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HMSA heads to Occidental College and CalTech!

Students%2C+Ms.+Bui%2C+and+Ms.+Vazquez+pose+for+a+quick+picture.+
Students, Ms. Bui, and Ms. Vazquez pose for a quick picture.

Students, Ms. Bui, and Ms. Vazquez pose for a quick picture.

Photo provided by Esli Gallegos

Photo provided by Esli Gallegos

Students, Ms. Bui, and Ms. Vazquez pose for a quick picture.

Esli Gallegos, News Editor

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On November 1, 2017, a select group of students went to visit Occidental College and the California Institute of Technology with Ms. Bui, Ms. Vazquez and a parent chaperone. Juniors and seniors were able to ask questions and go on a tour of both schools.

The first stop on the field trip was Occidental College. In order to be on time, students had to arrive at school by 7:30. The bus ride took about one hour; luckily the LA traffic hadn’t kicked in yet. The students arrived and while waiting for the tour guides, an Occidental Alumni talked for a bit about campus life and the college itself. It was then time for the tour of Occidental College. The group of students were split between the two tour guides. During the tour, the guide showed  students one of the several shrines Occidental College has for Barack Obama, who attended himself. A few fun facts about Occidental College: our own Mr. Berumen attended Occidental College, and TV shows such as Glee and Criminal Minds have shot scenes there!

After the tour, seniors were paired with a junior or two and the juniors were able to ask any questions they had about senior year and the college application process. The juniors and seniors were able to talk for about 30 minutes before the students went to lunch. Students were able to eat on the campus for an hour.

Lunch was over and it was time to visit the California Institute of Technology, better known as CalTech. Once again, the group of students split in two. Students were able to go inside one of the housing facilities and take a quick peek into one of the dorms. After visiting the dorms, students were taken into one of CalTech’s physics building and were informed of the many research opportunities at CalTech. Students quickly stopped by a cannon and learned of the little pranks CalTech and MIT have played on each other as part of their rivalry. Ending the tour, students were given the opportunity to ask their tour guide any questions they had about CalTech.

I asked Senior Cinthya M., “What did you think of the two campuses?” She said, “The two schools are definitely distinct from each other. Oxy, to me, looked like a typical liberal arts college. CalTech on the other hand, was different from any campus I’ve ever visited, with its unique administrative building and dorms.” Overall, Cinthya enjoyed the trip to the two  campuses. I asked Junior Christian A., “Which campus did you like better: Oxy or CalTech?”. Christian remained neutral, but had this to say: “From Oxy, my favorite part was the building where, if you submit research and it gets approved, your research could be displayed for the rest of the school to see. From CalTech, I really enjoyed visiting the dorms.”

Once the tour was over, it was time to head back to school. Students learned valuable information about the two colleges, and explored their campuses enthusiastically. If you ever have a chance to visit a college go for it. Go CalTech and Oxy!

Photo provided by Esli Gallegos

One of the shrines Oxy has for Barack Obama.

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HMSA heads to Occidental College and CalTech!