The Sophomores Visit D.C.

It was 7:00 A.M. on a Friday, and the bleary-eyed sophomores in the Lenox Lobby wondered if it was truly worth it to wake up this early for a school trip. They filed into two buses, taking their seats for a lively three-hour commute to the capital of the United States. Despite some absolutely horrid weather, the tenth-grade passengers chatted excitedly and peered out of the bus windows to catch a glimpse of the scenery.

At the Holocaust Memorial Museum, students had the opportunity to view primary sources from Germany, putting what they’d previously read in Elie Wiesel’s Night into perspective. They slowly walked through the exhibits, stunned by Nazi cruelty and the state of Europe in the 1940s. Some also spoke to a Holocaust survivor from Romania at the museum to hear his story – he’d been only 5 years old when the Holocaust began. Sophomores exited the museum with an increased awareness of anti-Semitism and the effects of fear-mongering.

After splitting into their groups for lunch, advisories checked their itineraries and walked along the streets of D.C. to sightsee for a few hours. Students explored the National Gallery, marveling at modern art exhibits and snapping photos of the sculpture gallery in a scene reminiscent of Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice. Others took a look into the past at the Natural History Museum, viewing hundreds of dinosaur skeletons that towered over them. For some advisories, though, their GPS failed them, and they somehow ended up at the Capitol building. Nevertheless, the sophomores obtained some excellent, Instagram-worthy photos.

However, not every advisory stuck to the school-approved plan. Some advisories bonded at Sephora, taking a break from the heavy nature of the trip. Don’t worry, the Sephora stop was still educational – the Ford Theater happened to be a few doors down.

The 10th grade also experienced the Washington D.C. Metro, which more than a few girls thought was ‘surprisingly clean.’ Afterward, the girls reconvened for dinner at Busboys and Poets, a combination of a restaurant and bookstore. While waiting for their food, some poked around the books, hungry for something to read, and others recounted their day to friends in other advisories. The sophomore class finally returned to AIS at around 10:30 P.M., exhausted and ready for a night of well-deserved rest.

Personally, despite my irrational fear of politicians, I enjoyed the trip to Washington D.C. I’m sure most would agree that yes, waking up early for D.C. was worth it – though the three-hour bus ride definitely seemed longer the second time around.

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