Students practice their propositions on the blackboard

With only one class that morning, students on the California High School Program found themselves with plenty of free time Tuesday afternoon. Escaping the July heat, many took to their residence halls to review the next round of Euclidean propositions for Wednesday’s classes. Some hearty athletes still found their way to the Pope St. John Paul II Athletic Center. And a group of women, led by their prefects, made an excursion into Santa Paula to visit a favorite local coffee shop and check out some thrift stores:

Santa Paula
  • Five girls in a car smile for the camera
  • Six gather on the street
  • A group of programmers inside a cafe
  • Examining foods under the glass showcase counter
  • Two examine a shirt in a thrift store
  • Investigating clothes and knicknacks at a thrift store
  • Two pose eating pie and drinking a coffee
  • Three eat, drink, and chat around a medium-sized table
  • Paying at the register
  • Six pose with their drinks
  • Three outside the thrift store
  • A group crosses the street
  • Another group crosses the street
  • Students pose with their thrift store purchases beside a mural

The real excitement of the afternoon came later, though, when the whole group made its way down to the ponds for “watermelon water polo,” in which Crisco-slathered teams attempt to carry a greased watermelon across the pond and to the opposing team’s goal.

First, the men competed, with prefects Jon Phelan (’23) and James Blewett (’24) heading the rival squads. With rules established and teams revving to start the game, the melon went up, and the air filled with white spray as players tore through the waters. In a crash, the teams collided. The melon kept changing possession, slipping from one set of arms to the next. Some lobbed it behind them, a player — sometimes friend, sometime foe — ready to intercept. Phelan’s team was the first to score the three points needed for victory. Players high-fived and proceeded out of the water, congratulating and complimenting each other all the while.

Watermelon Water Polo
  • Two relax on the side of the ponds
  • Students relax pondside
  • A student tries the rope swing
  • Splash fight in the pond
  • Students wrestle over a watermelon
  • A team of students on one side of the pond
  • Students wrestle for the watermelons
  • Another shot of wrestling for the watermelon
  • Fr. Walshe chats with the students
  • Passing the watermelon
  • Two stand with watermelons on the sidelines
  • Four in the pond
  • Six students chat and cheer on something left of frame
  • Students laugh and chat in the pond
  • Splash fight
  • Struggling for the watermelon
  • Relaxing after the watermelon competition
  • Students high-five in the pond
  • Students relax and chat on the bank
  • Three catch their breath, standing by the pond
  • Two in the pond

Next, the women took the pond. Though fewer played, their game still raged with intensity. Jo and Claire Dragoo (both ’23) headed rival teams, sister turned against sister. The game was on; the stakes established. Cheered on by their peers, the players pushed themselves to the limit, fighting for control of the melon. In a moment, one team scored, then the other, and after continued back-and-forth, Jo’s team ultimately triumphed! Players congratulated each other and recounted the game’s highlights as all made their way back to upper campus.

After showering, scrubbing, and even scraping the Crisco from their limbs, students met back in St. Joseph Commons for a dinner of kielbasa, potatoes, and assorted vegetables to regather themselves. The Commons rang with laughter, suspended on top of buzzing chatter; weary, though animated, groups of students recounted their favorite moments from the two games. Other tables reflected over the Summer Program with joy and wistfulness, revisiting past discussions and favorite memories.

Students then proceeded to a productive study hall, first in St. Bernardine of Siena Library, and then to the classrooms, where they practiced demonstrating the next set of Euclidean propositions:

Study Hall
  • Students study Euclid around a table
  • Three in the library, finding a table
  • A student practices their prop on the board while others study behind them
  • Four study at a row of desks
  • Three study around a table, while sunlight streams in through the windows
  • Students study in the library armchairs
  • Students walk toward St. Augustine Hall
  • A student gives a practice demonstration of Euclid I.4
  • At the blackboard, students practice Euclid Book I, props 4, 10, and 9, respectively
  • A student gives a practice demonstration of Euclid I.4
  • On the left, two students practice prop 10; on the right, a student studies prop 4
  • A student gives a practice demonstration of I.4 at a blackboard on which is "Hello" in cursive followed by a heart
  • Two students practice I.4.
  • Two students practice I.4.

Although exhausted by all the physical and mental exertion, most students then stopped by Our Lady of Most Holy Trinity Chapel for the evening Rosary, and then St. Cecilia Hall for another dance class. (The End of the Program dance is just two days away!) Although they learned new techniques, students fell into rhythm easily, their previously established dancing foundations serving them well. They danced the remainder of the night away until it was time to return to the residence halls. Once there, students dug into freshly baked pretzels and ice cream over games of cards and excited conversations.

They’ll be hard at work in the classrooms today, discussing Euclid and Boethius. Visit the Summer Blog this afternoon for a full report!