Monday, 20 April 2015

Cal Day 2015

This Saturday was Cal Day, UC Berkeley's annual open day.


We spent a good part of the day enjoying the sunshine, watching dance performances and a pep rally, pretending to drive police vehicles, trying our hand at playing instruments, meeting animals, and getting creative with a little tinkering. As always, it was super busy and there was so much going on that it was impossible to see the whole campus, so we stuck to the things that the girls had enjoyed in previous years.




The pep rally is always my favorite part of the day. Nothing says college (or high school) in America more to me than a big pep rally. Cheerleaders, marching band, guys waving big flags... We have nothing like it in Australia so it's such a foreign concept to me. Ava used to do cheerleading (until the coach left and a replacement wasn't found) so she loves watching the cheer squad. Mathilde was bopping along to the music and I had to keep stopping her from trying to move forward into the performance space!


Cal mascot Oski Bear wasn't a part of the pep rally this time so we missed out on having a photo taken with him. This cardboard cut out of him that we found had to do. Ava doesn't looked too impressed!


Ava and Lola did a little cheering of their own with some big jumps off this golden bear statue.


The kids enjoyed having a go at playing (or pretending to play) instruments from the marching band. Mathilde loved playing the drums and was keen to run off with the drum sticks. Lola kept swinging the drum sticks so hard I was afraid she'd hit someone with one! I've got enthusiatic drummers on my hands! Not sure the girls will be keen to take up the tuba though. Those things are massive!


The cotton candy provided free by the Graduate Assmebly was a huge hit with the kids again this year. Well, maybe not Mathilde. She's a little too young to eat it but I gave her mine to hold for photos. She thought it was fantastic at first until she touched it and her hands got sticky. After that she couldn't get rid of it fast enough! As usual, Ava and Lola made cotton candy facial hair for themselves. Ava's mustache was pretty gross looking this time around!


The kids were excited to check out the UC Berkeley Police vehicles. Ava and Lola took it in turns being the police officer behind the wheel, radioing for back up while the other played the bad guy in the back. When it was Mathilde's turn to "drive" she was more concerned about putting the CB radio into the cup holder! I guess it fit, so why not? The girls' favorite vehicle had to be the little open sided car - not really sure what you'd call it. Mathilde enjoyed sitting in the very back. She looked so cute with her little face poking over the edge.


At Cal Day there are always plenty of booths with a spinning wheel and prizes. Ava and Lola are always keen to take part - no matter what the prize is. This year they won headphones, tote bags, candy, fridge magnets and stress balls at various spinning wheels around the campus but their absolute favorite was the spinning wheel that would predict their future careers. In the past they've spun up such jobs as tattoo artist and stunt double. This year Ava spun up tornado chaser and Lola got wedding cake decorator. Lola was amazed at how accurate her spin was. Her dream job is to be a cupcake maker!


With the girls' future careers sorted we moved on to the lawn outside the Valley Life Sciences Building where there was all sorts of fun set up for kids. Mathilde was napping by now so Ava and Lola did a little drawing with radishes and markers, made circuits with playdough, built towers, met some slithery friends and checked out animal pelts and skulls.


Our last stop for the day was the courtyard inside the Valley Life Sciences Building where a range of aquatic creatures were on display. The girls made a beeline for the small touch pool where they could meet starfish, sea urchins and crabs up close. Mathilde woke up while we were here and was keen to hold the creatures. In fact, I had to stop her from trying to do a runner with a purple sea urchin in her hand! (Unfortunately my camera battery died while the kids were checking out the creatures in the touch pool so I had to use my phone for most of these shots, hence the shoddy quality.)


We had a great time at Cal Day. It's such a fun event for families and a great insight into life at the university. Maybe next year we'll venture a little further and visit parts of the university that we haven't seen before, although I have a feeling that the girls will be wanting to see and do all of the same things again!

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