During the Half Term of the Autumn Term a group of 18 Sixth Form Politics and History students visited America for a fascinating experience. Six Two student Zoe Churchill explains more:
As an unnamed student clambered on to the bus sometime after the set departure time the trip was clearly well on the way to being a success. After a smooth flight with British Airways, on which Mr Sage was not spotted, we touched down in America.
Excited, tired and eager to learn, we headed for the grave that was John F Kennedy’s. At Arlington National Cemetery we discovered our tour guide who was not only older, faster and better dressed than us but could practically sprint up the multiple hills leaving us all behind. After a tour round a few other memorials such as Lincoln’s and Roosevelt’s, our first day came to an end as we checked in to the Capitol Skyline Hotel via Fuddruckers for our first burger of the trip.
Day 2 arrived and we had the beneficial but particularly moving experience of a visit to the Holocaust Museum. In the evening we had the hilarious experience of attending a political mock theatre production where we had a brief encounter with Tonbridge.
One of the highlights of the trip came on the third day when we had the honour of meeting the dynamic Oliver Schwab, the chief of staff for Republican Congressman David Schweikert. He gave us an inspirational talk about his role in politics and some of the most prominent issues in US politics today, in particular the Clinton v Trump Presidential election. We all left this feeling overwhelmed at the thought of such a busy and exciting life as his. During the day we were also able to visit the newly opened African-American museum which was particularly relevant due to its explicit links with our Politics A Level course.
Ready for another day of banter, books and blissful weather, we headed to the Library of Congress and then onto the Supreme Court where we were able to sit in the actual court room before heading to a delicious meal at the Good Stuff Eatery (burger number two!). After a delicious lunch we headed for the Capitol. This involved a fascinating tour around both the House of Representatives and the Senate – a real highlight!
Our last afternoon in Washington was a scorcher at 28c+. We lay in front of the Washington monument attempting not to get burnt. Soon after this we arrived at the White House Visitor Center which was a unique experience in which we saw many pieces from the collections that had previously been displayed inside the White House. At the end of this visit we were each presented with a book about how the British burnt down the White House, which we all thought was pretty ironic.
Early the next morning we were awoken by the prospect of a day in Philadelphia. After a three-hour coach journey we joined an amazingly informative tour around the rooms where the American
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had been signed before it was time to hit the Big Apple. Our short stay in New York began with the invaluable visit to the 9/11 museum. This was a shocking but significant exhibition to have explored and we all came out with a unique understanding of the impact of such an attack. A hilarious dinner in Times Square at the Bubba Gump restaurant led onto a journey up the top of the Rockefeller Center under the night sky. This concluded our last evening of the trip and a speedy visit to the Metropolitan Museum drew the trip to a stylish close. It was now time to enjoy our flight full of turbulence home. Thank you to all the staff members for ensuring the trip was such a success.