The first day of classes complete, students on the California High School Summer Program turned their attention to friendly competition between class sections. Gathered on the fairway on the lower campus, teams buzzed with excitement in the moments preceding the games, garnering spirit for the coming competition.

Everyone ready, head men’s prefect Dillon Raum (’21) led the teams through game after game on his megaphone. First teams circled up and worked to keep a volleyball up for as long as possible, passing it from one to the next. Then, the teams faced off mano a mano with finger jousting — a close-contact contest of agility and intensity — until one section reigned. Teams followed that feat with an egg-race relay, balancing eggs on a spoon held between one’s teeth, until — at Mr. Raum’s behest — they began to pelt those same eggs at chosen prefects, for points!

Anticipation built as prefects were tallying the points, when a group of other prefects struck with a water-balloon ambush! Chaos descended into the valley, and team bonds dissolved for a battle royale of hydrous projectiles. The results were lost to the confusion, but few concerned themselves with the question of victory as newfound friends chased each other with shrieks of laughter and water balloons. Students and prefects soon found themselves in the ponds, a short walk away, with everyone diving in to cool off, splash around, and play games of chicken. Spirits rose with sounds of laughter and excitement in the shaded water.

Once everyone cleaned up and dried off, attendees dug into a dinner of glazed pork chops in St. Joseph Commons, then went to gather their books to study in the St. Bernardine of Siena Library. Students and prefects alike pored over the tragedy of Antigone and fragments from various pre-Socratic philosophers, brows wrinkled and silence held.

Everyone took the time to contemplate the works before them while cultivating the habit of regular study — a key ingredient to intellectual success, as noted by Mr. Dragoo in his morning talk. But as with all good things, the study period concluded, and many went to Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel for the nightly Rosary….

From Thomas Aquinas College