Archive for March, 2011

Christina’s Blog: Lincoln’s 36 States

30 Mar

The architecture of the Lincoln Memorial was carefully planned based on the Greek style of architecture. The marble president sits regally but casually, attracting everyone who steps into the memorial with his immortal charisma. As a famous symbol of Washington D.C., a small piece of American history and the knowledge about the structure of the memorial is required to understand the carvings of the two layers of the roof.

Abraham Lincoln was elected as the sixteenth president of the United States during the nineteenth century. He is remembered today as the president who fought for the freedom of slaves in the United States. A peaceful consensus could not be reached and the Civil War broke out between the North and South of the country. This bloody war resolved with the North as the winner. Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. In the memory of this great, unique, and tall president, the Lincoln Memorial was built to the west of the Washington Monument.

The whole building is made with marble, including the sitting statue of America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. There are tall pillars standing proudly around the main building, supporting the roof. There are two layers of the roof. The top layer is smaller than the lower layer. Lincoln is seated right in the middle of the main hall of the memorial. There are pillars inside the building that separate the main hall and the other two halls next to it. When one enters the memorial and turns right, the Emancipation Proclamation, the speech made by Lincoln after the Civil War, is carved into the wall. On the other hand, if one turns left, the Gettysberg Address is carved into the wall. The interior of the memorial is very symbolic and important, but the outer architecture is of an equal importance.

While Lincoln was the president of the United States, the country had thirty-six states. Hence, the names of the thirty-six states are carved into the lower layer of the roof. In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was completed, and when it was completed, the United States had forty-eight states. Therefore, the names of the forty-eight states were carved into the upper layer of the roof. People might not notice the names of these states. But it is common for people to notice the plaque, which has Hawaii and Alaska written on it. One might also not notice the echo and loudness of the people talking inside the memorial. There are more people crowded in front of the Lincoln statue than in front of the two speeches he made on the two wings of the memorial. There are more tourists than travelers that visit the Lincoln Memorial.

Sachi’s Augenblick

30 Mar

Chili Bowl

This is one of the pictures I took at the Chili Bowl, a place where we ate on Thursday night. This restaurant has opened in 1958 and from that year, it is very busy. Famous people such as Barrack Obama, US president visited and it is known as one of his favorite places. I was very happy about breathing the same air as Obama.

At Chili Bowl, they serve fries, hamburgers, and hot dogs. I’ve eaten the beef dog with fries and chips. It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome!! It was the best hot dog I ever ate. I will recommend everyone to visit this restaurant.

White House

This is me when I visited the white house. I was full of excitement and enthusiasm before going to the white house and I was dying to go there. But after I saw the white house, I was really surprised about how small it was. It was about the size of a normal house in the US!! However, the garden was bigger and cleaner than the normal houses. By the white house, I saw a group of people protesting for their religion. One of them had a strange looking horn and played it. I have a feeling that they are trying to make Obama come out. It was unbelievable that there are people who hate Obama and are protesting him. I learned that ruling the country is hard and the world is large, full of problems.  I chose this picture of the white house to show you how small the white house is than the pictures you’ve saw which was zoomed.

National GEO. Library

This is in the NG headquarter library. This shelf looks like a local library shelf but you are wrong. These are all magazines that were published throughout the years from 1888. I never knew that NG was there for so long and I never knew they had saved all the magazines even they are so old.

Each magazine told us about different stories and I learned that the history is very long and large; there are tons of histories in the world. Not just histories, maps too. After we visited the library, we went to the mapmaking office. There, we saw edited maps and final maps. You might think this is an easy job but it is not. The people have to check if all cities are correct and have the correct layout. According to my information, they edit the whole thing in one day! I learned how hard NG job is and is very descriptive.

Natacha Springs into Spring in Washington D.C.

30 Mar

One of the most fascinating and interesting part of our trip was discovering what was underground of the National Geographic Headquarters. The basement floor of the headquarters was a second home to engineers Eric Berkenpas, Gram Wilhem and Mike Shepard. We entered the garage-looking room where these great minds had planned, designed and built the crittercam as well as many other useful and imaginative things.

The engineers and marine biologist Kyler introduced us the crittercam. By showing us the multiple parts and functions of the camera, we got a better understanding of the invention. One of the things I learned was that a suction cup is used to attach the camera to smooth skinned animals such as sharks. However, glue must be used for rougher skins such as turtles. Finally, the four men showed us clips and videos that were recorded by using the crittercam. The videos were interesting, amusing and somewhat scary at times.

Fortunately, the engineers and marine biologist took the time to show us a few others of their inventions. They had been working on a helicopter camera. We arrived during the process of them fixing and refining the instrument. This tool is able to fly a camera to places where helicopters cannot access or when a helicopter is too expensive to be brought to this place. Sadly it crashed recently during one of the test runs.

Also on their tables, was an underwater sphere light. This plastic sphere was able to go hundreds if not thousands of feet underwater while resisting the pressure. The light it supplied would brighten the dark ocean floor enough to be able to see clearly. Eric turned the brightness to 100%, we had to either close our eyes or look away. I was surprised to hear that the super-bulb weighs up to 90 pounds! The light is used for National Geographic researchers and expeditions. It gives the workers the ability to see, research and film/photograph meters deep underwater.

The last masterpiece they described to us was very robot-like. The top was one of those super-bulb lights with a camera inside. Attached under the sphere were sampling devices using bait. The robot is able to sink to the ocean floor. It stays there for about six hours. Sometimes more or less depending on how the timer is set. The robot first descends at 1.5 seconds per meter. Once it reaches the bottom, it traps living organisms and later brings them back up. The robot also takes samples of the water and ocean floor. A blow-up device is and released weights allow the robot to float back up to the surface.

It is amazing that all of these devices were built in a basement in a basement by three people. It was an opportunity and honor to meet them and have them show us and explain their devices.

Natsuki’s Algen Blick

30 Mar

Rock climbing

On the first full day we had on Washington DC was a day in the rope cources and the Space Museum .My Algen Bick was I’m going to talk about is a story in The University in Maryland, Ropes courses .The rope cources were freezing and really cold in fact that takes up half the memory about the rope courses . The funniest thing was that , I had this Octopus Wind breaker with me but I was wairing it beneath my CA sweat shirt so Maggie pointed out it would be warmer with the wind breaker in the top lair. The most exciting thing in the rope cource trip was that I climbed all the way to the top of the course although it took me long because my harness was tangled to the course poles  because I climbed spirally up the course.I got stuck twise!!! Can you believe it???  The hard part of this activity because we had to trust the people who kept your harness or if the group members drop the harness I would get really hurt badly or I would die. I had to believe Justin , Sheila , Risa.

In the bus

On the bus to go to the MALL from the rope cource university I was really sleepy since I was full and it was really cold outside and I was really warm in the bus and that kicked me right in to the sleeping mode.  I was sitting next to Risa and Sheila was sitting next to Sachi .Me and Risa was really sleepy and I fell asleep and soon after that Risa fell in sleep on top of me. And just looking to the picture makes me laugh because our face look really pretty when we were a sleep and we looked relaxed in a paradice.

The Gorilla in the Zoo

In the Zoo we saw a gorilla and the gorilla looked like he had pride and he looked cool so I liked him. Also he was really similar to us and I it was too similar that I thought humans were caught in the cage. These are the facts of gorillas.



-eat fruit bark ,leaves, ,stem.

-Africa( West Center)

– Male weight=(135-273kg)

–  Females weight (70-113 kg) DNA

Yurika in Washington D.C.

28 Mar

On the first day of the trip, we went to the University of Maryland to participate in the ropes course. We played games and learned new American hand shakes like the “milking the cow”. We were also given group tasks such as getting everyone to balance on a large sea saw and moving everyone to the other side of the jump rope. After these activities, we did the ropes course. I was very nervous climbing up the course with only my friends holding onto my safety rope, but I was successfully able to climb to the top. This picture of Christina, Grace, Cha-cha, Jung Sub, and I, was taken in front of the University of Maryland.

On the same day we went to the ropes course, we went to see the White House. The building was very fancy, beautiful, and WHITE! I was surprised by the size of the lawn but the White House looked smaller than I thought it would be. As Christina, Natacha, Grace and I were taking pictures of ourselves with the building, we noticed the protesters roaming around the place and a woman blowing a horn. There were many squirrels outside as well. I was thrilled to see the White House but surprised how small it looked up close.

On Wednesday, we visited Mt. Vernon and saw George Washington’s house. It was very interesting to go and look inside George Washington’s real home. I have learned many things from this visit to Mt. Vernon. I became aware that George Washington was a natural leader who pulled the whole nation together. He was the founding father and the first president of United States. Mt. Vernon was very interesting and I enjoyed learning new facts about George Washington that I was not aware of before.

Yumi’s trip to Washington D.C.

28 Mar

Lincoln Memorial

When saw this this statue, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I only saw the Lincoln Memorial in magazines or textbooks, and thought I’m not going to see this in my whole life.  Apparently, That  wasn’t true.  Although I still had jet lag and was sleepy, I was very surprised to see this memorial.  But, I was shocked to see the size.  In my imagination, the memorial was a lot taller.  In the opposite, I was interested that the room walls and the underground museum.  The walls had designs that would be in church and had his  rights, which was also the same as Martin Luther King Jr.  After you take the elevator, there was a museum, and describing Lincoln”s life.


The tiger in the zoo we went looked very cold and bored.  I wanted to play with them, but I knew it was dangerous and will never happen.  When I saw this, it reminded me of a corner of a television show I always watch in Japan about animals.

White House

Without noticing, I was in front of the White House.  I thought again.  This time, I noticed that it wasn’t a dream.  I just couldn’t believe that I was in front of President Obama’s house.  The house was smaller than I thought, but farther away from the gate than I thought.  If I was to convert it, it would be more than 40-45 notebooks I was given for this trip.  After we took pictures with the whole group, we went 360 degrees around the White house.  The exciting part was the backside of the house.  The back part was very different from what I thought.  The balcony was more larger than I thought and it was about 15 of the notebooks.

My 3 Favorite Places, by Sheila

28 Mar

This trip was a very fun and exhausting trip. We have been waking up early and falling asleep in the evening activities. There were many activities that we enjoyed, but I would like to point out the three most interesting and fun activities during this trip.

First I would like to talk about the ropes course. Before going to Washington D.C., I was most excited for this activity. We went to this activity on the very first day because we were jet lagged so to keep us from not being tired we had to move a lot. It was not really what I thought that it would be. We did a few games before we started our ropes course. It turned out that it was something totally unexpected. I thought that we were going hiking on a real mountain and jump down or swing down, but it was just this small place and it was kind of like rock climbing and just slowly go down. I was very close to get to the top, but I came to a place where I wasn’t able to put my foot to go higher so I had to stop and go down.

After the ropes course, I was most excited for going to British school of Washington. I wanted to know what kind of school it was and what kind of people they were. This was the most fun thing I did in the whole trip. I found out that the boys are totally not like Canadian Academy boys especially my class. I thought that it was kind of strange to have a British school in America. Because the school is in America, I thought that they would have American accent because they are used to hearing American accent from other people. I was very shocked that they actually had British accent. We went into the first grade class with the eighth graders and made paper cranes. Then we went back into the main room with the eighth grade and learned an Indian dance.

On the same day we went to the school, we went to the ghost tour. I thought that we were going to go into a mansion and look at different things, but we had to stay outside the houses and listen to stories. When we were finished, and we just went out of the grave, it started to rain a lot. In one minute there was already a river!!! I had nice shoes on, but there were many holes in them for air so all the water came into my shoes and by the time we came into the bus, there was not one mili meter of dry spot on my socks. They were socking wet. Water was dripping out from them.

So that is the end of my three most interesting places.

Washington D.C. Trip, by Risa

28 Mar

From March 18th to 27th, 2011, a couple of kids from Canadian Academy visited Washington D.C. to learn about American History and about National Geographic. These are some photos that I thought that were great during this trip.


I chose this picture for one of my favorites because this is a scene where everyone was excited to see the Washington monument. We were having so much fun at the bus because we have been traveling for 31 hours. This also shows the inside of the bus – how it looks like inside…All three of us – Sachi, Yumi and me were able to fit in two seats for two passengers. This picture shows how excited we are, and also how exhausted we are in the inside. In this scene, inside the bus was very loud by other people voices. You can see how much fun we had.


This is an activity we did on the second day we were at Washington D.C. This was my first time to be doing the ropes course on my own. I’ve seen it on television, but it looked more challenging than I had thought. To climb, first you had to put on this band around you, so you won’t fall of and hurt yourself.  Second, we had to pull a helmet to protect our heads. I was able to go up to the very top of this!!!! Sadly, there is no picture of me.  However it took such a long time for me, and the steps I had to take were complicated, but I had so much fun!!!!


This was the actual real white house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (OBAMA WASN’T THERE). The surprising part of it was that it was way much smaller than I thought. Before I saw the actual one, I thought that it was going to be as tall as 1/3 or ½ of the Washington monument because it looked so grand and really big when you looked at it in the news (on the television). However, the front yard was really large, compared to the white house. Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of America from the Jefferson memorial is always looking at the white house.

Raika’s Washington, DC Trip

28 Mar

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

At the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, I had the most fun. Looking and exploring lots of different kinds of natural history was fascinating. My group only got to check out the sections for Ocean, Dinosaurs, and Gems, Crystals, and Minerals, but I still had tons of exciting facts to share with my friends. One exhibition that really stood out in the museum was the whale fin skeleton in the Ocean section. Mrs. Williams and I were discussing if the whale fin was the one that developed to a human’s hand, or vice versa.

Lincoln Memorial Hall

Visiting the Lincoln Memorial Hall taught me about Abraham Lincoln and how he lived his life. When we reached there, we were assigned the first assignment; to create a story including why the Memorial Hall was built that way. My group decided to focus more on the speech on the walls, and the paintings that went with the speech. Apparently, the paintings were supposed to indicate the civil war that happened in America and how the Angel was reuniting the North and South region. With this reason, the title of our story became “Lincoln’s Angels”.


Everyone became emotional when we went to the Newseum. At the Newseum, there were galleries of photos including ones from the hurricane Katrina. The pictures were terrifying and ripping our hearts out. I didn’t take as much photographs there, since it felt inappropriate to take pictures of the horrendous scenes. Out of the few photos I took, there was one image that really got me. It was a picture that showed graffiti on the wall saying “1 dead in attic”. I hardly knew about this hurricane, but suddenly I felt as if I had lived through it. Visiting the Newseum gave me the most affect considering the whole trip, and I want to share the information I gained to my friends and family.

Kyoko: Part of my D.C. Experiences

28 Mar

Of everything that our group has done in the past few days, the first events that come to mind are the events that have been photography-related. Meeting photographers Jes Therkelsen, Nicole Aguirre, and going to the Newseum have been the most memorable events so far.

Before I came on this trip, I’d always had an impression that photography was something that was happy and joyful – something that was done for pleasure. I definitely didn’t think it was something that could have a melancholy feel, or make people feel sad and devastated. I realized how much of an impact photographs could have on people, and the emotions that people felt. I learned through the Newseum that photography was not only about the photographer’s skill, but also about the emotions and story that was behind the photo. All of the photographers that we have met over the last few days have taught us that you don’t have to be particularly skilled to take a good photo; as long as you have a story behind the photo, you can take a great, meaningful photograph.

Description of the photos:

Picture #1; Joanna:

Taken at the ropes course lounge. When this picture was taken, we were having lunch. Joanna had milk in the plastic cup she was holding, and she was really thrilled to find a plastic biscuit stuck on her straw. I couldn’t help but take a picture of her grinning face.

Picture #2; Shadows:

This was taken on the front steps of the Jefferson Memorial. I was the last one out of the building, and the shadows the group was casting on the front steps were amazingly pretty, and the lights were shining in the perfect direction. I thought the sight was really pretty, but it wasn’t portrayed as prettily in the picture as it was in real life.

Picture #3; Aika & statue:

This is when we were sitting in the magazine layout room in the National Geographic Headquarters. I freaked out when I looked in Aika’s direction and saw a statue behind her, looking alive and holding a pointy stick pointed towards Aika. I found the sight pretty amusing, and pointed my camera at her. Aika, though not knowing I was taking a picture of her, flipped her head around to face the statue right when I snapped the shot. Perfect timing, Aika. (:

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