After majors and minors today, students were surprised with a spontaneous field trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a perfect day to visit the beautiful sea creatures, because the outside temperature was hot and the insides of aquariums are always cool. Students marched inside, quickly divided into four groups, and went on their individual missions to find their favorite sea animals. The most popular were otters, penguins, and sea turtles. In the end, the three most visited exhibits were the spacious birdhouse with free roaming canaries, finches, sparrows, robins and parrots, the stingray petting station, and several stamp posts where students were able to mark the pages of their aquarium map with different animal prints such as coral or jellyfish. The souvenir shop was bigger than any of the museums’ we’ve gone to. During the last half an hour, students had ample time to purchase presents for their loved ones. On the bus ride back to UCLA, students were excited to present the gifts they bought and share, “This phone case is for my dad!”, “I got my sister this key chain and an even prettier one for my mom!”, and “This narwhal’s for my brother!”
After dinner, students did a wonderful job arriving on time for tonight’s guest speaker, the second one and last one of this program. From the Doctor of Law speaker with abundant experience in political science, the students learned a lot about how to detect deceit and respond to lies. More importantly, the students learned how to increase the strength and credibility of their statements when they are trying to converse about something they genuinely believe in or care about. We were so unbelievably happy the students enjoyed the talk and learned lessons they could apply to everyday life.
Although the field trip was a tad bit impromptu, today could not have gone better. It was an absolutely incredible Monday to kick off our last week together. We can tell that the students are cherishing their last days and grateful for the activities we have planned whether it be a trip to the aquarium or a more serious guest speaker for the evening.