Onward to D. C.

Somewhere close to lunch on the last teacher workday (LAST TEACHER WORK DAY!!!!), I left to take the dogs to Koko’s Palace, pick up Ysabela and our “personal bags” and head to the airport.  When I refer to “personal bags,” what I really want to say is that we each carried a large tote that held our clothes for the weekend.  My bag even had room for my purse.  That saved me money since there’s a charge for a carry-on or checked bag.  Only a personal bag flies with me free—if it fits under the seat.  We all know clothes can be mushed, and mush we did.  🙂  We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  I was a bit nervous since I had received an email advising me to arrive three hours early for domestic travel due to long security lines.

Bela and I took the red-eye and arrived in Washington, D. C., right before five in the morning.  I will admit to sleeping—and most likely snoring—all the way.  I am not ashamed.  In my defense, I did warn my flight neighbor.  He didn’t have a problem with it.  Bela later informed me that he and I were doing some duet snore harmony.

I had downloaded the Uber app prior to leaving home, so I thought transport would be easily arranged.  HA!  Airport Internet could be a bit better.  After almost half an hour of “loading” on my cell phone, I was done.  My last resort was to call my hostess, Martha.  She was already awake (thankfully) and came to pick us up within the hour.

We were welcomed at the apartment building by Martha’s neighbor, Mr. Ali.  He’s a delightful person who made me a cup of coffee when I was there last year.  Coffee friends are forever friends.  Ysabela and I managed to get settled in enough to take a nap.  Martha set the clock to make sure we’d be ready to get to the venue by the appointed time.

Didn’t I tell you what we were doing there?  Oh, dear!  Sorry about the oversight!  We were there to present student films for the American History Film Project!  I attended last year with one of my students; sadly, none were able to come this year except for my daughter (who also did a film).

This year’s venue was lovely.  The curator at Blenheim was so gracious and generous.  Ysabela and I even got to take a tour of the place before our presentations began!  We were made to feel so welcome that I hated to leave at the end.

It has been so encouraging to see Martha’s dream grow.  There were more films presented (and more states represented) this year than last.  Our in-person audience also doubled!  Local school board members were in attendance, and they took an active part by asking insightful questions after each film.  Ysabela did a fine job, as did the other students.  Several young film makers joined us via Skype to answer questions.  Technology is great!



For more information (and to see the films) head on over to the Facebook page (link below), give it a “like” and do some browsing!  Please share it with your friends as well.  I’ll blog more about it all in a day or two!  Stay tuned!




American History Film Project!

The audience was wonderful.  They had some great questions for the presenters.

The audience was wonderful. They had some great questions for the presenters.

L-R Martha, Kim, John and Bonnie

L-R Martha, Kim, John and Bonnie

A student and I made a whirlwind trip from Nebraska to the Annandale (Virginia) area this weekend.  The purpose of our trip was to introduce student-made documentary-type films about our local community.  My student presented her film along with several other students from other states.  Our involvement started last year by a simple Google search!  I manage to “fall into” the most amazing experiences sometimes.  This was one of those experiences.

A year and a half ago, I was informed that I would not only be teaching my normal Spanish classes, but also 7th grade world history.  I take my job seriously, and it sounded like fun, so I spent a lot of time looking for resources.  I found the most amazing idea for a history project when I found Martha Barnes’ brainchild, American History Film Project.  I was intrigued, and we spent the school year emailing about projects.  Three of “my” kids participated making two short films.

Martha (I can call her that because she is now a friend!) has a true passion for history, and she encourages students (and adults) to be proud of their communities.  It’s a grassroots movement to give students a voice.  It’s quite empowering for them to see that others are interested in their communities when they share their films.

Martha’s brochure sums it up best: “Everyone needs to feel important as an individual, yet connected to something larger.  As students learn about and take pride in their local history, the American History Film Project helps them realize their importance as members of a community, while being connected to our nation.  When children across the country create a short film about the local history and share their films with children in other states, they become the teachers.  There is so much to learn from one another!”

Head on over to Facebook (link below) and give Martha’s page a “like.”  Share the link with your friends and family, and make plans to participate!  The American History Film Project is also searching for sponsors, so if you or someone you know can help, please get in touch with Martha!