When I walked into Fort Menendez I went back into time and before I went there I hadn’t realized how hard people had to work just to survive. Nowadays we have things like running freshwater, cabinets full of food, t.v., accurate weather forecasts, etc., and we are very lucky to have that stuff. Even though we think we might have nothing, we have a lot more than we think we do. Anyways, Fort Menendez is my favorite place in St. Augustine.
First I’m going to tell you about my favorite thing we did there. It was the pioneer schoolhouse. We got to do a lot of cool things there and I’m going to tell you what we had to do and got to do. Well, to get started, when we walked into the classroom the girls had to curtsy, the boys had to bow, and we all had to say “Hello Mr. Daniel.” We also got to write with a quill pen, but before we got to do that we had to practice on a little board. Because back then they had to work really hard just to make one single piece of paper. Anyways I’m going to tell you about the quill pen. It was different than writing with a regular pen, what I mean is that it was a lot harder and you also had to be a lot more careful not to glob it and stuff like that. Another thing that we go to do there is learn about what their punishment was if they did something wrong. What the boys had to do was put on a bonnet and a dress and stand in front of the girls for awhile and then go back to his seat with it on for the rest of the day. The girls had to stand on their tip- toes with their hair wrapped around a nail until they couldn’t anymore.
The second thing I’m going to tell you about is the Native American part. We had a lot of choices on what we could do, but before we could do that we put on face paint and a tattoo. Then we walked into a building called the pahama and introduced ourselves in Native American language. We learned about their different symbols and what they meant. After that we helped make a canoe by taking shells and carving it. Then this is what would’ve happened - the men would’ve taken it and burned it and that would happen over and over again. Then they would’ve had a canoe. After we did that they gave us a list of things we could choose to do and these are the things I chose. The first one is called corn darts. It is basically corn that you throw into the hoops that they use as targets. I also tried out some of the tools that they would have used, but I wasn’t that good at it. That was all I did though.
My third favorite thing we got to there was the archaeology. In the archaeology part we got to dig in our own little area for two of our favorite things, then we got to write about it. I’m going to tell you about how we got to dig. First, we got to dig with a shovel. Then we sifted through the dirt to see what we got and then as I said before, we picked our favorite two and wrote about them and I’m going to tell you what I wrote about. I wrote about a piece of turtle bone and a piece of pottery. The piece of pottery looked like part of a shoe print and I’m going to tell you why. Back then they put prints on their pottery and the print that was on that pottery looked like a shoe print. The turtle bone looked like a paddle because of how it was shaped. It didn’t feel like bone either because of how old it was and that is pretty much it.
As you can see this was clearly my favorite place in St. Augustine. I really enjoyed that we got to go to a hands on museum and do what they would’ve done back then. It is fun and you are learning things at the same time. It was the best field trip I’ve ever been on and I am glad I got to do this with my friends. I hope I get to go back some day.