After a late night last night at the Boston Pops, we journeyed out early this morning to visit the USS Constitution. We took a ferry across the Boston Harbor which was a beautiful, but chilly voyage. The USS Constitution was an amazing ship, and we had a great tour guide. We learned about the ship’s history, why it was called Old Ironsides, how it was created, what wood was used (there was a Florida connection there!), and all about its battles and life on board. Ask an 8th grader what they learned. We saw four different decks of the ship climbing through ladder wells to get between the floors. Some of us could walk without ducking, but not many…
After our tour of the USS Constitution, some of the students conquered Bunker Hill – all 300 steps! We walked across a pedestrian bridge to the North side of Boston for an amazing lunch at La Famiglia Giorgios. After this, we journeyed by train to Harvard. The campus is beautiful! Half of the students explored the Harvard Art Museum while the other half explored the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Highlights of those tours included examining artifacts with Dr. Reid including a canopic jar and coins (the coins were a favorite) as well as exploring the artwork in the museum which included Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas just to name a few. The Museum of Natural History included interesting rocks and a whole room of flowers made from glass. Tomorrow, we will return to Harvard and the groups will switch places to explore the other museum.
We finished our night with America’s Pastime – a Red Sox game at Fenway Park! It was a fantastic game that went to a 10th inning with a thrilling 6-5 victory by the Red Sox. Students experienced baseball dining with lots of hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels, and, of course, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks!
by Janet Andreasen, parent blogger
Boston is an amazing place to explore Christianity through history and art. We began our third day with the Harvard Museum of Natural History where we found way more than just bones of creatures from long ago. This museum has one of a kind specimens (think deer the size of a bunny), a skeleton of a water dinosaur longer than seven of our students lying head to toe, cases and cases of glass replicas of plants created to help researchers study plant life, and much, much more. These exhibits prompted questions by our students (Mr. Clark was our guide through these muddy waters) about evolution theories and other important topics.
The questions (yes, more questions) led to several great discussions. While they could (and probably do) have these types of discussions at school, somehow the fact that so much time, energy and expense was given over so many years to express Christian themes give perspective and make it real. At the art exhibit they experienced pieces by Monet, Renoir, Degas and Cezanne. Between all of the museums we have seen so far, the students have noticed a strong focus on Christianity and themes of faith. There are so many different ways to depict Mary and baby Jesus, but all of them cumulatively in one trip express the importance of the subject to artists of many different centuries.
Speaking of Harvard, our Harvard graduate chaperone gave us the inside scoop – the iconic statue with ‘Veritas’ (truth) written on the side is known by Harvard students as the statue of lies. In case you like trivia: the year is off by two, the statue is of a stand-in student, and the name listed is not actually the founder, he is really the first benefactor.
Trinity Church was beautiful…and filled with faith based art. The students had plenty of time to view and explore the church, then we were off to see the city from 50 floors up. The view was a highlight for many students, especially because you could walk all the way around and see the city from every angle. Talk about perspective. It was just beautiful, with buildings old and new, a smattering of sailboats, beautiful bridges and wonderful teenagers!
by Melissa Paul, parent blogger