GUILDERLAND: Living history

Andrew Sheehan, who is equally fascinated by Walt Disney, said, "I just thought it was a cool idea because I could research somebody like Walt Disney, who is so successful, did so many things, and I could actually be him for a short amount of time."

Molly Clancy, an 11X student with acting experience, chose Judy Garland as her person to research. She said she never got to be Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" in any of her school plays, but that portraying Dorothy for the living museum was even more challenging then her acting roles. "You're interacting so much more with your audience, and they're able to ask you questions and nit-pick you," she said. "You can't mess up a date or something, especially if they know the person you're being."

Alex Dickson, who portrayed "The Great Gatsby" author F. Scott Fitzgerald, also spent a lot of time making sure his facts were straight.

"There were a lot of nights of looking up obscure facts, but it really paid off," he said.

Dixon attributes his overall enjoyment and success in the course to his teachers.

"They're really supportive. They don't just take your ideas, they add their own ideas so there's interplay between us," he said. "It's a really constructive class."

Dixon wasn't alone in his opinions of the 11X class. Almost every student spoke highly of it and their teachers.

"It's so much more fun than other classes, and the teachers are so nice," said Alex Martin, who teamed up with Jacquelyn Howland to portray Wilbur and Orville Wright.

"They're the coolest teachers I've ever had. They connect with you more on a personal level," said Martin.

McNamara said she believes that students enjoy her class so much because they have fun doing the projects and attending field trips together. This fall, the class made a trip to Salem, Mass., after reading "The Scarlet Letter." They have also made a trip to Washington, D.C.

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