Final Day #sadfaces

Papa P warns all the OxPreppers when they arrive, that the first day will be the second hardest day they will have with the program. The hardest day started Tuesday around 4 pm.

Tuesday started out very unusually: there was no bright yellow ball in the sky. But instead there was a thick covering of grey cloud. Just as the Preppers were settling down into their classes, something happened… about 20 days worth of stored rain dropped over Oxford.

As the students flooded the quad, they broke out in dance, cameras came out, and clothing was drenched. There was so much rain so quickly, Magpie Lane filled up and some students were unsure of how they might traverse the now Magpie River!

Once the rain had disappeared as quickly as it came, the students changed into drier things and completed their final major classes, complete with projects, presentations, and parties.

The afternoon assembly informed the students of their major task ahead… packing. For approximately 2 hours, the Preppers diligently cleaned, tidied, and packed the last month up into their bags.

And then it was time for the final dinner, awards ceremony at St. Mary’s, and then the last dance – a Masquerade!

All our students are amazing, but every once in a while, there is a student in a class that will stand out. Not necessarily based on  who performed the best academically; award winners could be chosen on their merit and ability to display characteristics the exemplify the course and its goals, their passion, intensity, and effort.

Post awards, the Preppers all headed over to the auditorium for the slideshow and the premier of the “Harlem Shake”, which lead into the shaking and grooving of the students at the Masquerade Ball. There were crazy lights, canapes, macaroons, and an all-request playlist.

The tears started dropping as the last song played and the students started heading back into their staircases. Hugs were abundant in the streets. Many students got up before the sun did to start saying goodbye to their friends.

As it is right now, there are only a few remaining students and we staff are now sadly packing up and beginning to reminisce about the past month.

Parents, thank you so much for all of your support. Students, thank you for your hard work and your enthusiasm.

As for me, this will be the last blog post – the 51st in 27 days. I hope you have enjoyed them and the small insight into the amount of fun that we have here at OxPrep.

Thank you to Anne, Maria, Milan,  Elizabeth, Jordan, Vikram, and most of all Ivan for your photographs and input to the creation of the blogs – you helped make my life much easier.

So, that is it, that is all, there is no more, until next year, have a wonderful summer full of adventures and keeping in touch with the friends you have made.

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Harlem Shake – a strange internet sensation!

Every once in a while there are random internet memes that occur. There was the “stuff people say”, pranks on partners, screaming goats, and the Harlem Shake.

The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video in which a group of people perform a comedy sketch accompanied by a short excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake”. As a meme, the video was replicated by many people, using the same concept, and this rapidly led to it becoming viral in early February 2013,[2] with thousands of “Harlem Shake” videos being made and uploaded to YouTube every day at the height of its popularity. ~ Wikipedia. 

Thanks to the brain power of a particular student, the OxPrep quickly organized our own and 15 minutes later we had our version… hope you enjoy.

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Pictures from Maria

The Monday Morning was Madness! Why? Because for the first time since basically the start of the program it RAINED! And it didn’t just rain… it was monsoon-ical! It was as if the skies filled up for 20 days and decided to let it all out at once! The students came from out of their classrooms and celebrated. Pure joy and fun bounced off all the walls of the quad. With Maria’s camera the enthusiastic students were captured. While downloading the rain pictures, Maria shared some of her photos from over the program. Enjoy!

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Catching up on some events from the Weekend

The last few days have been an absolute blur – so many events, so many fantastic final projects, so many things to get done, see, and do before the saddest day of the summer – departure day.

Though some of these things have already been talked about briefly, but here we go again!

A tradition of the Prep is to go to the local ice skating rink to expose many students to a past time, that many of them have not yet experienced. It is always a highly anticipated event and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Every year, it is so fantastic to see the kids overcoming fears, taking risks, and being supportive of each other as the experienced help the novices. The music and disco lights always help add to the atmosphere.  Over 100 students went, and some had so much fun that they went again on their own the next morning!

The Talent Show was on Saturday night – we cannot get over how fantastic these performances were – again bravery from those on the stage and fantastic encouragement and support from the audience.

Sunday was our amazing dramatic performance created completely by the drama minor themselves. The performance titled “Alter Ego” might have been inspired partly by the workshop exploring the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, as this performance aimed to reveal the student’s alter egos: the persona that they keep bottled up inside – some wanting it to take over, some wanting it to stay hidden deep within, some wanting it to be understood as it is the real them hidden under a shell of protective personality. Everyone was magnificent and they received great applause from the audience.

Directly following the drama production, two shifts of students headed over to the  Ruskin Studios to view the final presentations from Architecture, photography, and studio art. What talent our students have, being able to create fantastic masterpieces, and multiple pieces, in such a short amount of time! Congratulations go out to all the creators as well as their teachers who helped them find their inspirations and lead them to their final products.

Now, it is the last day… the mock trial is happening for Law and Society, Psychology is showing their final presentations, and many of the other classes are having celebrations of their accomplishments. Tonight is our last dinner and then the awards presentations, and a masquerade ball to top it all off!

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Sunday Shake – By Elizabeth

Yesterday was a fantastic last Sunday. It was cooler in the morning, but the sun was out by midday. To be perfectly honest, the weather didn’t matter because I was completely stressed out. Later that day was the Speech and Debate major and minor project. The major class was to give a debate, and I, along with the rest of the minor class, had to give one minute floor speeches while the judges were deliberating. The topic was this house believes the Arab Spring has failed. The major class had to give a world school style debate, having an opposition and proposition side and each giving a six minute speech with one person from each team giving a three minute reply speech. According to the adjudicators agreed that both sides were very well prepared and did a great job. The opposition team came out the winner with Francis getting the Best Speaker award.

Later in the evening, Pedro organized the Harlem Shake. For those of you who don’t know, the Harlem Shake is a dance craze where one person dances solo for fifteen seconds and then everyone else joins in crazy clothes for another 15 seconds. Everyone had a great time. I think Monday will be amazing as well as there are the art, drama, architecture, and photography presentations/galleries to attend.

Get on the Hot Tamales Train! OxPreppers Have Talent!

Blogger’s log: OxPrep Date, July 20th, 2013

There remains only a few days left on our journey on the good ship OxPrep, and with the nearing of the end, we tend to celebrate more and more the accomplishments that we have achieved here at OxPrep, as well as those the we brought with us on the voyage.
The technology was almost fried and we wondered if we would have enough power to print all the projects, presentations, and photographs that were getting ready for submission. All around campus there was an excitable energy that only decreased with the coming of the end of major class, as papers were turned in, experiments were completed, and presentations received their applause. The remainder of the day prove to be just as sweet as the completion of the academic tasks as the activities directors spoiled the OxPreppers with their just deserts and provided everyone with a mini tub (or more than one in some cases) of G&D’s Ice Cream! As the tasty treat was consumed by the masses, clusters of students began singing praises (or perhaps it was last minute talent show rehearsals) and becoming encouraged to challenge the seemingly unbeatable Mr. Ben in the mind-stressing, patience-testing, game of chess. Some matches were swift, some matches long, but, Mr. Ben still retains his perfect record.

The afternoon also featured two speakers: Mr. Adam Allen On Policing in the USA and UK  and Ms. Suzanne Lynch On a life in Journalism.   Mr. Allen had the students in stitches with his tales of life on the beat and Ms. Lynch held an intimate court and discussed her life and field.

As the day passed into the evening, the electricity in the air intensified again, as the hour was drawing near for the Program’s Talent Show. Several brave students had their butterflies fly in formation, their nerves steeled, and their zen found to get up in front of their peers and share some very surprising and amazing talents. We had singers, pianists, guitar players, and uniquely, a juggler, yo-yo-er, monologue deliverer, and dancer. It takes great courage to put yourself out there and conquer fears – so we applaud the hard work and bravery of all our performers.

Sunday will be another opportunity of OxPreppers to shine as the final Debate is set to deliver their arguments this afternoon at the Oxford Union.

We will look forward to the remaining few days with baited breath and anticipation for what the near future will hold.

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