That’s a wrap! Final Night Festivities

IMG_0413Yesterday was very bittersweet here at Oxbridge Boston, as the students shared one last night together. The night of celebrations started with Final Exhibitions and Awards Ceremony. Students had the opportunity to present and share the invaluable knowledge they gained from their respective classes.

Faculty and admin staff members also took the time to award stand out students for outstanding academic pursuit, program participation, as well as discipline and behavior. At the end of the ceremony, admin staff unveiled the end of the program final surprise: a sunset cruise on the Boston Harbor! Students were treated to a delicious Italian pizza dinner, followed by rich desserts from Mike’s Pastries, and they made their way to a fancy night out on the harbor.

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Once aboard the cruise, students listened to a passionate Irishman tour guide, Declan, narrate a historical tour of the harbor. We visited all corners of Boston across the harbor, pointing out famous islands such as George’s Island, Castle Island, and Spectacle Island. Final conversations and embraces were cherished as the sun set over the city, and students reflected on memories they have made that will connect them to this city, and each other, forever.

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Quiz Game with Neuropsychology

This morning, in order to celebrate their last full-length major class and finally depart in an entertaining manner, the Neuropsychology class hosted an array of academic quiz games for the students to recall and recite the material they learned in a fun and engaging way. The Program Assistants were invited to oversee the games as impromptu “judges” and take part by determining which team had the dexterity to hit the coveted buzzer in the quickest time to correctly answer the questions.

The games started off with a recollection of the topics covered each week by the class, and progressively got more and more difficult as the teams pondered and ventured to answer the questions with a more tactile approach. Students did not miss any opportunity to engage in friendly jabs with their opposing team members, and their mutual encouragement worked wonders in terms of filling individual knowledge gaps. A particularly innovative game resulted in hysterical bouts of laughter as students had to try to explain to their opposite team member about a certain terminology without speaking.

Finally, the games concluded and with 35 points team “Frontal Lobe”, featuring students Lilit Krkasharian and Jemma Schapro,  had a massive lead to get the coveted first place. The dynamic duo persevered and coolly completed all the rounds of the games to reach first place. For their prize, they received their very own authentic neuropsychology laboratory coats. Congratulations to them both!

Thrilling Thursdays with Oxbridge!

Thursdays with Oxbridge– trendy, tumultuous days filled with quite an array of things to accomplish before the College Experience Boston program winds down with its last few days remaining. This Thursday, like the other days of this week, was filled with the energized air of students buzzing around and eager to spend time with their friends and explore as much of the Boston area as they could before parting on Sunday.

Students of the Medicine Major class, led by Dr. Radhika Suresh, journeyed on their last class trip to the Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. While in the Institute, the students were taken on a mini-tour of the area and given fascinating insights on the institute’s images that illustrated various tumors and cellular parts of the body. The students also had the enthralling experience of visiting the actual laboratories where ground-breaking research has occurred, and were allowed to view the tumorous tissues of experimented specimen via microscopes and on Petri dishes. The students also were given an explanation of the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique that the chemical laboratory utilizes to separate and identify various components in a mixture through quantities like mass, protonation and ubiquitination.

Activities Directors organized the final two college tours of the program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northeastern University. At Northeastern, students started off their visit by participating in an hour-long tour of the campus, orchestrated by a current fifth-year student, where they acquired a plethora of valuable information about the specifics of the admissions process, the culture and lifestyle of the Northeastern community, and the unique co-op learning program which gives students an opportunity to work hands-on in a field of their choice. On our tour, we visited the elaborately-constructed gymnasium which dated back from the nineteenth- century, the intricate student center, and a few of the (many) libraries on Northeastern’s campus. The tour concluded with our guide answering the students’ questions about the university and leaving the students with “food for thought” about what the ideal Northeastern student encompasses.

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Finally, the end of the busy day was celebrated with the much-awaited announcement of the winning house team. After a meticulous tally by the ADs, Winthrop House, aka the ‘Winning House’, finished in first place with a whopping 1095 points, more than a 200 point lead over the next house team ‘Mather’ which finished second with a satisfactory 893 points. In last place was Lowell House, which finished with 676 points. Winthrop House celebrated their well-deserved victory by being treated to a sumptuous choice of ice-cream at the well-renowned desert establishment JP Licks. Program Director Sarah Westerberg, a member of Winthrop, relished in her teams’ victory by congratulating them for their initiative and cumulative effort in securing the win.

Visiting MIT

On Thursday a handful of students made an easy trip down to MIT, the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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To start off their visit, the students attended an hour-long information session led by an MIT alumna. During this comprehensive presentation, they learned about the community and culture at MIT, as well about the wealth of academic options, research opportunities– and what the admissions application process looks like.

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Afterwards, we set off for a little tour, first winding through several of MIT’s extensive underground tunnels (a preferred means of accessing other buildings when there’s the Massachusetts’ winter outside!). Students got to see what several of MIT’s maker spaces look like, including a toy-making workshop and a glass-blowing facility. From there, we went outside to to Killian Court, where we could take in the view of MIT’s main building and its “Great Dome” as well as a picturesque Charles River on the opposite side.

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Our guide answered the students’ questions about life at MIT, and she also told us about the culture of “hacks,” which are essentially pranks that MIT students organize to impress the community. One very well-known hack occurred in 1994, when students managed to place a real police car on top of the Great Dome, which you can see in the background below.  20170720_153158

After the guided tour, many students opted to remain on campus to explore, while others came back to Harvard for some rest before another (and almost final) evening of social time and fun.

Wonderful Wednesdays with Oxbridge

Wednesdays.. the middle-day of the week, one filled with the dynamic joviality of students yearning to take a respite from their busy week. This Wednesday, students had quite the busy day in terms of both their academics and activities.

Students of the neuropsychology class, led by Dr. Marini, watched The Awakenings— a movie based on the biography of British neurologist Oliver Sacks (played by the late Robin Williams) who experimented with the postitive effects of L-Dopa, a clinical treatment drug, on catatonic patients and observed the temporary ‘awakening’ effects it had on them before reverting to their original catatonic state. The spectacular characterization of Dr. Sacks and Leonard (a patient played by Robert DeNiro) moved several students to tears throughout the movie, as they empathized with Leonard learning about his inescapable predicament and the doctor trying his best to maintain his composure after the failure of his treatment.

The ADs organized quite an evening in terms of activities for students to partake in. Quite a few students decided to try their hand at a yoga class on the lawn outside the dorms, and it was the first time for a quite a few students who admitted that “they had no idea of what to expect”.  Therefore, yoga proved to be so successful that it was clamored to be brought back by popular demand this Friday.

Finally, the evening was completed by a special rendition of “Just Dance Oxbridge”, a dancing/karaoke night of songs featuring our very own College Experience Boston. Students had a blast jamming along to classics like Party in the USA, Waka Waka, Don’t Stop Believing, Despacito, Rock Star, and were enthusiastically joined along by our Activities Directors and Program Assistants.

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Tours and Major Dinners

This Tuesday was quite a lively day for the students, with a medley of events and activities having taken place as the College Experience Boston enters its final week.

The Activities Directors had a busy afternoon by splitting up and taking some students to Back Bay to visit the Mary Baker Eddy Library. In particular, students were enthralled to see the Maparium exhibit in the library– a three-story globe depicting the political landscape of the world  in 1935, with now-dissolved nations like the Soviet Union and antiquated colonies in Asia and Africa.

 

Others chose to embark on a college tour to Boston College in nearby Chestnut Hill. Activities Director Colleen McGovern, who is quite well-versed on local surroundings, shared a fun bit of trivia to the students about “Boston College having the distinctive characteristic of not actually being situated within the Boston limits”. The tour guide also enlightened the students about the interesting Jesuit history of the College and encouraged students to ask as many questions as they could. Student Maximiliano Pineda described Boston College as “one of the universities he was definitely interested in applying to”.

 

 

Finally, the evening concluded with a special treat from the teachers of the students– the major dinner, a dinner organized by the major teachers of each student. Many teachers chose to take the students out to their favorite restaurant in the vicinity. This dinner represented a celebration of all that the students have accomplished in their respective classes. The neuropsychology major class, led by Dr. Marini, decided to prepare their dinner through a cumulative effort of purchasing groceries and cooking delectable Italian foods and desserts like oven-baked pizza and tiramisu.  The medicine major class, led by Dr. Suresh, went out to Wagamama for a Japanese-style dinner and celebration.