For my Crimes Against Humanity class this past spring we went on a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.
  1. I was running on two hours of sleep when we left
    I was up until 1:30 in the morning finishing the rough draft of my paper for Alison, the professor who was taking us on the trip. The paper was on how Indian Boarding Schools in America and what happened within them could be considered acts of genocide. I couldn't fall asleep because I get anxious and excited before field trips. I went to bed at 3:30 in the morning and woke up at 5:30.
  2. We all got into a 15 passenger van and left 6:20 in the morning.
    Some of us equipped with pillows and blankets for the 3 hour drive. I was ready for a nap because I always fall asleep in cars, but I didn't sleep a wink.
  3. Most of us chatted and told stories on the way
    I was a little scared of Alison driving such a big van because I've only ever seen her drive a Mini Cooper and if you know her it's kinda scary. Alison told us some great stories about her life, like the time she went skydiving to get over her fear of heights and continued to do so until she got pregnant.
  4. We got to some place outside DC where we rode the metro into DC
    Alison's biggest fear was losing one of us on the metro. She was afraid of losing one of her 20 something year old college students, almost all of which have been to DC before. Really the most likely one to get lost would be me. I'm like a child and easily distracted and have zero sense of direction.She knew this. We stayed close together.
  5. First stop was the Holocaust Museum
    This was my second time going, but it had been years. We all had an idea of what to expect because we had been studying it the whole semester.
  6. We all went through at our own pace
    Some of us went alone. Some of us went with a partner. I went with Olivia. She was the person I knew most in the class and was my friend. She was in charge of Genocide Awareness and Action Week and I was her right hand woman in planning.
  7. Everything I saw was shocking, but nothing was surprising
    If that makes any sense. After years of learning about genocides I am not longer surprised by the cruelties people can inflict on each other.
  8. Some people cried
    Which is okay. The Holocaust is not an easy subject to learn about or see. This really brought some of us together. If we saw a classmate upset we stopped. We sat with them and held their hands.
  9. I did not cry
    I wish I could. It upsets me and I get angry that these things have happened and not everything was done to stop them. I haven't cried when it comes to genocide since my freshman year. I don't know why.
  10. Everyone supported each other
    I held Olivia's hand when we walked through the area with all the shoes. She help my hand when we went through the area with all the family pictures of the people who died.
  11. At the end we all met up in lobby
    Most of us didn't talk about what we saw. We were all still processing.
  12. We then went to lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian
    Very good food! We all got to relax and eat. And we didn't have to pay! The history department paid for our food. They had wine you could buy. I suggested Alison buy me some. She gave me the look. 😒
  13. I love the American Indian Museum
    I find Native American culture and history so interesting. I spent a lot of time staring at this one US document regarding Native Americans. Old documents are exciting! 🤓
  14. This museum was a lot easier to go through
    A lot of terrible things have happened to Native Americans. The museum does touch upon that, but also it wants to teach you about Native American culture.
  15. We met with one of the educational directors there
    She is so sweet and very smart. She came to the previous year's Genocide Awareness Week to talk. It was nice to just sit and chat all together.
  16. I bought an anthropology book and an American Indian Sign Language book
    I wanted to buy all the books and all the jewelry. I wanted to buy everything.
  17. We all sat down and relaxed for a bit
    Everyone was exhausted. Physically and emotionally. At one point Airokhsh leaned her head on my shoulder. While we knew each other from class we never really talked, but the class makes you close in a different way. We both shut our eyes and I rubbed her shoulder (I'm all about stroking hair in these situations, but she wears a hijab). It's a moment I won't forget. It wasn't weird. It was just a moment of genuine human trust and compassion.
  18. We took the metro back to the van and drove to Olivia's house in Maryland
  19. Olivia's mom invited us all to dinner and made a huge dinner for all of us with dessert!
    It was nice to have a home cooked meal after such a long day. Olivia's mom also made us all little gift bags. We played with those little hand mazes with the balls in them. Alison was getting frustrated with it which was entertainment within itself for all of us.
  20. The ride home was ridiculously funny because we were all tired
    Alison did not drive back, Adam did. At one point Adam and Olivia had the heat on and it got really fucking hot. Alison, originally from England, and Catherine, an exchange student from England, were both freaking out. "It's boiling on here!" Was said a lot. Catherine at one point had her face against the window. Océane was cold though. At one point Alison yelled "Catherine take off your clothes and give them to Océane to wear!" Everyone burst out into laughter.
  21. At one point I was poking Alison's arm repeatedly
    I was at that point of tiredness that poking my professor's arm who was sitting next to me seemed like an okay thing to do. I'm an actual child. I don't know why she still likes me.
  22. At one point everyone was sleeping in the car. Well except for navigator Olivia and driver Adam.
    You know when your head starts falling and you jolt awake. I did that inches away from a sleeping Alison's head that was leaning in my direction. If my head hit hers that would have just been awful.
  23. We got back to school at about 12:45 in the morning
    I got into my room, took my jeans off, and flopped into my bed. Good thing the trip was on a Friday because I then slept for a solid 12 hours.
  24. I will never forget that day
    It was emotional and exhausting. Yet, I had so much fun. I was having a very difficult time that month. I was depressed and didn't go to class for a week. Getting out and being with people and bonding helped me so much. We all laughed and cried and it was a day (and a class) that created a unique bond between 10 people.