At Oxford Day Academy, summers are not a break from learning– they are an opportunity to extend and deepen the learning experiences that are key to our approach. Read below to hear about the summer work of three of our students: Sarai, who attended an advanced emergency medicine training at Stanford University; Kerry, who became a published author; and Jaylyna, who worked for ODA, splitting her time between training the incoming freshman class and coordinating logistics for our school trip to Oxford, UK, which departs in just a few days. They reflect a small sample of the amazing work our students and staff are doing in preparation for an incredible new school year!

Sarai: Stanford’s Advanced Emergency Medicine Program
You don’t know the exhilaration I felt as soon as I stepped foot inside of my dorm room or the rush of adrenaline when I had to compete against my peers. Entering Stanford’s Advanced Emergency Medicine Program [this summer] was a great opportunity for me. Who would’ve known I would be doing EKG’s, tourniquets, code black drills, and triage drills. I had no idea that on my second to last day I would be able to examine a human corpse! In the beginning, I went in thinking I wouldn’t make it or that I would be scared the whole time, mostly because I went in without friends and I love to be around family. I’m glad that I went through with Stanford’s medical program, it taught me independence and determination. I am looking forward to trying different programs with the same organization each year.

Kerry: A Published Author
“Kerry, there’s mail for you in the kitchen.” I walk towards the kitchen table and see an envelope, patiently waiting for me to open it. I examine it to see who it’s from and my heart immediately drops once I find out. The words “The America Library of Poetry” reach out to my eyes as I’m reading it with excitement. I quickly open it and read, “Dear Kerry, it is my pleasure to inform you that your poem ‘My Guardian Angel’ … has been officially registered in The America Library of Poetry 2018. Congratulations!”

My smile kept expanding as I read through the rest of the letter. I did not know what to do or how to feel once I read the last few words. I was extremely proud and happy for myself. I have become a published writer. “This is something huge for me,” I kept thinking to myself as I pulled out my phone to text my mom the big news. When did I ever think that my poem was going to one day be published? My first thoughts from when I first submitted my poem were, “This isn’t good enough, and I’m pretty sure they are not going to like it.” But who knew that I was going to accomplish something in a few months?

Jay: ODA Summer Institute & Oxford Trip Planning
This summer was quite the rollercoaster. The first few days pretty much sucked. I was tardy the first day, came in crying, and basically made Dr. Dwinal regret giving me this administrative assistant position. It got better, though. I tried new things, like writing emails, introducing myself to different people, and communicating with the incoming 9th graders.

During the two weeks I worked at Oxford Day Academy summer institute, I learned that I don’t feel comfortable around new kids, or in other words, I’m shy. I also learned that “behind the scenes” work is totally right for me. I like working with the adults, it’s so interesting. I feel important around them.

I learned that the incoming 9th graders around me were as rowdy as us 10th graders were at the beginning of 9th grade year. They’re a very nice bunch once they get comfortable around you. At first, they would just talk amongst themselves without listening to any TAs, but once we started treating them like peers, they were open.

I could’ve better supported the 9th graders by talking to them more and helping work more collaboratively with each other, instead of just standing back and going with the flow. Some recommendations for next year (on our part), would be for the TAs not to treat the incoming 9th grade class like little kids. We need to listen to them and understand them, rather than just reply to them. I also wouldn’t underestimate them, academically and mentally.

In conclusion, the two weeks of summer academy were challenging for us as TAs – we had to learn how to work together, organize and plan ahead. In the end, we were on good terms with the 9th graders and they had at least some respect for us TAs.