Day 6: A New Nation / Graduation
• What does it mean to be an American?
• As Americans, what role do we have in carrying forward the founding ideals or changing them?
7:00 a.m. Checkout and Breakfast Williamsburg Woodlands
8:00 a.m. Travel by Bus to Historic Area
8:15 a.m. Rights and Controversies Debate Capitol
On May 15, 1776, a group of men met in the former House of Burgesses to determine Virginia’s future. Should Virginians remain subjects of the British Crown or become citizens of a new nation? Recreate the debate on independence and see if your decision matches theirs.
9:15 a.m. Break and Travel
9:30 a.m. Meet a Person of the Past Lodge Conference Center
Character interpreters portray historical figures associated with eighteenth century Williamsburg who made significant contributions to the American story. Meet an interpreter who helped shape their time, and whose legacy continues to influence and inspire American ideals.
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Graduation Lodge Conference Center
• Reflection: What does it mean to be an American?
• Final teacher collaboration / lesson plan ideas
• Donor recognition
• Credit information
11:45 a.m. Group Photo
12:00 p.m. Departure
The last day of programming at the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute is really a half-day. After things get wrapped up at the site, I'll be headed back to the airport in Richmond and flying back home. Sleeping in my own bed is an incentive to get home on this night, and I'll turn right around and drive to Washburn, Missouri, to preach for the church of Christ on Sunday morning.
Just a couple of days left in the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, and here comes an exciting one. It's hard to look at the title of Day Five without hearing the song from Hamilton. This is the day that I finally get to travel to Yorktown and walk in the steps of Washington, Hamilton, Lafayette, and others. This is the day I finally get to see the site of the surrender of British troops after a decisive, strategic battle.
Day 5: The World Turned Upside Down
Day 4: The Mercantile System
I've discovered that history is not only about the famous policy makers and warriors; history is also about everyday lifestyles. When it comes to Colonial Williamsburg, those lifestyle vary greatly with folks of different backgrounds, races, stations, and belief systems. Another evening program might be in the cards, as well.
Day 3: Daily Life in the Capital City
Day two begins with some more archaeology before we into the 18th century for a look at in Williamsburg. Part of the presentation includes an encounter with various Indian tribes that would have been present. Maybe this is one night that I include an evening program in my itinerary.
Day 2: Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Virginia
12:45 p.m. Lunch Lodge Conference Center
Day 1: Introduction to Seventeenth Century Virginia: Jamestown Supporting Questions:
12:45 p.m. Lunch Jamestown Settlement Café
A few days before the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, a week of history education on location at Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding areas. While I have anticipated attending this institute now for the third year, studying the sample schedule and any information I can find, this new, official schedule is different. The unwieldy title is A Multifaceted American Heritage: Colonization, Conflict, and Compromise 1607–1781. While the main aspects of the programming are similar, the theme for the week is different - in a way that I think I will enjoy somewhat more than the sample schedule had to offer.
The description of the week, along with the objectives and an overarching, compelling question is offered:
Evening Program Options
Do you have a Dad Joke that can be turned into a 17th Century Fatherly Jest? Change the language to make it sound like a joke that could be told at Jamestown in the 1600s. Here are some examples.
Understandably, there are other writings about the life and times of Jesus - even some outside of the accepted canon of the New Testament. The writers of the Gospel have different styles and emphasize different aspects of the Savior. Undoubtedly, there was much written before the Gospel writers were inspired to record their words. Many of the things they witnessed would have been understood better through the lens of prophecy - those inspired predictions we still read in the Old Testament.
Now, a physician with the name of Luke dips pen into ink to give an organized view into the life of the Messiah, Jesus. He claims that the account he is about to give has been "handed down", which implies that his written words are inspired by a heavenly source - different from extrabiblical writings and commentaries. This sets Luke's writing apart.
As stated, he records his words specifically for someone named Theophilus and generally for the rest of the world throughout present and future times. Interestingly, Theophilus has been taught from Scripture, but like many others, he does not acutely understand. Luke's intention is to shed light on some details that will confirm prophetic connections and strengthen his friend's faith in Jesus as the Christ. I do well to learn more about those details and connections, as well.
I've made things clear in the past that I really don't care if students make noise in the hallway - as long as they keep things within reason. As adults, we talk to each other as we walk, so I don't really see any reason to limit student voices to complete silence as they traverse the corridor. Still, with school expectations, I always tried to keep them quiet.
There's really no reason to tattle on students who are talking at a reasonable volume level while you have refused to close your door and solve the problem on your own.
I'll just share a couple of images from a temporary exhibit at the Fred Jones Museum of Art on the University of Oklahoma campus. Joseph DeLappe is the featured artist, and he has come unconventional ways of presenting his ideas. He uses internet memes, mousepad patterns, joysticks, and flea market paintings to make his art.
The video here has to be seen in full in order to understand what is happening. Inspired by a video of real highway that went on for hours, the artist here created the same style of video using a wheel mechanism and mounting a camera to it. I suppose it's up to the observer to interpret the piece, but I just appreciated the creativity of the design.
Liberty Weeps is a piece that was just completed this year on the campus of the university. Standing next to it, one can feel the great size of the structure, which was puzzled together from geometrically-cut sections of carboard.
Naturally, these may be the most tragic or negative of all of the displays in the museum - a road to no where and a symbol of liberty expressing a mournful posture. These are resoundingly political to me, and they are sad only because they demonstrated how far away from the road to success and freedom our nation has strayed. Both sides of the aisle could relate to Liberty Weeps, but with entirely different explanations as to why. Some people have stepped into leadership roles in our country who have influenced crowds of folks to pursue the wrong moral vision for humanity.
Thankfully, however, Liberty still stands, and there is still hope to find our way back to moral center. There is no reason to stop trying to achieve peace and liberty for all mankind and we appreciate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the United States of America.
I always enjoy visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. On this trip, I spent time in the museum on two sequential days - July 4 and 5. I could relive the experience I had dealing with the terrorist bomb 27 years ago, while peering into displays of artifacts from the attack, as well as an intriguing path through the investigation and trial. A million hours of investigation were used to put a detailed puzzle of what happened.
Before we connected with students across the nation to tell them about the property, our home base was the STEM lab, where student groups can attend classes that challenge their abilities to process information, find conclusions, and create solutions. There were artifacts in the classroom I had not seen on the main museum tour. Two of these were a piece of the siding from the Ryder truck that Timothy McVeigh used to transport the bomb. The other was a Ford emblem from the same truck, and its evidence tag for the court was still attached. These were not behind glass, but were easily appreciated without the glare of lights reflecting from a protective shield, allowing somebody like myself to come along and reach for them. These two artifacts (with a blue background at the end of the second-to-last row above). Being able to touch something that was directly involved in the tragic deaths of 168 people provided a closer connection to the history that I never expected would ever present itself to me.
The snaky dragon here is a fierce thing, still displaying vibrant colorings in spite of being some 500 years old. It reminds me of a plaster dragon that my parents purchased when I was a young boy. They bought it as decoration for our house, with the intent of placing on our television set - a purpose considerably different than the intent of this ancient piece.
The dog at the top of this article, as well as the remaining photos below are funerary figures. Most were intended to accompany the dead into the next life.
These were some of the oldest artifacts in the museum, but the Ox Head below intrigued me the most. The realistic sculpture has the closest chance of being made during the time of Christ.
In the next report from the Fred Jones Museum of Art, I'll share a couple of photos from a more modern area of the museum.
There were six standout times during my trip to Disney World a month ago. They're probably not the same standout times that my peers on the trip would point out, but then again, I think differently (and I'm happy to say so.). Most people would not put commercial air flights and bus rides on their list, but three of my six greatest memories from the trip are just that. In fact, all six involve my blessed life away from a Disney vacation. The magical moments and life lessons have more to do with God and family than Disney at all, and that realization continues to bless me greatly. Here is the last of those six moments.
6. Connecting Flight
I don't know if you know this, but airports are pretty crowded on Memorial Day weekend. That was certainly the case in Orlando on the day I had to return from the 50 Teachers Celebration at Disney World. On top of that, flights were frequently being delayed that day. After the rush to get to the airport with time to spare, the shuffling through the sausage grinder that is TSA, and finding the correct gate for my flight, I found myself in the longest wait of the week. Then, word came that the tire of the aircraft had been damaged when it landed, so I suppose they had to open up the trunk and take out the spare. This was expected to take some time, and it put many people's connecting flights in jeopardy, including my own transfer to the final flight home from Chicago, Illinois. The folks at the gate didn't seem to be worried for me as they told me the pilot would make up time in the air, and we would arrive 30 minutes before the posted time. I'm not sure how I should feel with the knowledge that our pilot had a lead foot.
To be honest, I didn't know if people would let us off first, either, but her boisterous, negative announcement that nobody was giving us the courtesy of waiting made me look around. There were at least a dozen people still seated in the seats in front of our row, which was at about halfway back. Without a doubt, there were more behind us.
Not only was the woman impatient, but she failed to see the courtesy being extended to her by others. She only wanted to believe what she predicted to be the truth. She only wanted to be a victim. She only wanted to see the worst of humanity. But, my friends, none of what she wanted was true in that moment. She just could not bring herself to stop and look around. I hope I never forget the lesson she taught me that night. While I was also ready to run up one concourse and down another (and made it with 15 minutes to spare!), I also appreciated the kindness of others in their yielding to my need. Besides, none of it was anything this lady or I could control. There was no amount of worry, anxiety, or anger that could get the plane to the sky bridge faster, that could make people rush in collecting their carry-on baggage, or that could hold the door open for our next flights.
Why not just take this as one more adventure of life, another experience to chalk up, another story to tell. I don't know why any of the other passengers were flying; some might have been in situations that a delay would be detrimental to their lives or to their families, but for the most part that's not true. We all need to learn how to stop and observe...count our blessings and appreciate the things around us. We all need to be patient and take advantage of the situations and experiences - both positive and negative - that move us through our time on this planet.
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