This is an amazing experience that I will be eternally grateful for. I am really glad that we have the opportunity to talk with Paula, Lucia and Ruth. Paula Lebovics is a beautiful strong woman who is humble yet unyielding in her voice. She reminds me so much of Nanny, my father's grandmother, who was my favorite grandparent. She was another strong beautiful woman who really impacted my life. Lucia and Ruth are two high school junior interns with the USC Shoah Foundation. They are incredible young women who are bright and smart, they make really great connections that I hadn't made before. Talking to them reminds me of the LIA kids last year who, once they found their voice, are incredible leaders with infant amounts of potential. I feel so comfortable talking to them, I think because they remind me so much of my own students, who I enjoy talking to so much.
This morning we had a reflection session from yesterday. It was good to think about the lessons we have learned so far. We talked about authentic sites, while we were sitting in a Polish Jewish Museum in the middle of Warsaw Ghetto location. We went outside and talked about the memorials that were erected, just outside the museum, within the first 3 years of the end of the war. It was fascinating, though I was a little disappointed with the lack of visits to authentic sites in Warsaw. Luckily Adam, a Polish native, took me and Steve, a British teacher, to the Warsaw bunker. It was the last stand of the resistance, everyone inside died, there is debate whether they died from gas or suicide, but it was a block from the museum and the group did not go. Luckily we at least stopped at the Warsaw Cemetery. It is the most interesting and culturally rich cemeteries that I have ever visited.
We had a 'shark tank' where we had the opportunity to 'pitch' our project ideas to a panel, the panel being the junior interns. And by 'our' I mean a few "randomly" selected teachers, I was not one of them. Though I am going to try to find the kids later and talk to them about my project to get their feedback. Anyway, during this panel, Steven Spielberg came in, he was introduced to all of us. He sat one seat away from me, later the David Zaslav, Discovery CEO came in and sat between us. I met his [David's] wife, she teaches Math and it was an enjoyable chat. I would've liked to talk to her more. Later there was a panel of teachers and junior mentors from our group. Last night I was asked to be prepared to ask questions during the panel, at the time I thought there would be survivors so that's how I prepared my questions. Long story short, although I revamped my question I didn't ask any questions. I tweeted several great quotes and things from this panel check out #pastispresent
The ride to Krakow was supposed to be 4 hours, it is now 5 hours later and we still have another hour to go. We had a few stops and the other bus broke down for a while, so we stopped and waited for them. One of our pit stops was at the fun Dutch? themed restaurant with medieval elements thrown in, the hot chocolate was warm milk and chocolate, delicious. Now I am trying to get reflections typed and completed so that way I can sleep as soon as we get to the hotel.
Paula Lebovics Quotes:
"You can't hold onto the hate [anger], you have to let it go so you can move on."
About the displaced persons camps:
''It was wonderful, how could it not, we were free?"