N. always likes the architectural aspects of our tourism, so he was very interested in the 18th-century house itself, beyond its Johnsonian aura.
Plus, to cater to school groups, Johnson's house has some 18th-century-style costumes in one room, so N., my students, and I all played a little dress-up.
I am having a lot of fun accompanying N. on these outings with my students, because while my students are dutifully appreciative of places like Johnson's house, they lack N.'s voracious enthusiasm. He has an observant eye for detail, is patiently attentive to narration (while my students get restless!), and is entirely unhesitant to ask questions (even among a group of 15 twenty-year-olds), whether about objects in a room or something the curator says. He also likes to answer guides' questions when he can, and he had to learn to wait a few minutes to give the college students the first opportunity to answer; when they don't know an answer, he delights in defining "ostler" or pointing out a detail in a painting. N. is getting a lot out of our outings, and much to my students' bemusement, he's also modelling for them a wholehearted, enthusiastic approach to learning and to London.
|Dr. Johnson's House|
|Inspecting the (facsimile) Dictionary|
|"A very fine cat indeed."|