During Leave Away (October 22nd to 25th) 32 Politics students from 6.2 enjoyed an action packed, eight-day trip to the USA as part of the A2 study of US Government and Politics.
The trip started in Washington DC. On arrival the Washington Monument was the first sight the boys noted, which at 550 feet of granite obelisk is an impressive sight. This was quickly followed by the Lincoln Memorial, then Jefferson, and then the wonderful White House mansion. The boys noted how impressed they were to see the institutions they study standing there in front of them.
Whilst in DC the boys had the opportunity to visit the 17 wonderful Smithsonian Museums as well as the Library of Congress and the National Archives, which store both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. They also visited the Supreme Court and even managed a trip to the theatre to see some political satire (The Capitol Steps) which was funny and informative.
As a special treat General Sir Nicholas Carter had arranged a tour of the Pentagon as well as a meeting with some hugely impressive members of the Defence Department who discussed with us the role of the DoD, the Special Relationships, and the current broad strategic defence challenges we face. Any young man interested in Politics and International Relations was given an extremely rare opportunity in this briefing.
Whilst in DC the boys also enjoyed a tour of the US Congress and were given inside access to the House of Representatives, where they saw two (very tiny) laws made in front of them.
Later in the trip the boys travelled Philadelphia. On the first day they enjoyed a visit to the Independence Hall, in which the Founding Fathers crafted the 1787 US Constitution.
The trip concluded in New York City. Watching the boys as they saw the sights of Manhattan rising over the industrial hinterland of Newark, New Jersey really was a sight to behold. Whilst in New York we managed an after-hours tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, thanks to the generosity of Mr Wiltshire. We also made it to the top of the Empire State.
The boys also visited the 9-11 memorial and museum which was an engaging experience recalling the lasting shadow of the 9-11 atrocities.
Whilst in New York the boys also walked the fantastic High Line, a reclaimed elevated section of railway that runs the mid-section of the western flank of central Manhattan. In addition the boys had the opportunity to see the Book of Mormon on Broadway which represents a visceral treat by combining the spectacular song and dance spectacle we expect of Broadway, with the unusual but rather enjoyable writing of the creators of South Park. The boys also toured the Statue of Liberty by boat and even managed some shopping in Macy’s.
The boys managed to walk 138km in 8 days! A sure sign that the 2015 Politics trip was an extremely useful and very successful week.