Why would any school group (performing or social studies) want to go to Washington, DC this school year? Fuel prices are at record highs, meaning for the 2nd year in a row there is going to be a steep increase in trip prices. The fallout of high fuel prices (since transportation costs, affect other areas of the travel industry), like the cost to transport meats and vegetables to restaurants and paper products and work uniforms to hotels. Then there is the safety issue. Israel is at war with terrorist groups in Lebanon. Other terrorist groups are threatening the United States. We had the 9/11 disaster in 2001 and the war with Iraq in 2003. We had many schools cancel their trips or show absolutely no interest in traveling to Washington, DC or for any US city for that matter. Hey, I am just playing devil’s advocate. Actually, in spite of these real things happening, the early phone calls and e-mails from teachers show a very brisk travel season ahead. Go figure. A few years ago, any change in world affairs, would scare schools off. Not any more. Maybe we are getting “thicker skins” and are adjusting to this new way of life, that the United States and its people are no longer insulated from the rest of the happenings of the world.