Close Up 2015
Mr. Mueller posts daily summaries of group's activities
Thursday, March 26
Today was our final full day in D.C. We began the morning with a tour of the White House. While visiting many of the historic rooms, students learned about the purpose of each of them, and a few even got to see the the President's dog out on a walk!
We then walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the National Archives and stood in line in the rain for about half an hour. We all got soaked, but it was worth it as we got to see the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights inside.
In the afternoon, students had independent study time. Many chose to go back to Georgetown while others visited the Smithsonian.
This evening Close Up held the final farewell banquet where students reflected on the experiences of the week, and then ended with a big dance!
Our flight leaves at noon tomorrow and we plan to be back in Nebraska by 2:00 p.m. It's been an unforgettable week!!
Wednesday, March 25
Today was Capitol Hill Day! We began the morning meeting with Senator Deb Fischer at the Rotunda in the Russell Senate Office Building.
We then headed over to the Capitol and sat in the House of Representatives and listened to a lively debate over this year's budget. Students had the chance to see members of Congress vote on an amendment to the budget. A very neat experience!
This evening students attended the hilarious play "Shear Madness" at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For many, this was clearly a highlight of the trip!
We'll need good rest tonight as we have a White House tour bright and early in the morning!
Tuesday, March 24
Students had a busy morning today on program visiting the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln Memorials. Over lunch students listened to a speaker discuss the role of politics and media. After lunch, students transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, for a study visit.
This evening students participated in a congressional simulation by acting as members of congress, lobbyists, and others involved in the law making process. Very cool! This will come in handy during Capitol Hill day tomorrow as we meet with our elected representatives from Nebraska.
Monday, March 23
Today was the first full day on program for the students and it was busy and exciting.
In the morning, students visited some of the major monuments on the Mall, including: the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. After lunch at the Smithsonian American History Museum, students visited one of the many embassies in Washington D.C., and also visited the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.
This evening students participated in fascinating workshops focusing on school bullying, juvenile justice, gun violence, accountability in schools, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Tomorrow is another busy day of visiting monuments and seminars!
Sunday, March 22
After a good night's rest, we woke up this morning and headed off on the Metro to the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. A beautiful and breezy morning to visit these sacred grounds. Students witnessed the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as viewed John F. Kennedy's gravesite and Robert E. Lee's home atop Arlington National Cemetery (perhaps the best view in all of DC!).
We then hopped back on the metro to have lunch and tour the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Our afternoon concluded with a stop at the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. This powerful museum definitely had an impact on the students.
This evening students checked into the Close Up program and participated in a lively liberal vs. conservative debate. Tomorrow looks to be cool, but students will get to see a lot of D.C.'s most famous monuments. A great weekend, and a great week ahead!
Saturday, March 21
A chilly morning, but it ended up being a beautiful day!
After getting up bright and early we hopped on the bus and headed down to the home of George Washington: Mount Vernon. It was a beautiful crisp morning to explore the home of our nation's first president. We also witnessed a first-time event on Close Up: the live birth of two new lambs! Mount Vernon is an active farm, and as we were walking over to the stables we saw a mom give birth to twin lambs. Quite a neat experience on top of touring Washington's mansion and seeing his and Martha's tomb.
In the afternoon we headed north to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Students were treated to a guided tour of the beautiful service academy, learning what life would be like as a Midshipmen on campus.
After settling back into the hotel we had a pizza party and finished off the night in Georgetown. An exciting night to be in town, considering the men's basketball team was playing tonight!
A busy day planned for tomorrow. We should all sleep well tonight!
Friday, March 20
Day one started off great! We had a direct flight from Omaha to D.C. that couldn't have gone smoother. Our flight got in at 7:00 p.m. Our charter bus picked us up and dropped us off for dinner at Pentagon City.
We got all settled into the hotel, ready for a busy and beautiful day tomorrow!
Mar 24, 2015
|Have fun! Thanks so much Mr. Mueller for affording them this opportunity!|
Apr 09, 2015
|That sounds awesome! I went to those places last summer for some leadership thingie. Hope you have fun there!|