A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Last day in Philly ... on to Gettysburg

We finished our study of the Declaration and Constitution today with Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Hackett Fischer. We were given his book, Washington's Crossing, to read and it was one of my favorite selections for the Academy. There is a genuineness to his writing. The focus is on showing the reader what he's found as opposed to telling the reader what he knows that they don't. There is a reason his writing reads genuine. He is. He spoke about his book and the research as well as a couple books he's working on. He then did something which surprised me. He turned the tables on us and started asking us about what we do in the classroom  to bring history to life for our students. Its was a wonderful reminder that the focus in a classroom should be on the students, not the teacher. Afterward, he signed books for more than an hour. There are only 60 of us, but he want to talk to each of us and ask us questions. It was awesome to watch.
I spent the afternoon yesterday and today wandering the streets of Historic Philly. Literally accross the street from the hotel is the Second National Bank. This is the bank in the center of Jackson's Bank Wars. It is now a portrait gallery. We also wandered into the American Philosophical Society. In its displays were one of the drafts of the Declaration of Independence as well as three of the Lewis and Clark Journals. To be that close to Jefferson and see the notes on the side offered by Richard Henry Lee. To see these journals which traveled with Lewis and Clark and describe in detail what they found and were experiencing. Wow.
Tommorrow is a tour of Independence Hall and then off to Gettysburg.

This is part of a book in Christ Church listing the prayers being requested by parishoners at different times. If you look closely, there are parts which are lined out. Those are previous requests by parishioners for prayers for colonial reconciliation with England. After the Declaration of Independence is signed, the rector, a staunch patriot, marked them out.

A page from Lewis' journal

A draft of the Declaration of Independence.The notes in the margin are by Richard Henry Lee, the Virginian who made the initial resolution for independence.

Dolley Madison

Washington's pew at Christ Church. It is now called the President's Pew. President Hoover was the last president to attend.

Mr. Franklin

1 comment:

  1. Your students are so lucky to have a teacher so clearly excited and passionate about history!

    Also, I love the story of the rector editing out the prayers for reconciliation. Too funny.