The Bus Ride Home
The bus is eerily quiet as we make our way home. These seventh grade Fenn boys are exhausted, and they should be; we have had an eventful few days. They have had a chance to walk all over D.C. They have been inquisitive, informative, impulsive, empathic, and exhilarated (and some even a little homesick), so they have come by these "bus naps" honestly and earnestly.
They have asked questions about and offered impromptu presentations on the monuments, museums, and memorials that came about through some class work research and mini-presentations. In fact, our tour guide, Tracy, deferred to our guys before she gave her own brief presentation. She complained to me, jokingly, that they were taking all of her material! That said, they also stumped this knowledgeable woman with a few questions that she promised to research. Inquisitive and informative.
Our boys have jumped off marble benches; they have jumped down the steps of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and got pictures of themselves in the statuary food lines in one of the rooms of the FDR Memorial. They have had, perhaps, too much candy and too many snacks. They have slid on the post snowstorm marble just before the Honor Guard arrived for the changing of the guard. They have even tried to blow out the eternal flame as if it were a birthday candle. All the while, they have relished the history and symbolism that surrounded them. Impulsive and exhilarated.
And through it all, they have taken good care of the fragile classmate for whom this is the first time away from home, or who is not on the same bus with his best buddies. They have tended to the guy who had a headache or who was carsick, carrying his day packs and just being there. They have behaved so well that they have allowed us chaperones to have a good time.
These are Fenn boys on their 2014 Washington D.C. Trip. As one museum docent said to me, spotting my Fenn sweatshirt, "They are such articulate, polite young men. So gracious." So, I will let them sleep, hugging their stuffed panda bears bought in the National Zoo gift shop until it is time to stop at the next food court on the New Jersey turnpike and then onto home.
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