Highland Terrace Elementary
Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
133Trip End Mar 31, 2014
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I am visiting Mrs Donovan’s 4th grade class today, a group of 24 boys and girls who live in the Pacific Northwest and attend public school in Shoreline, Washington, just north of Seattle. The room is spacious and pleasant, overlooking the playing field and the fir trees beyond; today we have gray skies and a chilly June breeze. Kids file in from recess and rocket time; take their seats; Kayla is invited to introduce me to the class. Call me GMom today too, I offer.
Back inside, I pointed to my pictures of capitols on the wall as I laser-lighted the route on the big US map. Austin, Phoenix, Sacramento, Carson City, Salt Lake City, Boise, Salem; Honolulu next. They knew Kayla was joining me for that; missing her last week of school; commissioned to keep a journal of everything she saw; her impressions; what she learned of Honolulu, a capital city.
“This is where I am today,” I pointed out, “just finishing Salem and heading for Honolulu as you are finishing 4th grade. Where will I be next year when you are finishing 5th?” They studied the schedule, looking for the line by 2013 June. “Indianapolis!” “Columbus” We looked at those cities on the map. “And when I am finished with the Journey, and in Washington DC, what will you be doing?” Finishing 6th grade. An awesome perspective.
The Schedule Sheet had statistics about Shoreline as well as the 50 capital cities; how many are about the same size as Shoreline, population 53,007? Santa Fe! Olympia! Cheyenne! Charleston! Which capital city is biggest? Phoenix! Which capital city is southernmost? Honolulu! Each student had learned a capital city to tell me, we went around the room. They told special things they’d learned; they knew about the open-air capitol in Honolulu, no dome like the 7 capitols I’ve already visited. “Show us a picture from the 50 Capitols” book, I was asked, and so I did. Promises for sending back a message – how does it feel inside that open space? Kayla and I were commissioned to visit the Arizona Memorial in Honolulu; to swim with dolphins.