A ~toast~ to all the great memories!

We have had an absolute whirlwind of a weekend, and we are finally back here to share it with all of you! Though we know many of you parents have already had the opportunity to hear — live and in-person! — about the incredible adventures your children have had throughout the past three weeks, we wanted to make sure to document every detail for any sentimental kids, parents, or staff who may want to look back on these memories in the future. 🙂

Yesterday afternoon, we held a showcase which displayed the work each of our students have produced throughout the program. For the past three weeks, each of them have been working diligently in both their major and minor classes, and we are incredibly impressed with the breadth and quality of work these students have managed to produce within such a short period of time. It is so clear to us that each of the students who participated in Oxbridge at UCLA Prep are extremely hardworking and determined individuals who have the capacity to accomplish truly incredible things — such as those they shared with us yesterday!

At the final showcase, students from the creative writing major read aloud the script they wrote for the pilot episode of a television series centered around the mysteries of the afterlife. The same subject’s minor class shared some of the most creative and expressive haikus and short stories we have ever heard. We feel so grateful that these students felt able to share their personal written works with us and their peers!

Next, Kelli and Annie had the opportunity to judge a student-led debate regarding the morality and legality of animal testing. The winning team ended up in the lead by an absolutely astounding one point! However, we both agree that each of the two teams were extremely skillful in their argumentation and highly professional in their delivery. We are so proud!

Psychology students in both the major and minor classes developed, created, and presented to us their psychological research studies, which, respectively, regarded the habits of successful studiers and the floor-plans of psychologically successful museum spaces. We can’t believe how much they have learned, and are thrilled to know that they will be able to apply this learning in their daily lives!

Our tech and society minor students each gave presentations on a number of topics relevant to our current technological age, including the harmful effects of cyberbullying, as well as the pros and cons of social media usage. It was great to hear young people thinking so critically about something that effects all of our lives, nearly everyday.

Finally, we broke the group apart for a museum-style exhibition: first, we all got to have some fun by playing the highly creative and innovative video games that our game design students designed and coded! Second, we had time to wander around the room and admire the gorgeous, thought-provoking pictures the photography major and minor students captured. We were so impressed by the extremely professional quality of both the video games and the photographs!

After our very academic afternoon, we took the kids on one last surprise adventure to Dockweiller Beach — famous for allowing beachgoers to light bonfires on the sand! While there, the kids got to enjoy some cheesy pizza and tons of s’mores made fresh above the fire (a first for many!). They also got to spend some final moments together chilling in the water, taking pictures during golden hour, and playing games with each other as the sun set. When fireworks began lighting up the sky above the water as we headed out to leave, we all began feeling a bit emotional.

When we got back to campus later that night, staff tried to make sure that all students were packed up and off to bed as quickly as possible in order to be ready for their flights early the next morning… but we were soon convinced to allow the kids to stay up a bit past their bedtimes to talk, laugh, and even cry a little bit in the hallway before parting ways, likely forever, in the morning.

When staff woke up this morning, entirely prepared to pull kids out of bed by their ears and drag them to the airport still half asleep, we realized something that made all of us staff tear up a bit… almost every single kid had woken up by themselves before seven in the morning — completely on their own accord — just to have a little bit more time together before their flights took off.

As kids began to leave one by one as the day went on, we all began feeling a lot more emotional. As it turns out, when you spend three weeks by each others’ sides every second of every day — learning and growing and laughing and crying and eating and dreaming together — it is pretty much absolutely impossible to avoid coming to love each other. Our final day together, spent crying on each others’ shoulders and singing our favorite songs and making promises to keep in touch and waving goodbye until we could barely make each other out in the distance, was so full of love it was palpable.

Students, if you’re reading this… we love you!!!! And we miss you already. — Annie and Kelli

P.S. We had to add in one more bread pun to bring it all full circle!