Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Writer Goes to Washington, D.C. - Part 2

Another stop on my "never seen it before" Washington, D.C. trip was Mount Vernon - you know, the ole Washington place.

Officially wowed! The sense of history is palpable and the grounds ain't too shabby either. 

I might exercise more if I could get my steps in looking at scenery like this. Not a bad view from the back porch either!

I enjoyed super delish peanut and chestnut soup at the Mount Vernon Inn restaurant where I met a tour guide for the "Enslaved Persons" tour. Her expertise and passion for that piece of history inspired me to take the tour. I learned more during that hour than in all the classes I've ever taken on American history. The insight to the individuality of each enslaved person who lived at Mount Vernon was enlightening and thought provoking. It saddens me that history is taught in schools far too often as dates and events. It should be told as the story of the people who created and experienced those dry facts and data.

Lin Manuel Miranda got it right when he gave us HAMILTON! 

At the end of the tour we stopped at the enslaved persons memorial. 

I was fortunate enough to take place in a memorial service and read the biography of one of the Mount Vernon slaves as a remembrance. At the end of the reading of the biographies, a musician played the fife. When he finished he looked up and saw that the leader of the school group attending the memorial was someone he knew. He invited the man up to sing. 

I have never heard a richer, more soulful voice in my life. The tour guide sang "Let My People Go." When he finished the forest was silent. Tears were streaming down everyone's face, including the sassy group of teens he'd brought to Mount Vernon.

I went to Mount Vernon for history, and left with a spiritual experience. 


  1. Sounds like a wonderful experience.

  2. Leslie, I'm so glad you got to soak it all in. I love D.C.!

  3. That is powerful. You're right, real history isn't taught in schools. Glad you got to experience it firsthand in a unique manner.

  4. I got chills just reading this! I bet it was amazing in person. What a great experience

  5. Hey Tony - it was one of those "never forget it" moments.

    Okay, Julie - road trip!

    Alex - As a teacher, I throw out the text books and try to give history the richness it deserves.

    Jemi - So many chills! And tears. You could feel the emotions in the air around you.

  6. Wow, sounds like a good trip but what an experience. All those emotions.

  7. Happy New Year
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