Students run under the arcade

Following Wednesday’s productive day of classes concerned with triangles, lines, and the highest goods, students’ minds quickly turned to racing. Inspired by a classic scene from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire — in which Harold Abrahams successfully completes Cambridge University’s Trinity Great Court Run before the King’s Gate Clock strikes 12 — the California High School Summer Program staged a quad race of its own. Students raced each other in pairs around the academic quadrangle.

The races began with a roar of excitement as two men sped off, ferociously speeding down the quad’s corridors. Just above the Our Lady of Guadalupe Fountain, Dillon Raum (’21) emceed the race and played iconic songs to spur the runners forward. Applause thundered, especially as Bowman K. and Ava C. hopped along the quad, each in a boot and crutches, racing any way they could. As Bowman crossed the finish line, Ava’s friends hoisted her up and carried her the rest of the way.

Quad Run
  • Two students sprint down the arcade
  • Two students sprinting by the stairs to St. Joseph's Commons
  • Two students sprint while a prefect looks on in the background
  • A student rounds a corner at full tilt
  • A student sprints past the fountain corner of the arcade
  • Two students run past St. Cecilia's
  • Two run by one of the flower boxes
  • Two sprint before a crowd of onlookers
  • Two students sprinting before the onlookers
  • Two other students sprinting
  • Two sprinting past the fountain corner
  • Onlookers applaud, seated on the steps toward the Commons
  • Two running, breathing heavily
  • A student rounds the corner at full tilt
  • A student runs full tilt
  • Two students running at full tilt
  • Two students running
  • Two students run by the doors of St. Cecilia's
  • A student and a prefect barreling down the arcade
  • A student and a prefect running before onlookers

The student athletes all pushed themselves to the limit. And when the final results were in, two stood out among the rest: Taking first place in the men’s category, Xavier G. finished his run at a blinding 39.43 seconds. Elizabeth V. took first in the women’s category at 44.59 seconds.

The champions
The champions!

Hot and tired from all their exertion, the runners were in need of a way to cool off, which the prefects kindly provided. Nearby, just outside St. Thérèse Hall, they had set up a slip-n-slide! Students glided down the hill in the soapy water, laughing with delight as they sped past familiar faces. “It was a hit!” exclaimed prefect Meg Murphy (’22).

Slip 'n' Slide
  • Students on the slip'n'slide
  • Two speed down the slide
  • A student "Supermans" down the slide
  • Two students laugh and chat on their way down the slide
  • A student speeds down the slide
  • Two speeding down to the slide
  • Two hurtle down the slide
  • A student goes down the slide sitting
  • A student goes down the slide
  • Two speed down the slide
  • Another two go down the slide in the "Superman" pose
  • Two students mid-dive onto the slide
  • A student speeds down the slide
  • Two go down the slide
  • A student goes down the slide
  • Two students go down the slide
  • Yelling enthusiastically, a student goes down the slide
  • Two dive onto the slide
  • Two students speed down the slide
  • Two laugh and chat as they prepare to go on the slide
  • Long shot: students go down the slide and jump around in a nearby sprinkler. One relaxes, flopped on the ground

After students changed their clothes and finished a dinner of pork chops and potatoes, they took to St. Bernardine of Siena Library to finish Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and make more headway into Euclid’s Elements. From there, they spread out into classrooms to practice their Euclidean demonstrations, later taking a break to pray the nightly Rosary in Our Lady of the Holy Trinity Chapel.

Study Hall
  • Two practice proofs on the board
  • Three laugh, chat, and study
  • A student gives a practice demonstration of Euclid I. 1
  • A student practices prop 13
  • Four study at one of the tables in the library's left wing
  • Arms locked, eight students engage in a peculiar dance on the library floor
  • Three focused, studying at their table
  • Three study Euclid at their table
  • Four study and discuss Euclid around a table
  • Three at the back table amid the shelves in the library
  • Three study beside a row of bookshelves
  • Students study at tables in the library
  • Two pose for a photo over their copy of Euclid
  • Four study their props at the blackboard
  • A student turns to smile at the camera as he practices at the board

To conclude the evening, the programmers took to chairs set up on the St. Gladys Patio for root beer floats and “Theology on Tap” with Fr. Sebastian. The chaplain began with a prayer before giving an explanation as to how the evening would go. “I’ve reviewed and organized the questions by topic,” he said. “I can’t promise I’ll get through all of them, but I’ll do my best.” He invited students to seek him out if they had further questions, then dove right in.

Topics ranged from the problem of moral and physical evil, to the Eucharist, to the role of philosophy in the distinction between Catholicism and Protestantism. Above all, Father reminded the programmers that “Christ will never turn His followers away” and encouraged them to have courage when faced with opposition. “You can’t keep your life forever; why not use it to glorify God?” he asked. As the night wound down with curfew beckoning, students left in thoughtful conversation while others flocked to the priest to pepper him with more questions.

Theology on Tap
  • Fr Walshe sits by the Gladys Fountain, lamplit and surrounded by rings of students in chairs
  • Students listen, seated in their chairs
  • Fr. Walshe addresses the students
  • Closeup of Fr. Walshe speaking
  • The students listen
  • Another picture of the students listening to Fr. Walshe
  • Students get ice cream floats at the refreshments table in the back
  • The twilight fades as students serve themselves or enjoy their floats while listening to Fr. Walshe
  • Students queue up for root beer floats
  • Two pose for the camera, floats in hand
  • Seated on the side of the fountain, Fr. Walshe addresses the students

Once back in the residence halls, students enjoyed each other’s company over snacks and conversation. The men rallied to practice a set of songs for an upcoming serenade. When they finished, they enjoyed a bonfire in the courtyard before going to bed.

Students will conclude their discussions over Boethius and Euclid at today’s classes. Be sure to check the Summer Blog this afternoon for more updates!