Bringing history to life carries an extra punch of excitement when that history is really “live,” which is why the Eagle Hill School community said it was pleased to welcome U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) to its campus earlier this month.
After studying the elections throughout the fall and then holding their own elections for student council using many of the same processes as regular elections, the students at Eagle Hill School already had a solid grasp of how politics is conducted in the United States.
However, hearing it from someone who is immersed in it on a daily basis, and who is a congressman in their own area lent an immediateness to it that is rarely experienced, school officials said.
From the moment Mr. Himes, a Cos Cob resident who was recently sworn in for his third term in office, entered the room, the students were attentive and interested as he began with a short quiz on the setup of the U.S. government. He tested students by asking them about the history of Congress, the Supreme Court and the House of Representatives. And with every question, the students were quick to answer.
Several times throughout his brief presentation, Mr. Himes reiterated to the students that his role as a congressman was to listen to his constituents and that he was therefore going to allow plenty of time for students to share their views and ask him anything they desired. The students were very pleased that he stuck to his promise, as many of them had gone to the presentation prepared with their questions and thoughts.
With the topic of the Sandy Hook tragedy still fresh in everyone’s minds, one student wished to know whether Mr. Himes believed in a national registry of mentally ill people, while another, with a parent out of work, questioned his views on wealth disparity in the country. Still others wondered what he thought about radiation in the environment, taxing large or foreign cars or how his schedule rolled out on the day of the Sandy Hook shooting. According to the school, the congressman respectfully requested students’ views before he told them his own, and answered every question in a way that was balanced and easy to understand.
As he left the school Mr. Himes shared his delight in the intellectual conversation that he enjoyed with the students that morning.