This morning we left for the
After how solemn and serious most of Friday was, I was looking to have a lot of fun on this trip and even though morning brought the usual amount of grumpiness from students (which was a little surprising as the party at Laja’s last night was reported to be over at 11 PM and we didn’t have to be at the bus until 8 A.M.), I would not be denied. True to form, I started messing with people and trying to get people to laugh so we could lighten the mood on the way, and by the time we reached the rest stop, about 90 minutes into the trip, everyone seemed to be ready to enjoy the day. Even though we stopped at McDonald’s, I tried to find some way to have fun. After ordering coffee (you offer small size only… “GOOD GOD? WHY SHOULD THEY MOCK POOR FELLOWS THUS???” - Harry's St. Crispin's Day Speech, Henry V), and Canavan had her Happy Meal with wind up roller toy included, there was some fun to be had at the McDonald’s castle. I shot a “slide cam” video, although it is apparent my action footage skills could use some work.
Soon we arrived in Amsterdam and after a brisk walk (traffic had made us late), we arrived at the Anne Frank house, where Anne Frank and seven other people tried to hide from the Nazis, but ultimately failed in doing so and were sent to concentration camps where only one of them survived (Peter Van Pelt, if memory serves). Although it was bigger than what I pictured in my mind, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine what life must have been like in the top of that warehouse/factory. Unlike a variety of memorials that I have visited, such as the Vietnam War Memorial or even ground zero where the
There was a pretty wild display at the end of the self-guided tour. It was called “Free2Choose” and asked people to weigh in on decisions they would make based on most of the same freedoms that are guaranteed to us by the “Bill of Rights”. It was interesting to note the number of students who were surprised how these decisions were not so cut and dry. After each scenario was presented, visitors had 10 seconds to vote yes or no to a prompt and then were allowed to see the percentage of each response by the people in the room and then by all visitors who had taken part in the interactive display. Not surprisingly, filled with teachers and teens, the responses were usually more liberally minded than the overall average, although I found myself voting in the mass minority, once or twice. D.J. had some good insights on some of the hypocrisy that was shown by people who okayed some forms of protest and nixed others, based on familiarity or personal connection with the groups involved.
We grabbed lunch a cool little run down café while students had an hour to themselves to explore the shopping and shop area we were in. It felt like a community pub that one might see in
We next took a boat tour of the canals of
There was a split as what next to do. Much of the group wanted to see the Van Gogh Museum, but a faction wanted to buy t-shirts at the Hard Rock Café, which I thought was fad that died in 1996, but that could just be me. What resulted was a mass debate, then a rush to a trolley car, which left Herr Fabricius behind (intentionally or unintentionally, we are not sure) and literally took off as I was throwing students on board and had one foot on the deck and one foot on the street. The best part was when the door tried to close the first time, the only thing that stopped half of us from being left behind was, ironically, J-Fogg’s derrière.
With time waning, we were not able to see Van Gogh’s work and although I was tempted, dropping $37 on a tie depicting Starry Night was not something I was ultimately going to do, so Frau Canavan, Jessia, and myself found a small coffee café called Small Talk, and enjoyed cappuccino (and for myself, some rocking apple pie type thing) with a hilarious multi-cultural wait staff. We were able to see the sun set on
On the way home, Casey, Frau Canavan and I talked about BH-BL’s leadership program for upwards of 65 minutes and then, on Colleen’s request, I told stories from