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With the completion of today’s classes (and the surprise visit of Sir Anthony Hopkins), we have just about reached the end of the 2019 High School Summer Program!

This morning students met for their last class on Euclid, where — having grown confident over the last few days — they handily demonstrated Book I, Propositions 1629, and 32 for their classmates.  After Mass and lunch, they went to their last class, during which they discussed Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” When they arrived, they found — waiting for them by their spots at the table — some gifts from the Summer Program staff: a TAC book bag, pen, and water bottle; photos of their sections and the whole Summer Program student body; and a giftwrapped copy of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.

  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts
  • HSSP19 -- t-shirts
    Slideshow: Students get their T-Shirts

Then, after class, they received one more gift — a Thomas Aquinas College t-shirt, presented by prefects just outside St. Joseph Commons. Students began saying some preliminary farewells — and, according to one prefect, some tears were shed.

But there’s no need to get too weepy just yet! There’s still a banquet and dance to enjoy tonight. Check in Saturday for photos from the gala and the morning departures.


July 26,
2019

Sir Anthony Hopkins with College officials and Summer Program prefects in St. Cecilia Hall Sir Anthony Hopkins with College officials and Summer Program prefects in St. Cecilia Hall | Photo: @Juanmiguel_co

While the California Summer Program students were in their class this morning, Sir Anthony Hopkins paid his second impromptu visit to campus. As in 2012 he was driving along California Highway 150 when the dome and bell tower of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel caught his eye. So he decided to stop by once again. College officials showed him the campus’ newest building, St. Cecilia Hall, and he played a few pieces, among them his own compositions, on two of its pianos:

Some students caught a glimpse of the legendary actor after class got out, and his presence created quite a stir!


Chapel and academic quadrangle

We have reached the point in the High School Summer Program when people begin to speak of the “lasts.” On Thursday night we had the last study hall and the last coffee shop; today we have the last class, the last lunch, the last nighttime consecration.

Yet no one is getting too wistful just yet. At the conclusion of Thursday afternoon’s classes, a group of some 50 ladies ventured into Santa Paula, where they scoured the thrift stores for clothes to wear to Friday night’s soiree, then paid a visit to a local coffee shop. “There was lots of chatter and laughter, good finds, and good deals,” a prefect reports. They got back to campus jusrt in time for the last dance class:

  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class
  • HSSP19 -- 3rd Dance Class
    Slideshow: Final Dance Class

Students then took to the athletic fields for a fierce soccer tournament versus the prefects. The prefects jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead, but in the second half, the tide began to turn. Without any substitutes, the prefects began to grow tired, and the students, it turns out, were saving their best for last: Diego from Argentina made a late entry into the game, and the prefects could not contain him. Powered by their secret weapon, the students forced a sudden-death overtime, which Peter from Kansas brought to a dramatic conclusion with the game-winning goal. Final score: Students: 4, Prefects: 3 — a sweet bit of revenge after Monday night’s basketball games!

  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Soccer Tournament
    Slideshow: Soccer Tournament

Then it was time for a meatloaf and mashed-potatoes dinner, followed by study hall. For the first half, students read Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” in preparation for this afternoon’s class. Then they went to classrooms to practice their last Euclidean propositions — Book I, numbers 162932.

After the evening Rosary came iced-coffee drinks in the last campus coffee shop …

  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day
  • HSSP19 -- Last Coffee Shop
    Slideshow: Final Coffee Day

… and at 10:30 p.m., students returned to their residence halls for curfew — but the night was not over just yet. Back in St. Monica’s Hall, the ladies were just settling down when they heard a clamor outside. Looking  out their windows, they saw the men of Saints Peter and Paul, walking two by two and dressed in their Sunday best. The gentlemen  proceeded to serenade the ladies by singing “Red is the Rose,” “L-O-V-E,”and “Good Night Ladies.”

The Wooing

The men also presented the women with candy and carnations — which many wore in their hair this morning! — before returning to Saints Peter and Paul.

Happy women after the wooing

We now enter the last day of the program, with classes on Euclid and O’Connor, and still look forward to one last lunch, recreation period, and Rosary — as well as the farewell banquet and dance tonight. The Admissions crew is already busily sorting students’ certificates and parting gifts:

Prefects prepare farewell gifts

How could two weeks go by so fast?

 

New England-bound prefects and Admissions officers Members of the California Summer Program team who will soon be heading to New England: Head Men’s Prefect Andrew Rossi (’13), Head Women’s Prefect Sarah Dufresne (’14), Admissions Director Jon Daly, Prefects Katie Ellefson (’16), Seamus O’Brien (’20), and Dean Selmeczy (’08)

Yesterday we began introducing the prefects for this year’s New England High School Summer Program. Below is part 2:

Daniel Selmeczy (’08) Daniel Selmeczy (’08)• If you have been following this year’s California Summer Program, you know the name Daniel Selmeczy (’08). Best known as the Summer Program’s dance instructor, Dan’s specialty is turning neophytes into skilled dancers in time for the end-of-the-program dance. This is his twelfth year as a prefect, and he’s fired up to bring the program to the East Coast. “We are excited to be part of bringing this same program to a different location,” he says. “This program will be smaller than it’s been in California, which I think will create a great sense of community. Students will get to know each other and the prefects well.” His favorite memories of past years’ programs are the conversations in the residence halls and, not surprisingly, the dance lessons.

Maggie Dillon (’21) Maggie Dillon (’21)• Maggie Dillon (’21) is uniquely well suited to bring the TAC Summer Program to New England. As the granddaughter of late TAC president Thomas Dillon and the daughter of two alumni, she has known and loved the California campus — where she will soon enter her junior year — all her life. But she grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Lunenburg, about one hour away from the new campus, so this program will be, for her, a homecoming of sorts. “I attended the Summer Program in high school, and those two weeks were so wonderful and so fun that I didn’t think life could get any better,” Maggie recalls. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of it again! I am so excited to make new friends and be with them as they experience two of the best weeks of their lives.”

Kevin Murphy (’22) Kevin Murphy (’22)•  “I have never worked the Summer Program, nor did I attend it,” admits Kevin Murphy (’22) of Des Peres, Missouri. “So I am really looking forward to being a part of an experience which so many of my classmates described as incredibly formative.” A rising sophomore, he is one of the students who, having spent their freshman year on the California campus, are now transferring to the New England campus to complete their studies there. He has some good advice to share with the Summer Program students. “Don’t be afraid to speak up in class,” he says. “It’s sometimes hard to be comfortable sharing ideas in a room full of strangers, but I assure you, participation in the discussion is the best way to really dive into the curriculum.”

Simone Kelly (’22) Simone Kelly (’22)•  Simone Kelly (’22) is a fellow New England transfer, eager to share the blessings of Thomas Aquinas College with the East Coast. Having attended the Summer Program when she was in high school, she knows well the important role that prefects play in the program. “The prefects really helped me and encouraged me during those two weeks,” which she likens to a TAC “boot camp.” She is “excited about getting other people excited,” she says, “showing the students what our academic program is all about and helping to spread the word about our new campus.” A lifelong resident of Santa Paula, California, she is specially looking forward to exploring the Northeast. “I can’t wait for our trip to Boston and to go kayaking on the Connecticut River!”

Seamus O’Brien (’20) Seamus O’Brien (’20)• As a boy Seamus O’Brien (’20), a rising junior from Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, wanted to be a priest — and Santa Claus. “But I also never got why more hotdog salesmen didn’t sell bratwurst,” he explains. “So I told my parents that when I grew up I was going to be a priest and Santa Claus who owned a hotdog cart which sold brats instead of hotdogs.” What more need be said about the man? When he is not contemplating a life of holiness, generosity, and German sausage, this third-time prefect delights in the Summer Program’s hikes, sports, and conversations. At the California program, it was said that he was “an animal” in the watermelon water polo match, so be sure to keep an eye on him during the upcoming athletic competitions!

Katie Ellefson (’16) Katie Ellefson (’16)• When she was just 8 years old, Katie Ellefson (’16) decided that she wanted to become a nurse — a conviction that has remained with her to this day. Yet rather than enter a nursing program directly out of high school, she chose to come to Thomas Aquinas College first. “I’m so happy I did,” she says, “because it helped prepare me in ways I never imagined for things that challenge me now.” In December she will graduate from an accelerated Bachelor of Science nursing program in Cleveland, Ohio. She is taking a break from her studies to serve as a prefect this summer because “I want to help give the high school students a sneak-peek experience of a program that I have witnessed transform many lives for the better — especially my own.”

 
 

Volleyball

All of the regular afternoon activities — volleyball, basketball, tennis, and more — took place during Wednesday’s recreation period, plus the addition of a Summer Program favorite: watermelon water polo, in which teams of women, and then men, attempt to bring a greased watermelon across the pond and to the opposing team’s goal.

  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo
  • HSSP19 -- Watermelon Water Polo
    Slideshow: Watermelon Water Polo

“Both games were intense,” one prefect reports, “and Seamus O’Brien was an animal.” The boys, in particular, worked themselves into a competitive frenzy. At first they smeared the Crisco that’s used to grease the watermelon on to their bodies, ostensibly to make themselves more slippery in the pond. Then, for good measure, they put the vegetable oil-based shortening into their hair, too — for reasons undetermined. But they looked fierce and had a great time!

This exhausting and hilarious activity was followed by a hearty enchilada dinner, then a study period in the library and classrooms. Students once more practiced their Euclidean propositions with the help of the prefects, and they also prepared for today’s last class on Boethius.

Student in study hall

Study hall was abbreviated, however, so as to make time for a special treat: a musical oratory in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, courtesy of the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School, which visited the campus as part of its tour of the Western United States. The oratory consisted of meditations and hymns about Our Lady, the Blessed Sacrament, and penitence and redemption, as well as a sung compline. The Chapel was near full capacity, with many local friends and alumni of the College joining the Summer Program students for this blessed experience. “The music was so beautiful, it gave me goosebumps,” one student declared, echoing a sentiment shared by all present.

Schola in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

An evening coffee shop followed, and a good number of students took the opportunity to practice their dance moves in preparation for Friday’s farewell gala. Rosary took place after curfew in the residence halls, with a few students staying up late to practice their Euclidean propositions.

It’s hard to believe, but the program is nearing the end!


Students pose before departing for hike

Although Tuesday’s recreation period began with the quad run, it certainly didn’t end there! As soon as the races concluded, a group of about 40 students hiked up to the Punch Bowls, a collection of spring-fed, natural pools about two miles above the campus. Others made their way to the athletic field for a friendly game of softball and a mid-day snack of cotton candy, spun by prefect Maggie Dillon:

  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game
  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game
  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
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    Slideshow: Softball Game
  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game
  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game
  • HSSP19 -- softball
    Slideshow: Softball Game

Meanwhile, others still took a dip in the campus ponds:

  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
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    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
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    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
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    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds
  • HSSP19 -- ponds
    Slideshow: Swimming in the Ponds

After a dinner of chicken and pasta with broccoli and cauliflower, students met up with in various classroom for study hall, where prefects helped them practice demonstrating Euclidean propositions. Then there was the nightly Rosary in the Chapel and a presentation in St. Cecilia Hall about the New England campus, followed by the highlight of the evening: Theology on Float.

Fr. Sebastian speaks to the students

Meeting in the St. Gladys Plaza, overlooking the campus athletic fields, Summer Program Chaplain Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem., answered previously submitted questions about a wide range of topics. There were more than 100 questions in all, covering a wide range of categories such as Scripture, the liturgy, morality, and theology. Questions ranged from the role of Mary, to intercessory prayer, to vocations. A regular guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio show, Fr. Sebastian was in his element. When discussing popular challenges to the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexual morality, for example, he offered the pithy and memorable response: “Your eyes are for seeing, your ears are for hearing, and — surprise, surprise! — your reproductive organs are for reproduction!”

The conversation continued long past curfew, with the boys asking Father more questions in their residence hall’s courtyard. Meanwhile, in the girls’ residence hall, there was a fierce, student-requested game of dodgeball! (Alas, no pictures were taken.)

Fr. Sebastian speaks with students in the men's residence hall courtyard


We will now take a brief break from our reporting about the California Summer Program to turn our thoughts to the inaugural New England program, which begins on Sunday! So, let us begin by introducing the all-star team of alumni and TAC students who will be on hand for the upcoming, two-week foray into Catholic liberal education in Northfield, Massachusetts:

Andrew Rossi (’13) Andrew Rossi (’13)• Proving that he truly is a superhuman, Andrew Rossi (’13) — who served as the head men’s prefect in California — is flying across country to serve in the same capacity in New England. A native of Bakersfield, California, Rossi (as everyone calls him) is a seventh-year Summer Program veteran. When he’s not leading Summer Programs, he teaches logic, geometry, history, and chemistry at St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California. “My favorite part of the Summer Program,” he says, “is interacting with the students and listening to their first thoughts on the great books.” In past years he has overseen the program’s athletic competitions, a role he anticipates taking up in New England, too. If there’s ever a softball game, expect him to pitch!

Sarah Dufresne ('14) Sarah Dufresne (’14)• The women’s head prefect in New England Program will be Sarah Dufresne (’14), now serving her sixth program. A onetime volunteer for her high school’s campus ministry team and an occasional missionary with Justice for All’s pro-life campus outreach, Sarah sees being “radically available” as key to working well with young adults — an approach she exhibits every day with the high school students. “When I was a student at the College, I began to understand the meaning of true freedom as I was given the opportunity to learn the timeless truths that, when understood under the light of faith, truly set us free,” she says. “What a gift! I want others to have this incredible gift as well.”

Jean Guerreiro (’22) Jean Guerreiro (’22)• “I attended the Summer Program in 2018, and I know it sounds crazy, but I applied right after and joined the Class of 2022 one month later,” says sophomore Jean Guerreiro of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Jean is one of the 34 students who, having spent their freshman year on the California campus, will transfer to the New England campus for their sophomore year. “The students who are coming to this, the first Summer Program in New England, are ready to make history, and that’s exciting,” he says. “I hope they all dive into the classes and activities, full of energy and enthusiasm. That will make a huge impact on their experience of the program.”

Meg Murphy (’22) Meg Murphy (’22)• A New England native, Meg Murphy (’22) of Cheshire, Connecticut, is a rising sophomore on the College’s California campus. “I’ve never attended a Summer Program, nor have I worked one,” she admits. “So this will be my first!” Grateful for all she experienced during her first year at the College, Meg is eager to share those blessings with the Summer Program students. “It is amazing how much I have grown and learned in just the few months I have been here,” she says. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the high schoolers and sharing what I love about my school. I’m also very excited and honored to be a part of the very first New England Summer Program and all the adventures that come with it!”

Joseph Guinee (’21) Joseph Guinee (’21)• A resident of North Andover, Massachusetts and a rising junior on the California campus, Joseph Guinee (’21) is thrilled to see the College — and the Summer Program — come to his home state. “I’m looking forward to meeting all of the programmers,” says this second-time prefect. “But I’m especially excited to see how everything unfolds on this new campus. What we do this year will define the New England Summer Program for years to come.” He offers the following advice to the students: “Get sleep. There is plenty of time to hang out with your friends during the day, and sleep is the only thing that will keep you running during classes and the endless activities we will be doing!”

Grace (Bueche) andJohn Jost (both ’17) Grace (Bueche) and John Jost (both ’17)• The picture on the right is of Grace (Bueche ’17) and her husband, classmate John Jost (’17), who were married earlier this summer! (John is a the associate director of Admissions on the New England campus, so you can expect to see him around quite a bit over these next two weeks, too.) Although new to the Summer Program, Grace has plenty of experience working with high school students. For the last two years she has taught math and science for the Mother of Divine Grace online school. This fall — now that the Josts will be living on the New England campus — she will be teaching math at a nearby Catholic school. “I am very excited to come back to TAC,” she says, “and help these young students experience the profound good to be found in terms of studies, friends, and Catholic formation.”


Student runs past Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Any jitters that the high school students may have had going into this morning’s class — where, for the first time, they would be called upon to demonstrate Euclidean propositions on the blackboard — were for naught. By all indications, the students passed their first test with flying colors!

At the afternoon class, after Mass and lunch, students discussed the first two books of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. Written in 524 A.D., while Boethius awaited his martyrdom in prison, this work is presented in the form of a dialogue between Boethius and Lady Philosophy, in which they discuss evil, happiness, suffering, fate, God, and free will. In short, it’s the perfect work to tie up the big questions that the students have been pondering for the last week.

Then, at the start of the afternoon recreation period, came one of the favorite California Summer Program events: the quad run!

  • HSSP19 -- Quad Run
    Slideshow: Quad Run
  • HSSP19 -- Quad Run
    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
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    Slideshow: Quad Run
  • HSSP19 -- Quad Run
    Slideshow: Quad Run
  • HSSP19 -- Quad Run
    Slideshow: Quad Run
  • HSSP19 -- Quad Run
    Slideshow: Quad Run

A relatively new but already beloved Thomas Aquinas College tradition, the Quad Run was inspired by a classic scene from Chariots of Fire, in which Harold Abrahams successfully completes Cambridge University’s Trinity Great Court Run before the King’s Gate Clock strikes 12. This afternoon, some 20 Summer Program students staged their own quad run. The athletes sprinted, in pairs, a clockwise course around the academic quadrangle, beginning and ending by St. Bernardine of Siena Library.

The Winners!

On the women’s side, the top runner was Molly Z., a Summer Program student from Olympia, Washington, who completed the course in 44.73 seconds. On the men’s side, Austin T. from Phoenix, Arizona, blew away all competitors, finishing with a time of 32.63 seconds. Austin shaved nearly a half second from the previous men’s course record set last year! Both winners’ names will be engraved on the commemorative plaque which hangs in the Admissions office:

plaque              

The quad run is one of many events planned for this afternoon. A softball game is also under way, as well as a hike in the Los Padres National Forest. Finally, students will end the night with “Theology on Float,” wherein students enjoy root-beer floats and Summer Program Chaplain Fr. Sebastian answers questions about the Faith, distributed throughout the day via this box, stationed in Commons.

questions box

Come back Wednesday for updates!


Students at study hall

Following Monday’s classes most students spent the afternoon recreation period on the College basketball courts, preparing for that night’s basketball tournament:

Then came dinner, followed by an informational Admissions meeting in St. Cecilia Hall, where Director Jon Daly took questions from students about Thomas Aquinas College and its application process. There was particular interest in the College’s soon-to-be-opened New England campus — which still has a few spots open in its High School Summer Program, starting next week. So if you are a rising high school senior reading this post, wishing you had come to the Summer Program, it’s not too late!

Next up was a special study hall, beginning with a presentation from prefect Dan Selmeczy. Dan offered advice on how to demonstrate Euclidean propositions, which students would do at Tuesday morning’s class — a prospect that had some feeling somewhat intimidated. “Ask yourself, ‘What is the purpose of this part of the proposition?’” Dan advised. “That’s a good question to drive your understanding.”

Student demonstrates a Euclidean proposition

When Dan was finished with the presentation, students headed off for various classrooms around campus, where prefects gave them more personalized preparation on the chalkboards. One student was overheard asking his peers, “Are we doing this to learn logical argumentation or something?” — prompting some knowing smiles from the prefects.

The final event of the evening was a set of basketball games pitting the prefects against the students. Both the women’s and the men’s games were energetic, hard-fought nail-biters. In the women’s game — hardly the stomping that some had feared — the prefects took the lead early and held on to it for most of the game, until the students grabbed the lead late with a late 10-0 run. But the prefects regained their composure and eked out a narrow win in the end.

  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
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    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament
  • HSSP19 -- Basketball Tournament
    Slideshow: Basketball Tournament

The men’s game also had its shares of runs and lead changes. After jumping to an 8-0 lead to start the game, the students saw the prefects regain control and take the lead by halftime. The last few minutes of the game — during which the students wowed spectators with their three-point shooting — was a constant back-and-forth struggle. With less than 10 seconds to go, Thomas C. of Minnesota took the ball coast-to-coast for what looked like the game-winning layup, putting the students ahead by 1 point with just 4 seconds to go. But against all odds, the prefects inbounded the ball to half-court, whereupon George Stypa dished it off to Fr. Sebastian, standing just inside the three-point arc, and the Padre nailed an off-balance, fade-away, buzzer-beating jumper — with a defender in his face — for the win.

Although disappointed, the students took the loss quite graciously, congratulating Father for his heroics. They then returned to the residence halls where, after consecration, many were seen practicing their props well into the night — and early this morning, too!

Students in the men's residence hall


Students walk past St. Joseph Commons

Students may have woken up a little groggy this morning after a hyper-stimulating weekend, but they were nonetheless ready to get back to work. In the morning class they began on Euclid’s definitions, common notions, and postulates in lively discussions. Having consdered the meanings of such terms as “line” and “point,” they are now ready to take on Euclidean propositions throughout the rest of the week’s morning sessions.

At the afternoon class, after Mass and lunch, students discussed the first two books of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. Written in 524 A.D., while Boethius awaited his martyrdom in prison, this work is presented in the form of a dialogue between Boethius and Lady Philosophy, in which they discuss evil, happiness, suffering, fate, God, and free will. In short, it’s the perfect work to tie up the big questions that the students have been pondering for the last week.

On another note, we finally have photos available from Saturday night! Sorry for the delay! Below are slideshows from the Stations of the Cross …

  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross
  • HSSP19 -- stations
    Slideshow: Stations of the Cross

… and Open-Mic night:

  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night
  • HSSP19 -- Open-Mic Night
    Slideshow; Open-Mic Night