CAL Fieldtrip


CAL group picture on Cal Poly San Luis-Obispo’s campus.

Jonathan Galdamez and April Giron

The CAL Academy took their third annual field trip on February 20, 2015. As early as six in the morning, students stood in front of the school’s performing arts auditorium with sleeping bags and luggage in hand, awaiting the buses that would take them to San Jose State, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis-Obispo, and UC Santa Barbara.

The CAL Academy took 96 students with 3.0 GPAs and above (second semester of 2014) to explore multiple college campuses. The students, a mixture of seniors, junior, and a few sophomores,  were split up into groups and were assigned to one of seven CAL teachers/administrators. The teachers on the trip were Ms. Rubinger, Mrs. Molinaro, Mr. Kusaka, Mrs. Wilson, Ms. Zeller, Mr. Wratten, and Ms. Venger.

On the first day, the group made their way to San Jose–a roughly six-hour drive. Once they arrived, the group took a tour of the campus and then headed toward their resting place for the night, St. Elizabeth’s Daycare. Students got situated, ate dinner, and then came the group activities. The activities included talking about the fear of going to college, building confidence in ourselves, and finally a team-newspaper fashion show.

image1 (1)

The next morning, everyone woke up around 4:30 in the morning, got packed, and put everything on the bus by 6 a.m. Then, they made their way to UC Santa Cruz, about a four-hour drive. They did not have a formal tour, but rather Mrs. Wilson (an alumni of the school) planned a scavenger hunt that took the groups all around the school. Students had to find the areas of the school, take a “selfie,” and post it on the CALcollegebound2015 Instagram page.

After visiting UCSC, the students and teachers had free time to roam around the Monterrey Bay Aquarium where students got to sea jellyfish exhibits, sharks, and sea otters. After the aquarium, students walked on the Monterrey Boardwalk where they ate before departing to the Laurel Inn to finally freshen up after a whole day without showering.

At the Laurel Inn, students participated in multiple group activities that focused on teamwork. With their original teams, they made team names and built boats out of cups and straws and competed against the boats of other teams. Each student also made decorated a pin with an inspiring and uplifting quote, and the pins were then randomly distributed among the students. Within their groups, each student also got a piece of paper where each of their teammates wrote nice messages and comments. One of the more odd activities was learning how to give your teammate a hand massage.

There was also one special activity in which only the seniors participated and the underclassmen were sent to their rooms. However, this particular, special activity has been asked to be kept a secret between the seniors and the teachers.

The final day of the trip included visiting Cal State San Luis Obispo in the morning and UC Santa Barbara in the afternoon. The students arrived at San Luis Obispo around 11 a.m. and took a quick tour of the campus led by Mr. Kusaka. The buses then made their way to UC Santa Barbara. The students received a tour from Birmingham alumni, as well as a current student’s sister. The tour took about an hour and a half and finished as soon as the rain started. The buses arrived at school at 8 o’clock at night and the exhausted students were happy to be home.

The main focus of the trip is to show students that they can go to college, whether in or out of state. The teachers want to show students that they have the potential to go to college and they definitely succeeded. They truly care about the students and their futures and that is what makes the CAL College bound Fieldtrip such an emotional and memorable experience.