Day 2: Stuart Hall Gr. 8 L.A. Trip

This morning we had a peaceful private tour of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels; while there we found an image of St Philippine Duchesne on one of the large tapestries. We asked the boys to take photos of art or architectural features (with no people in the pictures) to capture memories for their later journal prompts.

We next went to the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), where we broke into small groups to investigate different artifacts connected to the experience of Japanese Americans who were relocated to incarceration camps during World War II. The boys then presented their investigations to each other in ways that were cogent, interesting, and full of insight. One of the journal writing prompts for this portion of the trip asks each student to grapple with a complicated question: “What happened to the Japanese-Americans was the result of directives given in your country, by your government. If such a directive were given today, what do you think you might be able to do about it?”

In addition to helping us with the artifact investigation, museum volunteers led us in two cultural experiences: origami folding and taiko drumming.

Following a “wise freedom” lunch, we returned to the Museum of Tolerance for the Anne Frank exhibit, which culminates in an experience of entering a recreation of the secret annex where you watch an immersive cinematic dramatization of life in Anne’s room. One extraordinary element: the room that leads to the annex entrance is lined with children’s clothing. As you start, the clothes are bright and colorful. As you approach the annex, the clothing displayed becomes darker, and duller, until all of the color is gone at the secret entrance.

Tonight, we will go to the Staples Center for a hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tomorrow, we will return to the Museum of Tolerance for the Holocaust exhibit. In the afternoon, we will visit Oakwood, which is the school in Los Angeles that now has Jaime Dominguez as its new Head of School. Afterward, we will head to LAX for our return flight home.

-Bill Jennings, K–8 Dean of Studies

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