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Live from the Dorms at National History Day!
Checking in from National History Day in Washington, D.C.
It has been a fun and exhausting week at the History Day national contest at the University of Maryland, and there is still plenty more to do!
We had an ice cream social in the dorms, movie night, and have plans for a pizza and sign-making party and a dorm-decorating contest. On Monday, all Juniors presented their projects to judges, and Seniors presented on Tuesday. At least two Indiana Seniors made national finals and will present their projects Wednesday morning. Afterwards we are visiting Sen. Lugar at his office near the Capitol. It is an honor to represent the Indiana students at nationals and we have several high-quality projects this year. I have talked to several proud parents this week and as well they should be!
On display this week at the Stamp Student Union is one of 26 original copies of the Declaration of Independence still in existence, on loan from TV producer and philanthropist Norman Lear. At the opening ceremony on Sunday, Cathy Gorn, executive director of National History Day, asked all participants to go see the document on display and reflect on what it means to each of us personally. As I stood in awe of the document, I considered the opportunities that all of these young people have as a result of the efforts of the people who drafted it. To me, it is opportunities like these for students – getting up close to exceptionally rare documents, private audiences with state senators, and competing at the highest level of a national contest – which truly make this program special.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates on the rest of our week. The week culminates at the Awards Ceremony on Thursday, which will be broadcast live on The History Channel's Web site. Log on to www.nhd.org Thursday morning for a link, and look for our tweets! The Awards Ceremony will start at 8:30 a.m.
Thanks for reading and go Indiana!
|Matt Durrett is coordinator, National History Day in Indiana. Usually laconic and reserved, he has recently acquired the nickname “The Quiet Storm” around the office for his rare yet tempest-like outbursts.|