Saturday, August 02, 2008

Where should you go today?

How 'bout Gettysburg, the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at Emmitsburg, with a quick tour of potential future undergraduate spot, Mount St. Mary's?

Well, that's exactly what we did on Wednesday, the 30th. We left NoVA around 7:30 and going the slightly round-about but lovely Hwy 15 thru Leesburg, Frederick and then into Gettysburg got us thru to Pennsylvania in just over two hours.

Gettysburg is a wonderful site to see ... but don't waste your money on the movie, A New Birth of Freedom, narrated by Morgan Freeman. The movie is excellent but at $8/$4, just Lego Maniac and I went -- and it wasn't worth the money. Seems the Park Service has turned over the running of the museum/visitor center to a non-profit foundation that wants to be self-supporting. Great! But the movie just isn't necessary.

Skip this and go straight for the free museum. The museum includes more information in their localized videos scattered throughout the museum than the 20 minute Morgan Freeman one. The museum shows every aspect of the battle, from the causes for the war in the first place (altho they stress the slave issue without ANY mention of the states' rights issue or the economics) through to reconstruction. One point they made -- which was VERY interesting -- was that the South after the war put forward more Black political nominations/officers than the North! The museum has lots of hands-on displays for the kids and great exhibits that kept even Bam-Bam interested for over an hour.

After a quick picnic lunch, we headed to Emmitsburg, MD which is just 20 minutes across the border. Maryland is justly proud of their home-grown saint. St. Elizabeth Ann, one of our SAA patrons, helped to found Catholic schools open to all as well as an order of Religious Sisters to help run these schools. SEA was a convert, a widow and a once-wealthy-but-disowned woman who gave it all up to be Catholic and to do the good. At least two of her daughters also joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

Literally a stone's throw from the Shrine is Mount St. Mary's University, or "The Mount" as it's called locally. Kotch is VERY interested in attending The Mount. The history of the place alone would make me want to go, but it's got her potential majors (biology, environmental, pre-med, international), is pretty Catholic, relatively small (1600 undergrad) with 90% living on-campus and near big cities. We had a great tour of the campus, including the on-campus Church -- 100 years old and GORGEOUS, the brand-new Bicentennial Hall (which is as nice as a hotel for a residence hall), and the science labs (which look the same as the labs 25 years ago but are now state-of-the-art).

The Mount seems to do a great job of educating the student to be an intelligent, well-formed Catholic in the new millenium (altho it's not as orthodox as some, it's not as bad as others).

So, come viist and join us next time we go traveling!

1 comment:

MaryM said...

Great field trip!