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Eighth Graders Enjoy Washington Despite Wet Weather

Eighth+graders+Amelia+Porges%2C+Catherine+Schenk%2C+Kiley+Malmberg%2C+Ella+Pierman%2C+Jakob+Kroll%2C+and+Demi+den+Bakker+pose+in+front+of+the+Smithsonian+American+Art+Museum+on+Wednesday%2C+November+8.
Eighth graders Amelia Porges, Catherine Schenk, Kiley Malmberg, Ella Pierman, Jakob Kroll, and Demi den Bakker pose in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Wednesday, November 8.

Eighth graders Amelia Porges, Catherine Schenk, Kiley Malmberg, Ella Pierman, Jakob Kroll, and Demi den Bakker pose in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Wednesday, November 8.

Ms. Featherston

Ms. Featherston

Eighth graders Amelia Porges, Catherine Schenk, Kiley Malmberg, Ella Pierman, Jakob Kroll, and Demi den Bakker pose in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Wednesday, November 8.

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Every year in November, the eighth-grade class goes on a field trip to Washington, D.C. This is often many of the students’ first time in the nation’s capital, and they, along with the faculty, enjoy participating in experiences together that they will never forget during this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Each year, the faculty switch things up a little bit so there are some variations from year to year.

Ms. Featherston
Jane Boyland, Danielle Lancaster, Caroline Yancey, and Emma Mayberry get their photo taken in front of the Jefferson Memorial on Wednesday, November 8.

This year’s trip was from November 6-10, and temperatures in D.C. hovered around 40 degrees most of the time. On Monday, November 6, the weather was cold and clear, but it only went downhill from there. On Tuesday, it was very cold and rainy while the students were at Arlington National Cemetery, which made the reverent wreath-laying ceremony a bit miserable  for many because of the rain. However, Emeline Smith, Evan Liberman, Jane Boyland, and Ella Pierrman were determined to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For these four students, who were chosen based on an essay they were asked to write in their history classes, participating in the ceremony was an honor and once-in-a-lifetime privilege. I was very honored to lay the wreath at Arlington,” said eighth grader Evan Liberman. “The experience was very solemn and cold, but one to remember.” The rest of the students, though, did not get the chance to watch the ceremony as they were attempting to stay warm  from the  freezing cold rain by walking briskly through the cemetery.  

On Wednesday and Thursday, the weather was bitterly cold. However, the students still had a great time. Instead of participating in the traditional night-time memorial tours on Tuesday this year, the faculty pushed those back to Thursday in order to take the students to Capital One Arena to see the NBA’s Washington Wizards play the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks won the game by a score of 113-99. TBS, along with the home crowd, hoped the Wizards would win, but the students still had fun.

“I enjoyed the Wizards game even though they lost because it was a time I could socialize with my friends and have a break from the writing,” said eighth grader Owen Gelberd, referring to the journaling the students had to do for each event on the trip. The eighth graders received a history grade for the journaling they conducted on this “field study,” as Head of Middle School Mr. Charles hagy likes to call the trip.

Ms. Featherston
Eighth grader Caden Quinn sits beneath a 1963 quote of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s at the MLK Memorial.

The faculty liked the NBA experience, too. “First, the weather was pretty terrible that entire day, so the game was timed perfectly to keep us indoors,” said history teacher Mrs. Anne Franzen, who, along with History Department Chair Mr. Marshall Mullinix and Spanish teacher Mr. Charles Maddox, also helped organize the trip. “Second, I love the NBA, and it was great to take students to their first game,” she said.

The faculty chaperones also organized dinner at some new places this year: Chevy’s Fresh Mex, the Hard Rock Cafe, and breakfast at Mount Vernon. The meals and other down time allowed students to unwind from their busy days and chat with their friends, which the faculty noticed and appreciated. “My favorite restaurant out of the new ones was the Hard Rock Cafe,” said eighth grader Alex Garcia. “Though there were few choices on the menu, I enjoyed my meal.”

Clara Schor and Sydney Steinger pose for a photo at the WWII Memorial.

“There was a nice balance of social and academic on the trip this year,” added Franzen, referring to the fact that there was a lot of time for students to socialize with their friends, but also a lot of time to work and answer the questions everyone was asked to complete.

Despite the cold weather and journaling, the students still enjoyed this year’s trip immensely.

“My favorite thing in D.C. was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial,” said eighth grader Matthew Postman. “I liked it because MLK was [leading the Civil Rights movement] not that long ago, and it was very interesting with the quotes along the wall and the sculpture of him.” On the way to the MLK Memorial on Wednesday evening, hotel room groups rearranged King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and read them to their peers on the buses.

“My favorite [part about the trip]  was the [United States] Capitol,” said eighth grader Olivia Beam. “Even though we were there for a short period of time, I liked the room inside of the dome – it was really interesting with all of the art on the walls.”

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Eighth Graders Enjoy Washington Despite Wet Weather