Presidential Memories

Today is Presidents’ Day.

Speaking of presidents, I have some fond memories of reading and learning about presidents with my son.

When Andy was a first grader (2004-2005), he liked presidents. So we checked out biographies of every U.S. prescient from the library and read together. He memorized all 43 presidents’ names and their order.

In second grade (2005-2006), Andy became interested in the 50 U.S. states. We read at least one book about each of the 50 states. He memorized all the states and capitols.

In June 2006, our family took a trip to D.C. We visited the Smithsonian Institute’s American History Museum.

During a break we sat on a bench resting. There was a TV monitor nearby with the presidents flashing on the screen. Andy named all the presidents as fast as the pictures appeared.

When we were ready to leave, a woman sitting next to us said to me, "I was amazed by how much your son knows the presidents. I am a teacher and my six grader students don’t know as much as he does."

Among all the presidents, Ronald Reagan is Andy’s favorite president. For one reason only, because President Reagan liked jelly beans. He always had a jar of jelly beans on his desk.

In 2009, we visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, California.

We toured the Oval Office that is a replica of the real one in Washington, D.C. We boarded the Air Force One 27000 that had served seven past presidents from Nixon to W. Bush (1972-2001) and is now on permanent display at the Reagan Presidential Library.

Here is another fun memory.

Once Andy told me that his teacher asked the class a question related to a president. Andy was the only one who knew the answer. His teacher was surprised that he knew more about the U.S. presidents than the full blooded American kids in the class.

I thought the teacher’s comment was interesting. Andy is an American, because he was born here. But with both parents from China, he just doesn’t look like a typical American.

Nowadays Andy’s memory about presidents is getting a little rusty, but I think he still knows more about presidents than most full blooded Americans do.


3 Responses

  1. Hank Long

    Good post, Qin. I remember writing a letter to President Reagan when I was a first grader. I mailed him a stick of gum with the letter because I knew he liked candy. I received in return a very nice magazine on the history of the presidents. I still have it today.

  2. Johnskyn Kantilever

    This piece was asinine and insipid. Also, there was no mention of Rutherford B. Hayes, our greatest president of all. What gives?

  3. Mary Aalgaard

    It would be interesting to define, or ask a prejudiced person to define, what a “full-blooded American” looks like and where he or she comes from. Great story on your son. Shows how interest in a subject stimulates the love of learning.

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