Day 33: A Great Day in Our Nation's Capital

Trip Start Aug 02, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Where I stayed
Kathleen Bergin's Condo in Arlington, VA

Flag of United States  , Virginia
Friday, September 4, 2009

We spent a leisurely morning in Kathleen's condo in Arlington, VA. After lunch Tom and I took the Metro to the Federal Center station and walked to the National Museum of the American Indian which opened earlier this year.  It is the newest structure in the Smithsonian complex, 17 of which are in the D.C. area.  The landscape, architecture and interior design all focus on appropriate themes of sky, earth, water, all things living and living in peace and harmony.  It is beautifully done, reflecting the histories and stories and displaying artifacts of hundreds of tribes that have inhabited North and South America over thousands of years.  After absorbing all our minds and bodies would allow, we walked to the mall and took pictures of our nation's Capitol at one end and the Washington Monument at the other.  We continued our leisurely stroll through the streets of the city and found our way back to the Metro and to Arlington.  We then walked with Kathleen to Grand Cru, a wine bar and restaurant near her home, and enjoyed another evening together. Kathleen Bergin and I have been colleagues and friends for about 30 years.  She was a science teacher in Albany, Ga.  We first met when I directed SECME and she participated in Daugherty County’s SECME program.  She later became science coordinator for the school system and subsequently for the state of Georgia, so she was an important "ally" for all of the efforts I was involved in at Georgia Tech.  She was Director of Georgia’s Statewide Systemic Initiative in Math and Science in the early 1990’s in which Tech was a major participant.  During Georgia’s “dark days for education” at the State level with a superintendent who committed illegal and criminal acts such as firing people without cause, (she is serving time in prison for her misdeeds,)  Kathleen was one of her victims.  We were able to offer her a position at Georgia Tech which she accepted.  She and I had the pleasure of working together until I retired.  She was later invited to take a position as a Program Officer with the National Science Foundation where she continues to this day.  In addition to our professional collaborations, we have enjoyed a friendship that has grown through the years.  It’s been wonderful for me to have this time with her again.  And she has been a gracious host to Tom and me these past two days!

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