Scholars So-Cal Fest 2K15

The Talon’s Nick Garcia goes down to LA to follow the Senior Scholars in their last hoorah with the program. Day 1: I’ll be honest. I only had a few goals for this trip — write an article, go to Disneyland, and go tubbing. Yes, it might sound strange, but spending significant time in a hot […]

The Talon’s Nick Garcia goes down to LA to follow the Senior Scholars in their last hoorah with the program.

Day 1: I’ll be honest. I only had a few goals for this trip — write an article, go to Disneyland, and go tubbing.

Yes, it might sound strange, but spending significant time in a hot tub was my main objective of the Senior Scholars Trip, 2015. Disneyland is awesome, a place where you leave behind today and step one foot in the past, one foot in the future, and one foot nowhere, or something, and both feet in a ton of lines.

There are also children everywhere and all* of the rides gather enough G-force to be almost exciting. Don’t get me wrong, Disneyland is still one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen, I just like the feeling of my sore body in a jet-filled pool of 103 degree water.

The whole crew was on the bus headed towards I-5 by 12:15. As Director of the Scholars Program, Mr. Vince Leporini had already told seven jokes, and everyone laughed at all of them. It was annoying.

To get started we were supposed to meet at campus at 12:00, but I got there at about 12:15. Didn’t seem like a big deal to me, but here’s a short transcript of my text messages from right before 12:15.

Me: “is everybody there” (11:55)
Hannah Palmer (’15)– “Lep only gives you permission to be ten minutes late” (11:55)

Daniel Lee (’15)– “We’re leaving without you in two minutes” (12:13)

When I got on the bus everyone started booing me and Ms. Chrys Cassetta said, “We’re not going to Disneyland now because of you.”

They like to have fun.

There was a lot of playful arguing on the bus, but it could’ve just been “I want to prove that I’m better than you” banter. Connor Gorry (’15) and Gabe Neal (’15) watched Shrek 2. John “Jack” Barnes (’15) held up a DVD copy of The Master of Disguise. The colors of the trip began to show.

Lep walked up to me on the bus.

“Just to let you know, you’re in last place right now. Inigo (Nazareno)’s (’15) right there though. It’s like Mario Kart, just hit him with the green shell.”

That night we all ate dinner at Chipotle. Well, mostly everyone. Quentin Barbosa (’15) went to Panda Express and ordered breaded shrimp. Or honey walnut shrimp. Or both. I just remember it smelled like Panda in Chipotle.

After dinner we boarded the bus to finish our trek, and Lep decided to put on a movie. It came down to a vote between three movies; The Lego Movie, The Master of Disguise, and “The Inception Movie” as Lep called it.

Inception won, which wasn’t much of a mindblower, except Inception has one of the most complicated plots in movie history and features some of the most detailed special effects of any movie produced in this decade, and we were watching it on 9″ screens on a bus full of teenagers.

When we finally made it to the hotel, we abandoned initial plans of a Talent Show, and at 9:40 pm, Quentin and I raced to the hot tub that closed at 10 pm.

After marginal relaxation, we stepped out of the tub and headed to our room, which we shared with Gabe and William Tracy (’15). I made my primary objective on Day 1, yeah, but only for 20 minutes. The trip had just begun and my body was still ready, both for Disneyland and more tub time.


Here I am pictured worshipping The Tower Of Terror

Here I am pictured worshiping The Tower Of Terror

Day 3: Today I woke up at 7:15. Quentin was still half asleep when I was waiting to get up to shower after Gabe, so I snuggled up close to Quentin and asked, “so what do you wanna do today?”

After I showered, I put on my Sunday best and didn’t like how I looked, so Gabe let me borrow a checkered button up that made me look like a toddler and I was ready to go.

We went to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown LA and I’ll be honest, every time we sat down during the service, I fell asleep. But it was an exciting piece of architecture! Lep said the architect avoided designing any round corners, which gave the cathedral a futuristic robot look.

After mass, we went to the Getty, a popular art museum in the hills of LA. I could have stared at some of those paintings for an hour, but then all my friends would’ve left me behind and I would’ve looked like some lonely pretentious jerk.

When we first got to the museum, we went to a smörgasbord-type cafe and I ate a personal cheese pizza that cost $9. I would’ve been more upset, but the Getty has no entry free.

So word to the wise; if you’re ever looking for something to do in LA and you don’t have any money, check out the Getty…but not if you’re hungry.

Everywhere we went on the trip, we took over the presence of the room. We were “rolling deep” as some of us would say. When I went to get a bite of the continental breakfast every morning, I always heard an unusually loud wall of sound coming from our group in the dining area.

At the cafe at the Getty, we put together three cafe tables so that we could eat together. Jack Barnes’ older brother, Jimmy Barnes ’12, met us there from UCLA and he brought cookies! I ate three really good ones.

On the basement floor of the modern art building, there was a photography exhibit on Josef Koudelka’s work. I loved the black and white shots of people at home or in motion, shots of coal mines and pasture roads against common folk in Slovakia and ancient ruins. I even bought a few $1 copies of his photographs to hang in my room.

The Getty was great because the majority of the Scholars group was actually interested in checking out the art on display. I mean, there were real Van Gogh and Picasso paintings on display. At one point there was also a light drizzle and I found an umbrella to sing and dance with. Have a look.

Right after I clicked my heels in the air

Here I am pictured right after clicking my heels in the air

We finished up at the Getty and started to head North to split the return trip between two days. Every time we got on the bus, my main goal was to take a power nap, but almost every time I’d start to actually fall asleep someone would call my name.


Here I am pictured in a restless sleep, as featured in Inigo’s Snapchat story

After an hour drive and a half successful powernap, we arrived at a Holiday Inn Express in Valencia at about 5:30 pm. I checked for a hot tub while Lep checked us in, and after we dropped our bags off in our room, Quentin and I went straight for the tub.

We slid into the water and rested our heads on the lip of the tub. My legs couldn’t fully extend and the water barely reached my armpits. The water was nice though, and my body relaxed under the heat.

After a quick shower and dinner, we proceeded to have our second talent show.

Let me expain: On our first Scholars trip as sophomores, when we went to the Russian River, we were asked to put acts together for a talent show. We had a blast, and memorable acts like “Lime in the Coconut” by Quentin, Ritam Sarmah (’15), and Conner Swan (’15) and “The Birth of Jesus” would never be forgotten.

At a meeting before the Scholars So-Cal Fest 2015, we asked Lep if we could do it again, one more talent show on our last trip as one big Scholars family, and he obliged.

Jack and Daniel sang “The Start of Something New” from the High School Musical Soundtrack, Saihej Basra (’15) put his fist in his mouth, Rosey Kenshol (’15) rapped all of Alphabet Aerobics, and Kyle Cherry (’15) and Jack prank called Mrs. Jennifer Makol, the Scholars moderator that fearlessly led us before Lep.

The Scholars group is a special one. Over the last four years we’ve all gotten to know each other in and out of class. At this point we have nothing to hide from each other — everyone is a part of the fun, in on the joke, and no one is afraid to be their friendly, funny, nerdy self.

It’s a shame that everyone at CB doesn’t get to spend quality downtime with a large group of friends over the course of four days, and a whole day at Disneyland, but I won’t forget the time I spent with all the wonderful people on this trip.


thnx 4 the memories

*all; all except for the mighty California Screamin’ and Tower of Terror

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