From the Smithsonian we departed for the Naval Observatory, home of the Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. It didn't seem real, to think we were actually headed there. Just too good to be true, or too tired for it to have sunk in that it was happening. After inching through traffic on the George Washington Parkway, 20 minutes on the bus having our identification checked twice, and dodging some raindrops (the first of many that week)...there it was. We were about to be received by the Second Lady - and First Teacher - of the United States.
|Quartet as we walked in...|
|The view (and Berkeley) from the porch|
We had some time before Dr. Biden arrived to socialize and look around the downstairs. And take pictures. And sit on the furniture. And look at the family photographs displayed in the living room and foyer. Suddenly, it's very real. Those are the people we've seen on television, in the news articles, and on the ballot - and we are in their house.
|Photo credit Kathy Assini|
|Sun Room (I told you we were allowed to sit on the furniture!)|
|Berkeley found Jill's children's book...he's excited, because he's writing one, too!|
|Chandelier in dining room|
|Etched glass above staircase|
...And if you're the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, you're playing the violin with the quartet.
After about 30 minutes (I think, it may have been longer), Jill Biden arrived. She greeted each of us with a hug when we had our individual pictures taken with her. She was very personable and down-to-earth, like someone you may teach with down the hall. Dr. Biden began her teaching career as a high school English teacher and now teaches at a local community college.
I recorded a portion of her message to the teachers assembled in the foyer.
As we departed, we were given a small journal and an engraved bookmark from Dr. Biden. We also took as many pictures as time and rain allowed, because it was finally sinking in that this was just the first of many incredible experiences this week to recognize teachers.
|Photo via Twitter|
|One last picture before leaving...|
|Okay, this is the last one!|