Saturday, February 14, 2015

The wonderful world of NHD

In two weeks, the 8th grader and her partner (and best friend) take their national history day (NHD) exhibit to compete in regionals. It has been revised and edited and rearranged. We've chauffeured them to the public and college libraries for research. They've ordered books from Amazon. The exhibit board has required numerous trips to the local DIY and craft stores. The girls have purchased a variety of vintage items from eBay that have arrived from all over the US. And we've bought enough adhesive to wrap Christmas presents for the entire state of Texas for the next decade.

As much as I enjoy history, I wasn't particularly jazzed about this project. But I've really enjoyed watching it take shape and evolve over the course of the past few months. Walt Disney was a wonderful topic for the theme of leadership and legacy. Only the top two winners in their category of group exhibit will move forward to the state contest, so the girls are at the mercy of a rather subjective judging process with a fun topic rather than a more serious one. Disney wasn't awarded a Nobel prize. He didn't cure a horrific disease. And he didn't bring about world peace. But he spent his career doing his level best to entertain folks and make them smile. 

Who can resist Mickey Mouse? Or turn up their nose at Space Mountain? And Dole whips - best theme park treat EVER.

The front of the board is the "meat" of the project where the girls addressed the theme in Mickey's colors. The back of the board pays homage to Disney's groundbreaking classic Snow White, featuring movie pics as well as Disney quotes. 

I better not be seeing any pics of our board on Pinterest… though it was a useful resource when the girls first started brainstorming ideas for this project. Best of luck to our own little historian at competition!


Today the 8th grader wrapped up academic UIL season. It seems she definitely inherited the spelling gene. She placed first in all three meets she attended. She was all excited at the thought of continuing UIL next year in high school, expanding into the writing events since it's something she enjoys. Then it dawned on her she would be competing against upperclassmen. I explained the importance of getting her feet wet at the next level so she'll be a lean, mean UIL machine by the time she's a junior and senior. Here she is posing with me and her best bud Leighton, who also competes in UIL. I'm glad the 8th grader experienced the thrill of winning, but I won't miss the rude 5 am alarm on Saturday morning to get us up and outta the house to catch the big yellow school bus to the competitions at such an ungodly hour.