Feb. 14, 2013
Students travel to D.C. Justin Doil’14 Staff Writer
Standing in the frigid Washington, D.C., weather, senior Lachlan Page looks at the 19-foot bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson that is the center piece of the white marble memorial. From Jan.17- 23, SMHS students joined students from Arizona, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, and Texas to learn about U.S. government and politics and to participate in the inaugural celebrations through the Close Up Washington, D.C., program. When students first arrived in D.C. on Thursday, they had five hours to roam about the district and see and look at whatever they wanted. “When we first had to use The Metro, it was a bit confusing, but it became pretty easy to get around after riding it a few time,” junior Diana Enriquez said. “My favorite part of the day had to be when we went to Georgetown Cupcakes. The cupcakes were so good and definitely worth the trip.” On Friday, students were shuttled around D.C., first to the White House for a photo-op, and then to a seminar about Education Policy by Massie Rich, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach for the U.S. Department of Education.
The 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, gazes out over the National Mall, past the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial and sets his eyes on the Capitol Building. Justin Doil/Staff Writer
After the seminar, students traveled to the Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials to learn about differing philosophies about the size and scope of government. Jefferson believed in a smaller, limited government, while FDR believed in a larger government. After visiting the Jefferson and FDR memorials, students walked the short distance from the FDR Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and learned how one citizen can change the course of history through civil,
peaceful protest. Close Up Project instructors took students to the World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln memorials on Saturday, which was followed by free-time on the National Mall. “Going to all the memorials has to be my favorite thing we did,” junior Jazmin Zambrana said. “It was so much fun to walk around and learn about all of the memorials and what they were trying to convey to us.” When Sunday rolled around, students had a whole day to them-
selves to go with friends and tour the district. “Going to Arlington National Cemetery and seeing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was defiantly my favorite thing,” junior Caitlin Latham said. “It was so moving and to see the changing of the guard.” After spending the day in the city, students got to listen to a domestic issues debate between liberal, Scott Richardson, and Conservative, Patrick Woody. The questions were supplied by the
students and mainly focused on the state of the economy. On Monday, students woke up early to get to the National Mall to get a good viewing spot for the inauguration, while students who had tickets from either their representative or senator. “Having tickets to the inauguration was awesome,” senior Jalissa Johnson said. “We were able to get a pretty good spot but there was a protestor who had climbed up a tree and was screaming antiabortion messages which made it hard to hear.” On Tuesday, the final full day, students were bused to the Newseum and Smithsonian complex before going back to the hotel for a farewell dinner and dance. “I really enjoyed the ball and the dance,” senior Kelley Utt said. “They were just like prom but more laid back. It was also fun to dance with my friends from school and the new ones I had made over the week.” Wednesday found students having to pack their bags for the final time before departing the hotel for Baltimore International Airport for the flight back home. “It really was a great experience,” Social Studies teacher and Close Up chaperone Walt Ellison said. “Seeing all of the kids learning was great, and I always learn something new every time I go.”