Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunday in Philadelphia

Sunday morning ( a week ago) Tina and I walked to Independence Square and had a tour of Independence Hall.

It was a beautiful day. Seeing where the Founding Fathers actually met and signed the Declaration of Independence and began our government as the United States of America was an amazing experience.

I taught American Literature and US History. My favorite part of teaching history is the Constitution. I often thought about how much fun it would be to teach U.S. History based on the Constitution - the formation of it, including the arguments, events, and reasons for all the parts of it and the Amendments. This fascinates me. I took the LSAT to go to law school when Brian was nine years old but couldn't figure out how to live on student loans and child support and pay for school and a place to live and all of that, so I didn't do it. If I'd gone, I'd have specialized in Constitutional law and probably wouldn't have made any more money than I did teaching since the career options for that would have been working for a federal judge or with the ACLU. I could have taught it, too. Sometimes I wish I'd done that, but teaching what I did had its rewards.

When I taught American Lit, I showed the movie 1776 for them to understand the format of a play but even more to see an entertaining interpretation of the First Continental Congress. This means that I saw the movie five times a day for many years as well as the play a few times in the theater. I know most of the lines and songs in it but will spare you my singing them.

Going into the actual room where the Founding Fathers met and seeing the tables where they sat was one of the most moving experiences I've had. I was overcome with awe and gratitude for what they accomplished. Those were the finest minds who had the foresight to write such a Constitution. The two areas we've had the most problem with were the definition of states' rights and inclusion of civil rights. We're still struggling with those. While I'm at it, the Electoral College needs to be abolished for so many reasons. Presidents should be elected by popular vote. Period.

Where Benjamin Franklin sat.

Thomas Jefferson's table.

Tina and I walked about seven blocks to Independence Square and saw the Liberty Bell first. They have it blocked off, so people like me won't touch it.

House where Jefferson wrote the Declaration.

Statue of George Washington


For Brian, another picture of a sign!


Bob said...

Philadelphia is one of those cities I've always wanted to see and yet i have'nt managed to get there yet.
So, Joy, thanks for letting me see it through your eyes!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We went about three years ago and loved the walking tour and seeing some our history.

David Dust said...

I wish I would have had more time in Philly - because I would have loved to see Independence Hall again. I saw it as a child - and don't really remember it. I DO remember being able to touch the liberty bell - and even stick my head underneath it. This, of course, was before they blocked it off to visitors.


Beth said...

Yes, couldn't touch the Liberty Bell, either. Still, neat to see it!

Howard said...

Damn, by 6PM, I was blocks from Independence Hall, grabbing a bite to eat and listening to great music. Next time, babe!

lelocolon said...

woa that is wonderful that you were a Literature Teacher and a history teacher. I remember studying for two years Comparative Literature and I love it. It was a lot of work. But my mind was stimulated the
24 \7. I was also interested in civil law, but with my dislexia I wanted to be able to enjoy life and not to keep testing my potential for people that could not possibly understand. But my true passion is teaching and making art. I love it. and on that Note those are great pics you took from philly.

Joy said...

Howard - definitely! Wish I could have seen you.

Thanks, lelocolon. I'll bet you're a wonderful teacher with your enthusiasm and love for art and your students!