Sunday, November 14, 2010

French Club in D.C.

Powerful stuff.

This was our first visit to the Holocaust Museum, and it was a deeply moving experience. At one point, I sought the Teen out to make sure he was doing okay - being immersed in so much cruelty and death could not have been easy for him right now and he did seem a bit wigged out. He's never seen Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful - he learned about the Holocaust in 4th grade History and, other than Diary of Anne Frank, we didn't go much farther into it than the lessons the curriculum provided. Certainly nothing as graphic as what he saw today.

But I'm glad we saw it together and I was glad to have had the chance to put the focus on the amazing acts of bravery and compassion shown by the many people who protected and hid the Jews, risking their own lives and the lives of their families in the process. Refusing to stand by and watch while others are harmed or mistreated is a value for people of all ages and I'm glad this was emphasized in the exhibits we saw today.

A good long walk to Union Station was just the thing we all needed after such an intense experience. We had lunch and hopped back on the Metro to go to the Fashion Centre Mall at Pentagon City. Taking the Metro was a very good experience for everyone. It seems intimidating, but now that we've done it with a guide, I would be much more comfortable doing it again on our own.

I had a lengthy walk and talk with the Teen's French teacher, with whom I am incredibly impressed. She's tough, but incredibly passionate and dedicated and wants her students to not only learn vocabulaire and grammaire, but to be able to converse, discuss and defend their opinions en francais. The students, including the Teen, seem extremely motivated to gain her approval, and were running around the Mall speaking French to strangers they met. They would check in with us, asking how to say this or that, and then run off to do it some more. She was clearly delighted.

The Teen had a wonderful time. He was so popular with the other students, we wound up taking extra kids home in our car and they had quite the iPod music fest. My ears are still ringing...

A good day overall. Beautiful weather, good company, good kids.

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