Mrs. Stuart Goes to Washington
Principals have to learn and grow, too!
The National Harbor
The Conference I attended was at the Gaylord in Washington DC. The Gaylord is much like the Gaylord here and was decorated for Christmas with its own version of the "Ice" show. The is area is called The National Harbor. It has a giant Ferris Wheel like the one at the state fair, but the cars are enclosed and have climate control. You go out over the water and high in the air looking back over the city. They have a special VIP car with leather bucket seats and Apple TV and a glass bottom, but I just rode in a regular car. The picture in the middle was a display we could take our picture with at the conference. On the left was from the top of the hotel.
On Tuesday afternoon, I got to share about how our school learns about grit and growth mindset. I got to speak to about fifty people from all around the world, but mostly within the United States. I had so many people come up and tell me how much they enjoyed hearing about you and how you are growing every day! They LOVED the song "Education Rocks" and were downloading it before they left. Several people asked if they could come visit Degan!
National Monuments by Night!
I got to take a tour of many of our National Monuments on Tuesday Night. It was really cool. I took lots of pictures and video for you to see! In the background is the Washington monument. It is 550 feet tall. Washington DC does not have skyscrapers so that the monuments are visible in the skyline. It seemed like no matter where I was during the tour, I could see the Washington Monument!
It's so weird seeing it under repair. In the middle is the dome with a picture of General Washington on the ceiling. On the left side is the building where the Senate meets and on the right is the House. I am actually on the back side. The original dome was made from wood and burned by the British in 1814. The National Capitol, including the statue on top, are the inspiration for our Texas Capitol building, which 4th graders will see this Spring! It is on the back side of the Capitol where all presidents since Ronald Reagan have been sworn into office. Before that, they did it on the front side. Lady Freedom, the statue on top faces east toward the visitors who arrive at the frontThe Capitol is currently under repair due to cracks and should be fixed by the next Presidential Inauguration in January 2017. Also pictured is the Capitol Christmas Tree that was brought in by 18-wheeler from Alaska!
The White House
We didn't tour the White House but saw it from the gate. It is genuinely beautiful lit up with Christmas trees in the windows. On the back side is a giant Christmas tree that stays year round. It is so tall! There are smaller trees around it for each state decorated for the state. In 1814, the British came to the White House. First Lady Dolly Madison was preparing for a dinner party. She took a painting of herself. The British stayed and ate her food before burning it down.
World War II Memorial
This a really cool place. My favorite part, this time, was the Eagles. (I might have been a little homesick for you guys). They are up in towers, but very hard to see with the camera in the dark.
Dr. Martin Luther King
What an amazing testament to this man's life. It's huge and powerful. I felt eclipsed standing underneath it and was inspired by his words that are immortalized on the surrounding wall. When you enter, there are two large stones called, "despair". You can see the third rock through them. It is called hope. The saying says "out of the mountains of despair is a stone of hope". Dr. King is carved in the "hope" stone, but only to the knees to represent his unfinished life.
Korea, Lincoln, and Viet Nam Memorials
All three of these memorials are spectacular. It's so cool how President Lincoln looks out over the reflecting pool toward the Washington Memorial to give him his orders. It is beautiful to see the Washington Memorial across the way and in the reflecting pool. The Korean Memorial is really cool. At night, the giant statues look like ghosts walking along and staring at you. The Wall has images of faces that look three-dimensional and they are cool as well. We didn't really talk much as we walked through the Viet Nam Memorial. This was a very sad time in our nation's history. Lots of people were angry about this war and they didn't treat veterans very nicely. I think everyone in my group just thought about those things as we looked the endless names on the wall. The picture of the wall is hard to see in the dark.