Tonight we went to the Close Up dinner which is a dinner held annually on Presidents’ Day as a way to raise funds for the annual Close Up trip.
Both my daughter and my son went when they were in high school and I had the privilege of being the adult chaperon once too. It really is a great experience and it is a wonderful way for kids to learn more about the capitol and our government first hand. I know I still remember some of my experiences, especially seeing the Supreme Court in action.
However, the funniest story I remember about Close Up comes from my son’s trip. Each group of kids is part of a group of kids from three other states and one of the girls in my son’s group was from Connecticut. She and my son got in a huge argument about Alaska and whether or not it was an island. My son kept telling her it was not, but the fact that you can only get to Cordova by air or sea just added certainty to her argument that it was in fact an island and she even told him that maps in books showed it as such.
I am sure she was referring to those little insets of Hawaii and Alaska on maps of the Lower 48. But regardless they went back to their homes with the argument ongoing.
About two weeks later my son got a letter from this girl with an apology that said he was right and she was wrong. She had gone home and told her grandpa about this crazy boy from Alaska who didn’t know he lived on an island. Grandpa had been in Valdez, Alaska to help build the pipeline and he told her in no uncertain terms that we did not live on an island and she was wrong. Her geography lesson included looking at other maps and she was finally convinced that my son was right.
He was very glad to get her letter and did reply nicely, but probably told her “I told you so.”
I have never forgotten that story and it is one I always think of when Close Up time comes around. It’s interesting how mixed up we can get over something that ought to be so simple and all because we see pictures or drawing that don’t represent things in a way we can better understand them.
Father, thank you for fun stories that give us memories and thank you for your love in helping us all to admit when we are wrong. YOu are a blessing to all of us. Amen.