LACMA, La Brea, & letter writing, oh my!

Instead of heading to their desks this morning, our students took their learning outside of the classroom and out into the real world! Each major class, along with their teachers, visited a different fascinating destination around the city at which they could learn subject-related material.

The Game Design and Speech and Debate classes joined up to visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a dark and mysterious locale full of technological oddities and quirky historical discoveries.

Photography students took a trip downtown to visit The Last Bookstore, a beautiful building full of not only reading material, but incredible sculptures made from it! Make sure you ask to see their pictures — as you might expect, they’re incredible.

Students in our Psychology class first continued working on their critical analyses of scientific studies (they’re really getting the college experience!), and then took a ride down the street to the Hammer Art Museum.

The Creative Writing class visited Los Angeles’s rare book library, where they were able to view incredibly old copies — and even some original editions! — of classic novels like Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby.

After a quick lunch back on campus, we all headed out together for even more adventure. The first stop on our list were the La Brea tar pits, which have contained the fossils of trapped animals for tens of thousands of years. Can you believe these tar pits exist right in the heart of West Los Angeles?!

Near the tar pits, we also discovered a colorful, pop-up art installation, which the students loved admiring, taking photos of, and interacting with.

We then walked right next store to LACMA, one of Los Angeles’s most renowned modern art museums. Though many incredible works are displayed at this museum, students were particularly excited to view and take pictures of its most publicized works: Chris Burden’s Urban Light and Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass. These works in particular brought students to contemplate what “modern art” actually entails — and more specifically, why a literal boulder counts as a piece of modern art. Nevertheless, they were very happy to take selfies in front of each of these pieces.

After time well spent at these iconic destinations, all located within the same block on Wilshire Boulevard, we took a quick spin around Rodeo Drive to people-watch and window-shop. Some students even caught a glimpse of a celebrity or two!

Afterwards, we headed back to UCLA for a delicious dinner and a wonderful, phone-free night together. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching silly YouTube videos, we spent a couple of hours together the old-fashioned way: writing letters home to our families. We ended up having a great time decorating our envelopes, drawing pictures of our new friends, and cracking jokes about being forced to write letters to our parents. What a ridiculous thought — forced! Ha! It was our pleasure.

Following a few games, including an intense round or two of dodgeball, students headed to bed at 10pm to prepare for a thrilling, and likely exhausting, day at Disneyland tomorrow. We are all so ready!