Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hanging with Bill!

My good friend, fellow Freedom Writer Teacher, and our comrade in the Writing Exchange from Fresno Juvenile Hall, Bill Feaver, flew in today. We met for dinner and went to this cool pizza joint. I gave him one of the Writing Exchange beanies. We are meeting at the WWII memorial tomorrow morning.


The DC Metro is unreal. It is so fast and goes all over the city underground. It took a leap to try it and to figure out the chaos, but it is totally the best way to travel the city...since I walked about ten miles today, I will be a Metro expert tomorrow.

Escalator leaving the Metro.

The National Museum of American History

I really wandered here without much enthusiasm, but it was one of the greatest places I have been. There was the original and HUGE american flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner. This took place as he realized the British were retreating after almost destroying the young US in the War of pictures allowed. They also had an exhibit on the assassination of Lincoln about to start so they had his personal carriage that he rode in to Ford Theater the night he was murdered....

Found this poster here that I thought totally rocked:

The Natural History Museum

All of the endless museums at the smithsonian are all free and uterly amazing. I am not doing them justice because I am rushing through a bit....check this out.

from my iPad

Not All Bliss

Sent from my iPad
Not everything on my adventure goes smooth....You would think that rooming in a hostel would pair you with many young liberals....not always the case. One of my roommates was a 71 year old pastor who is in DC to protest gay marriage. He and I do not see eye to eye on this at all. Once he started talking, he really never stopped. He informed me he ran for Vice President and then president in 2012....he went on to say that Obama should be removed from office and he has never produced a birth certificate because he is not a citizen....crazy stuff! I really had a hard time being in the room with him so, after breakfast,  I actually asked to switch rooms. Crazy how good things happen sometimes. My new room is spacious & much nicer! In fact so far I am the only one in it.
1. How would you have handled it? Do you think I considered other options?
Picked up some groceries before returning.....aching feet, but Bill Feaver, the teacher from Fresno JH just arrived, so I am about to go back out to meet him for dinner.


> This statue was very controversial when first made because often lack of clothing. The sword being given away symbolizes the fact that Washington relinquished his role as president on his own accord!

SKYPE from Washington Monument

Well we had a couple glitches, but we pulled off SKYPING from the highest point in DC with E-Pod in Butte County Juvenile Hall today!
No building in DC is allowed to be higher than the Washington Monument. It was the highest structure in the entire world until then Eiffel Tower was built and then an even higher Empire State Building. The building of the Washington Monument was put on hold for 20 years because there was a lack of funding. Due to a change in the quarry used for the stone 20 years later and weathering since, there is a shift in color at 150 feet!

The Whitehouse from the top of the Monument

Below is the Lincoln Memorial as seen from the Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial was amazing. It was too early to skype with TMS, but that was a good thing. I skyped with my family and we kept getting blocked out or kicked offline.
OK Here are some questions for you to research:
1. There are 36 columns outside the Lincoln memorial. Why 36???
2. In August of 1963, who gave their most famous speech in this spot?

Good Morning

Sent from my iPadWoke up and decided to just start walking. I ended up here at the Washington Monument! How about that beanie?
I got the last ticket to the top for the day, but it will be too early to skype....only 10:30 AM East Coast time.
1. Any guesses how many steps to the top of this monster?
2.  When do you think it was built?
3. If I am roughly 6 ft tall, how many of me would you have to stack on top of myself to reach the top? A hint...I was about 100 yards away from the monument in this picture!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Well, it was a long day. I arrived to the Dulles airport at like 6:30...HUGE airport. By the time I got my bag and got my shared shuttle ride 25 miles into DC, it was 8:30! In Cali time that is only 5:30 though, so, it is dark out, but after sitting on my butt most of the day, I am not sleepy. I am staying in a hostel for these first three nights and my room has two bunk beds so four people could potentially stay there. One of them was already asleep, so I locked my stuff up and headed to the corner burger joint called Bolts! Look how crazy big that screen is in the restaurant! Other than peanuts on the plane I haven't eaten since Sacramento, so this burger is pretty damn exciting!!
Looking forward to tomorrow. There are so many things to see and do here, I really don't know where  I will start!

Round Two

Sent from my iPad.
I am sitting on this flight right now about to take off for DC

Almost to Denver

Sent from my iPad
Over the Rockies...

View From Above!

Sent from my iPad

Leaving Sacramento

Sent from my iPadI left my house at 5:30 AM this morning. About to board my flight to Denver and then I will change planes and head to DC.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Trying Out SKYPE

> Roger, E-pod, and I just successfully pulled off our first SKYPE session at this wonderful Oroville landmark. I think we are almost ready!

Binding the exchange!

Sent from my iPad

I went to the Instructional Resource Center today and had this bad boy bound. Three years of student writing for the Writing Exchange. This was one of our assignments from the Freedom Writers for the DC adventure. I plan to make one of these for each pod in the hall as well.

5 More Days!

Dialing in the technology end of things with Teresa Lightle!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Getting Ready for DC!!!

Roger and I practiced using SKYPE today to get ready for the DC Trip.  I think we are all set.  Teresa Lightle, the BCOE Educational Technology Coordinator,  has been helping us to get SKYPE set up for an iPad and has also giving me some info about how to blog from my phone or iPad, allowing students to follow what I am doing with the Freedom Writers/Freedom Writer Teachers.  I fly out of Sacramento in 12 days!  I will have a couple days to travel in DC before the symposium begins.  I hope to meet up with Bill Feaver (the teacher who exchanges writing with us from Fresno Juvenile Hall) during these first days in DC.  Bill and I were both in the original group of 16 teachers who began working with Erin Gruwell ten years ago!  Time flies.  We hope to connect with several of the teachers from that original 16 as well as hundreds of others who are now part of the Freedom Teacher group from all over the US and beyond.  It promises to be an amazing trip.