Summer Program Blog
Summer Program student Maria B-H (left) with classmates during their trip to In-N-Out Burger
“It was truly two of the most amazing weeks in my life,” writes Maria B-H of her experience at the 2016 High School Summer Program. On her blog, Earl Grey Soliloquy, Maria shares photos from her time in the program, as well as her thoughts about the campus, going to the beach & Santa Barbara, the trip to the Getty Center & the Hollywood Bowl, and the final days and farewell dance.
She also offers a nice reflection about how much she and her classmates were able to achieve in just two weeks. “My section got into some deep stuff, including how to prove the existence of the soul, whether or not faith is reasonable, the purpose of creation, the definition of piety, and much more,” she writes. “It was magical to be able to discuss these fundamental questions with my peers in the light of Catholic teaching. It’s kind of mind-blowing, really.”
Apparently she liked what she experienced. “I’ve already begun my application, so we’ll see if I end up at Thomas Aquinas College next year,” Maria concludes. “And hopefully I’ll reconnect with some of the friends I made at the Summer Program.
Many students from the 2016 High School Summer Program have asked to see the “highlights” video that Head Men’s Prefect Chris Sebastian (’13) showed on the final night of the program. Here it is!
Thanks again to all of this year’s students. Your hard work and great attitudes helped make for a wonderful two weeks. May God bless you in your senior year of high school!
On Saturday evening, after the last of the 2016 High School Summer Program students left campus and headed for home, the team that ran the program got together for a goodbye dinner. The Admissions counselors, the chaplains, and all the prefects gathered one last time to celebrate their two weeks of hard work. “It was a beautiful reminder of how dedicated so many people are to the College and to its students,” says Admissions Director Jon Daly. “It was really inspiring.”
The group also turned in some additional photos from the goodbyes on Saturday morning, which we present in one final slideshow:
The College thanks all those who helped make the 2016 program such a success — the dedicated Admissions team, the hard-working prefects, the devoted chaplains, the wise tutors, the generous parents, and the hard-working students! Special thanks, too, are in order for prefects Zoe Appleby and Patrick Nazeck, who provided the information that kept this blog running, and Martin McCann and Alexis Pomietlo, who took the photographs.
And, of course, all thanks and praise be to God!
Never mind that they stayed up late for last night’s dance, most of the High School Summer Program students were up early this morning to bid their friends a fond farewell. The vans and buses began leaving the campus as early as 4:00 a.m. With tears, hugs, and promises to meet again, the students said goodbye.
The Admissions Staff looks forward to welcoming many of these students back to campus in the coming months. May God bless them!
We have reached the point in the High School Summer Program when people begin to speak of “lasts.” On Thursday night we had the last dance class and the last study hall; and today we have the last class, the last lunch, the last nighttime consecration.
Yet no one is getting too wistful, for now. At the conclusion of Thursday afternoon’s classes, students clashed with ferocious intensity in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Eight teams worked their way through a playoff bracket, culminating in a championship match won by the team of Fr. Sebastian (chaplain), Martin McCann (prefect), and Charlie C. (student).
Then it was time for dinner, study hall, Rosary, one last dance review, and an evening of iced-coffee drinks in the campus coffee shop. At 10:30 p.m., students returned to their residence halls for curfew, but the night was not over just yet.
While the ladies of St. Monica’s were enjoying s’mores — just after singing “Happy Birthday” to student Julie M. — they heard what one prefect described as “a clamor.” When they looked out their windows, they saw the men of the Summer Program, dressed in their Sunday best and bearing chocolates. The gentlemen then proceeded to serenade the ladies by singing “Red is the Rose,” Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E,” and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, with the women joining in to sing the part of Jasmine.
We now enter the final day of the program, with classes on Euclid and O’Connor, plus one last lunch, recreation period, and Rosary — as well as the farewell banquet and dance — still to come.
With the completion of today’s classes, we have just about reached the end of the 2016 High School Summer Program!
This morning students met for their last class on Euclid, where they confidently demonstrated Book I, Propositions 16, 29, and 32 for their classmates. Says Admissions Director Jon Daly, “This is one of the most studious groups we have ever seen. The tutors keep telling me how impressed they are with our students!”
After Mass and lunch, it was time for the last class of the program, during which students discussed Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge. The conversation focused on the symbolism of the story and its fraught relationship between a mother and her adult son, set amid the racial tensions of the mid-twentieth century American south.
At the end of their classes, students received a few farewell gifts from the Summer Program staff, including a copy of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, photos of their sections, and a framed photo of the entire group.
As this post is being written, the students are getting ready for tonight’s banquet, entertainment, and dance, with a video slideshow to follow. We will post pictures of tonight’s festivities — as well as tomorrow’s goodbyes — in the morning.
The 2016 High School Summer Program has, alas, come to an end!
Friday night St. Joseph Commons hosted the farewell banquet, at which several of the program’s young musicians entertained the crowd, and prefects performed some highly amusing skits. At the conclusion of dinner, all moved to the Chapel, where Fr. Sebastian exposed the Blessed Sacrament, and the group prayed the Rosary in Adoration.
Students then gathered in the plaza of St. Gladys Hall, where they danced until nearly midnight. Before saying goodbye, students penned yearbook-style notes to one another — oftentimes inside their copies of Euclid’s Elements! After much hugging and bidding adieu, all turned in to the residence halls and prepared for their journeys back home, with the first van leaving around 4:00 a.m., and the last scheduled to depart just after noon.
Thanks be to God for two amazing weeks!
The 2016 High School Summer Program is drawing to an end, but our young geometricians are as focused and determined as ever! This morning’s session marked the fourth and penultimate class on Euclid’s Elements, and the students have become quite adept at demonstrating propositions. Today they confidently worked their way through Book I, Propositions 11, 13, and 15, amazed that something that seemed so foreign and complicated — only days ago — is now so familiar and comprehensible.
In the second class, students continued their discussions of Boethius, which have spilled into the Commons and the residence halls. One prefect recently heard a group of students passionately discussing Lady Philosophy’s explanations of the “false goods” and their perfection in God. Alas, today’s class marks the end of the Boethius portion of this year’s program. In tomorrow’s afternoon session — the last class of summer 2016! — students will examine Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge.
Before then, though, there is still much fun to he bad, including this afternoon’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Come back tomorrow for new pictures!
This post resumes where the last one left off, namely, yesterday’s dance class, during which students worked on swing, rumba, and waltz. By all reports, they are more than adequately prepared for the end-of-the-program dance which is — gulp — tomorrow!
The group then quickly moved to the campus ponds for “watermelon water polo,” in which teams of women, and then men, attempted to bring a greased watermelon across the pond and to the opposing team’s goal. “It was intense, especially the boys’ match,” a prefect reports. “We went through about five watermelons!”
This exhausting and hilarious activity was followed by a hearty 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.
After Rosary in the Chapel came the highlight of the evening, “Theology on Float.” Prefects served scores of root-beer floats to hungry students, who sat back and heard Fr. Sebastian answer their anonymously submitted questions. The topics included evolution, Purgatory, and the natural family, and they led to further post-curfew discussions (with s’mores) around the fire pits in the residence-hall courtyards. Fr. Sebastian joined the women’s conversation and Fr. Paul, the men’s, before leading students in their nightly consecration.
Fr. Sebastian answers students’ questions
It was another great day — only two more to go!
Prefects clean up after “Theology on Float”
Although they got in late last night from their cultural excursion to Los Angeles, the 2016 High School Summer Program students awoke bright and early this morning for some last-minute Euclid cramming in anticipation of today’s first class. “They looked confident,” says one prefect. “Having one day’s experience under their belts, they seem to feel good about going into the second day.” With poise and skill, the students approached the chalkboards and demonstrated propositions pertaining to side-side-angle and side-side-side congruency, as well as bisecting angles and lines.
Mass followed the morning class, and then lunch, at which the group celebrated the birthdays of Orion, Gabe (whose birthday, technically, was yesterday), and Evelyn. Another July 27 baby, Antonia, somehow managed to miss the cake and singing at lunchtime, but prefects plan to try again at dinner tonight.
In this afternoon’s class, students resumed their discussion of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. The conversation looked at the order of the work and the varying notions of goodness that it discusses. With classes over for the day, the group now enters the afternoon recreation period. Today’s session includes a practice for the end-of-the-program dance, which is, incredibly, just two days away!
Beginning at lunch, and continuing throughout the dance class, the prefects have placed a question box on one of the tables in St. Joseph Commons (see below). At his “Theology on Float” session this evening (so called because the discussion is accompanied by root-beer floats), Fr Sebastian will answer students’ anonymously submitted questions about all matters pertaining to the Faith: