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I've Arrived

Today marked the first day of the Institute. Though our dormitory lodgings at the University of Maryland are nice, and though the opening dinner tonight was a fine affair, I didn't exactly have a lot of chances to photograph my adventure.

Upon arriving, though, the lead teacher, Frank welcomed us with our windbreakers, a token of our membership in a rather small circle of educators, scholars, and enthusiasts. By the way, when I was told that we would have windbreakers, I was expecting something cheap and thin. I wasn't expecting something substantial and lined!




The train ride down offered a good occasion to catch up with Lauren, who really is a remarkable student. We were among the first teams to arrive, which meant we had reasonable time to grab lunch before tonight's dinner.

Dinner was at the City View Room at George Washington University, a location that does offer a pleasant view of the Mall and points South. Good food. My fifth consecutive day with lamb (tonight it was lamb chops). We heard from the benefactor of the Institute, Albert Small, a man who thought what took place at Normandy was so important that there ought to be shuttles of Americans flying there to pay tribute to the men who lay at rest there.

My biggest takeaway from today is the pleasure at how diverse this group of students and teachers seems to be. We have students from a variety of walks of lives: a crop farmer from Minnesota, a West Point-bound young man from Oahu, a student who has known her teacher since 3rd grade. The teachers here work in a variety of settings: a city school, a very rural school, a choice school that is a hybrid between high school and college, a K-8 Catholic school.

In my working world, one rarely has a lot of valuable time with peers. One is normally with children and working from a position of authority rather than collegiality. What I have here over the next week and a half is a chance to be with peers around the clock. I'm glad to see, though, that these peers work in settings that are often nothing at all like mine.

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