Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a great week. I am looking forward to catching up with students and hearing about their Winterim adventures. My group has had a wonderful time in Washington, D.C. and has many stories to tell.
On Tuesday, we visited Mt. Vernon, the former home of George Washington. It is a beautiful estate, and the students really enjoyed touring the home and the grounds, imagining what it would be like to live there over two hundred years ago.
One interesting aspect of Mt. Vernon is that it is occasionally populated by historical reenactors. On this visit, we had a chance to sit and chat with Martha Washington. The woman was amazing! She knew a great deal about the history of the family and really gave the students a glimpse into life in the late 1700s. She gave the students some lessons in etiquette, including how to bow and curtsy.
But the most valuable lesson she taught involved attitude and perspective, and it’s something my colleague Matt Carter and I had just been discussing. She spoke about the fact that George Washington was eleven when his father died. When this happened, she said, his mother called him into her room and told him that he would no longer be attending school since he would have to be the man of the house. He was very disappointed, Martha told us, because he loved school and was very curious. But, she said, rather than bemoan his situation, Washington chose to be proactive. If he couldn’t go to school, he would bring school to him by reading everything he could. She want on to tell our group that her husband believed strongly that while you... » read more