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Mrs. Harig’s Favorites

December 27, 2013
We're going to go ahead and say that Mrs. Harig is a pretty darn good photographer.  The Colosseum is a pretty good subject to photograph, though.

We’re going to go ahead and say that Mrs. Harig is a pretty darn good photographer.                 The Colosseum is a pretty good subject to photograph, though.

A few months ago Mr. Curtis asked all the TAP teachers to pick their favorite picture from their TAP trips.  This is wasn’t an easy assignment for Mrs. Harig, because (after Mr. C.) she’s visited the second most countries of anyone involved in TAP.  Mrs. Harig has traveled with us t0 Greece, Turkey, Italy, Vatican City, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Wales, and England.  There were probably a ton of pictures for her to choose from.  

Here’s what she had to say: 

When I began looking through the nearly 5,000 pictures I’ve taken on my five TAP trips, I knew that it was going to be difficult to pick just one favorite.

That was an understatement.  Each picture  I’ve taken represents an amazing place that I never dreamed I would be and experiences I never knew I’d have.

I have hundreds of pictures that show beautiful cathedrals and churches and the amazing history attached to each, but I didn’t pick one of those.

I have wonderful pictures of lots of beautiful landscapes and sunsets which I love, but I did not select one of them.

I have terrific pictures of impromptu moments that I was fortunate enough to experience with wonderful TAP travelers. However, I decided not to go with one of them either.

I have countless pictures of astounding historical locations that I have read and taught about, and one of these is what I decided to share.

I chose a few pictures of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.  TAP’s trip to Italy was the second trip that I had the fortune of attending. I was incredibly excited to visit the Colosseum as it’s a place that I learned about in junior high and high school and then taught about for five years when I taught sixth grade Social Studies at Plano Middle School – you see, there’s something about teaching a subject that helps you connect to it on such a unique level.  That was the Colosseum for me – all those years of pictures of this magnificent historical monument in textbooks and online did not do it justice.

The day finally came when I was standing where so many gladiator fights had taken place. It is difficult to explain what it feels like to be someplace where you had only dreamed of going. I never thought I would be in any of the ancient historical places I taught about to my students, and here I was. I was in awe of what I was seeing as I looked around at what was left of the massive arena that led to the deaths of thousands.

It was amazing that so much of the arena still stands, yet it is also in a desperate state.  The Colosseum, as it ages, is becoming weaker and crumbling. They have made as many repairs as they can, but it is incredibly costly to keep up on all of them.

The inside of The Colosseum - You can almost hear Russell Crowe riling up the crowd.

The inside of The Colosseum – You can almost hear Russell Crowe riling up the crowd.

As our group was led through the hallways where so many ancient Romans had once walked on their way to view oh so many gladiator fights, I still couldn’t believe that I was walking where they had walked and touching walls that they had touched. I tried to imagine the excitement they were feeling as they entered the arena. The conversations they were having about their favorite gladiators that would be fighting that day.

Once we were in the arena and I was standing where so many Romans had been spectators and again I was in awe. I was amazed at the enormous size and also saddened at what little was left of the interior. It is unfortunate that a place that holds so much history is becoming more and more difficult to maintain.

I am constantly amazed beyond words at the sites I have had the fortune to see that have been in existence for thousands of years. I loved visiting the Colosseum and the numerous other amazing sites I have seen. I cannot wait to add to my list of tremendous experiences that come with being a part of this amazing program.

Do you have a favorite moment in your travels (with TAP or otherwise)?  Do you have a favorite picture?  Please, feel free to submit your pictures and stories.  We’d love to share them here.  Leave your ideas in the comments below.  

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