students understand corsets, hoop skirts, and bustles.  I have tried to explain the concept, but the pictures will help.  The museum contains artifacts pertaining to James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales.  I use these stories by J.F. Cooper to talk about American culture and how it becomes unique.  This was a nice stop.

  

     The Farmers Museum was similar to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.  It was much more than I thought it would be.  I was expecting a building full of farm implements, but it is more of a living experience.  The employees dressed in costume and portraying characters of the period is a nice feature.  I think this helps students (and teachers) get a better perspective on the time period.  As I have states in previous posts, this type of hands-on approach takes history off of the pages of a book and puts it into a much more personal context.

  

PS Great Lake and nice dinner.

    

     Did you ever have a favorite uncle?  You know the one I am talking about; the one that was a little bit irresponsible and just liked to have fun for the sake of having fun.  According to the description of Teddy and his family by our guide, I think Teddy must have been like the John Candy character Uncle Buck.  He must have been a blast to be around.  It must have been high octane excitement and energy. 

     Following our visit today, I can totally relate to Teddy’s quote, “I wonder if you know how I love Sagamore Hill ….”  What an incredible place.  The home of Theodore Roosevelt was one of the stops I was looking forward to and I must say I was not disappointed.  It was nothing like Springwood, the home of his distant cousin Franklin.  They are both impressive, but I was much more taken by Sagamore Hill.  Springwood is much more like a museum, while Sagamore Hill appeared more like a hunting lodge.  Sagamore Hill had a much more lived in feel.  I was surprised to find out that only Teddy’s family occupied the home and only the one generation.  Judging from the stories, it must have been a fun place to live, unless you were Joe Cannon.  I was, also, amazed to find out that most of the items in the house were original to the home.

     Our guide gave us several interesting facts about Theodore, Edith and the kids.  Teddy was on a $20 dollar a day allowance, while the hired help was paid $20 a week.  The servants (the cook and seamstress) could punish the kids.  There were 7,000 books in the house and family members and guests were expected to read one a day and have a conversation about it at dinner or they ate with the servants.  Teddy refused to use the indoor plumbing because he thought it unsanitary.  Custom of the day dressed all children in dresses until age 10, when boys got knee length pants and by the teenage years boys were in long pants and girls in dresses. What great classroom trivia that is.  Can you imagine the discussion that could bring about?  This could be a great segway into a discussion on customs throughout history, perhaps.

  

     The museum was a great stop.  To see the items that belonged to Teddy that I had only seen in pictures was a thrill.  I had seen pictures of Teddy in his uniform, but to see the uniform was cool.  The chaps and rifles from his ranching days were cool, as well.  The entire thing was cool.  Please forgive the paragraph overusing cool, but it was.

     A great classroom assignment, one I have occasionally used, is to have students compare and contrast the two famous Roosevelts.  Both from NY, both Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, Square Deal-New Deal, popular and so on.  It gives students a glimpse of both men, while also comparing different time periods in US history.  Another great activity would be to have students find and compare quotes from each.  There are more than enough of these to go around.  What were the occasion and the impact of the quote on Americans and thus American history?  Theodore Roosevelt is a great figure to study from several angles, so today was a great stop.

  

  

A word to the traveler; some merchants would rather lose your business than write separate checks – interesting.

  My apologies to all true Deadheads.

So we are not really touring with the Grateful Dead, but the display at the New York Historical Society was cool and I now own a Grateful Dead t-shirt.  We began our day at the second oldest museum in the country, the New York Historical Society.  They have a great collection, too bad it was undergoing extensive renovation.  We did to see some of it and it is impressive.  

     The nice thing about today was it was pretty low-key and totally teacher oriented.  The activities planned by our facilitators (Mia and Richard) were hands-on and totally student oriented.  Richard was a little too quick for our group.  He was half-way through describing each item before our entire group got there.  Before we could get it figured out he was on the move again.  There is a good lesson there for teachers; if you don’t want to lose the group, be sure they all get to play.

  

     I really liked Mia’s statement, “observe don’t interpret.”  You cannot interpret it if you do not take the time to see what is there.  When using primary sources we sometimes want to jump right to the interpretation and we do not take the time to actually look for detail in the source.  I can see this being especially true of paintings and other artifacts (I am not entirely excluding documents here).  Her example was the commode chair.  She walked us through step by step:  what do you see? What else do you notice? And in good teacher style she took everyone’s answers and responded with, “excellent” or “nice” or some other comment of affirmation.  I also liked her statement that artifacts are living and every time someone looks at an artifact they pull something different from it.  That is the beauty of using primary sources and especially artifacts like objects and paintings in class; students will see things we have never seen before.  Teacher note – on some assignments that I have kids find primary sources, I out special emphasis on finding things I have not seen before.  You can give extra credit if you like, but the idea is two-fold.  First, students will look a little deeper and secondly, it will increase your file of primary sources.

     In the second part of the session we focused on New York during the Civil War.  I guess I never realized how pro-South NYC was.  The tie to cotton was greater than I had understood it to be.  The jigsaw activity about Jacob Ellis was one I can take right into the classroom.  The style of the activity can easily be adapted to other sets of documents.  Free notebooks full of activities are always welcome.  The activity was a great mix; audio clips, primary sources, writing questions on the paper, displaying the paper in specific order, explaining your paper, and then summarizing the story.  It was good teacher stuff or pedagogy if you want.  The NYHS is a great resource for ideas and sources.

  

     Following lunch at the over-rated Shake Shack we headed for the Museum of Natural History.  It is a great museum, but alas not enough time and too many middle schoolers shortened our stay.  The museum had excellent displays.  I am always fascinated walking through great museums.  Great museums have a way of pulling you in.  I found myself looking for the Night at the Museum displays.  I think museums are great places for students to be.  In many cases it is simply the exposure that they need – let them find something cool and run with it (well, not literally run with it).

     We finished the day with another unique adventure, our trip to Yankee Stadium.  Thanks to Donna, we had great seats.  I am not a Yankees fan, but as a baseball fan I enjoyed the experience.  Trivia question for anyone that knows: How many people can possibly crowd into a New York City subway car on the way to or from a Yankees game?

Oh yea, Yankees win and she said yes.  If you were there you understand.

  

      

Today we had only two things on the agenda, but they were great things.  We visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  As teachers, these two sites are of great interest.  Ellis Island for the history created there and the Statue of Liberty for its iconic symbolism to all Americans.

     Ellis Island is a lot like the Lower East Side for several reasons.  First, it has as its central characters immigrants.  Secondly, it has a diverse group of characters.  And, lastly, in what I think is the most significant, it is personal and emotional.

     The boat ride to the Island was great.  We cruised past the Statue of Liberty before we landed at Ellis Island.  It was photo-op galore, but more on the lady later.  It was interesting to see just how busy the harbor was.  There was the Staten Island Ferry, a cruise ship over in Jersey, a coal barge, and several freighters all headed for destinations of someone’s choosing.  The message to our kids – take a look around, you never know what you will see.  The approach to the Ellis Island was unique, not for how it was done, but for what my mind did with it.  It was not 2010 with a group of colleagues from Colorado; no, it was much more.  I was imagining myself as an immigrant seeing the Statue of Liberty, the New York skyline, and Ellis Island for the first time.  I am sure I could not adequately recreate the feeling, but I was excited none the less.

     We stepped ashore and back into history.  Ellis Island is not a museum, it is an experience.  Our experience began as the hands-on kind.  We were met by members of the Save Ellis Island representatives.  The program they put together for us was great.  It was very hands-on and included a variety of activities.  It was an activity that we could take straight to the classroom.  Jessica did an excellent job of leading us through it.  It did amaze me that she got the items she used on Ebay.  History is where you find it.  Not only was the activity well done, the information that went with it was equally useful.  Another key to the activity was the fact that it was not overwhelming.  It flowed very well and did not saturate us with information.  It was like Baby Bear’s things in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it was just right.  It was visual, oral, kinesthetic, interesting – suffice to say I liked it a lot, as did my colleagues.  I could tell they did by the level of involvement.  We were into it.  Essentially, we were as involved as we want our students to be.

  

     I knew some of the information we used, but not all.  For example, I knew they had medical care on the island, but I did not know the doctors were the best in the country. So, once again, I have more tidbits to put in the kit for later.  Next we were off on to our tour.  We got to go behind closed doors at Ellis Island to a part not open to the general public.  The Save Ellis Island Foundation is in the process of restoring the Ferry Building and the hospital on the island.  We received a behind the scenes tour.  It was an incredible journey into the past.  Once again, I was in the early 20th century.  I told Chris it reminded me of touring Pullman last year in Chicago.  To see the buildings as they are and imagine them as they will be was fun.  I liked Jessica’s statement, “There are no absolutes, there are always excludables.”  I warn my kids to be careful of using words like; all, never, always, and none in dealing with the study of history.  Now I have a quote to put with it.

     The Ellis Island museum was an experience.  It was modern, yet old.  It was interactive, yet introspective.  It was real.  The baggage belonged to real people.  There were real passports on the wall.  Everywhere you looked there was reality.  I gave up taking pictures as I did not feel they did the subject justice.  AS one of my kids said on a trip to the Santuario de Chimayo – I felt the vibe.  Enough said.

  

     Next, it was on to Liberty Island and a date with the most famous lady in America.  The Statue of Liberty is inspiring.  I have seen pictures, but there is no substitution for the real thing.  Impressive is all I can say.  We took pictures from every angle and probably should have spent the money to go inside.  A side note; Matt Damon was there filming a movie.  I caught a glimpse of him.  To be honest, I was more impressed with the Lady.  The NYC skyline from the water is breathtaking.  It was a great day.  It was an exceptional classroom day.  A great lesson was taught to us and we were given a jump drive with a teacher’s treasure trove of usable items.  I also like Jessica’s thought that buildings are artifacts, too.  That is not exactly how she put it, but I got the idea.  Ellis Island is a remarkable place and the resources to teach immigration that are available should make it a teacher’s favorite.