We began last weekend with a full moon hike in the surrounding hills to see the Harvest Moon on full display. Students and staff climbed up to the summit of Loma Alta via one of the more challenging hiking trails that surround San Domenico’s campus. We watched the sunset from the peak while eating burritos and taking in the unobstructed 360-degree view of West Marin, San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the East Bay. “As the sky was ablaze with a pink and orange sunset to the west, the Harvest Moon with its bright orange glow was rising in the east,” said Mary Churchill, teacher and hike organizer.
“Students could be heard saying it was the most beautiful hike they had ever done. They also said it was the best night of the year,” reported Mary. After a delicious burrito meal, the group looped back down to the San Domenico campus by the light of the moon.
Over the weekend, the students enjoyed the cooler weather and access to our pool. We often have staff from the Upper School joining us on campus during the weekend, and Ms. Nora helped the students by opening the pool and other recreation options on campus. Students relaxed after their week of rigorous studies by walking around the campus, painting in Mercedes lounge, and other on-campus activities. Many students had time to complete their homework, clean their rooms, and exercise in the gym, on our many sport fields, and in the weight room. The weather was far cooler this weekend and the clouds on campus were particularly gorgeous as the sun was setting, with many students taking photos and celebrating the change in the weather. One of the benefits of living on campus is the stargazing. Given the location of our campus and the limited light from cities or neighborhoods, the students were able to view various Northern Hemisphere constellations. Between these activities, students enjoyed a ping-pong competition, a trip to the beach in Bolinas, and restocking on personal care items at our local Target and Safeway.
Additionally, it was the Mid-Autumn festival this past weekend. Shirley Li, a Mandarin teacher at San Domenico, brought mooncakes to celebrate the festival. One of the important attributes that San Domenico, and the Boarding Program, offers is that we are able to celebrate meaningful cultural events with students to both share their own backgrounds and experience new cultures. While having the mooncakes, students watched the movie Over the Moon, a Netflix original depicting a young girl’s interaction with 嫦娥 (Chang E) and the jade rabbit during her Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.
After a restful and fun weekend, students began the school week with many community sports events, including cross country, volleyball, golf, tennis, and flag football. Additionally, several of our students were able to help younger students practice on Kesterson Field, giving them the chance to share their skills and experience as well as cheer on their fellow boarding students. The preparation and excitement culminated in our annual Panther Cookout in which students and parents alike enjoyed the gym, met the coaches and staff from the Athletics department, and celebrated the women’s Volleyball and Tennis teams. Panther spirit was alive and well!
To celebrate the end of the week, Upper School teacher Ms. Evans took the students to the Pacific East Mall in nearby Richmond for dinner and shopping. Students enjoyed shopping at Ranch 99, a supermarket that specializes in Asian foods, and eating dinner in a variety of restaurants. The Hot Pot restaurant featured an assortment of ingredients that students cooked right at their table. Ms. Evans was happy to take the students, saying “Pacific East Mall has always been a favorite trip for our boarding students. We're lucky to have so many authentic Asian restaurants and shops so close to us. I always pick up a few things myself and the food is delicious. This time we went to a ramen house that was really good. I asked my students if they had a good time and they said they can't wait to go back!”
See you next week!
– Jessica Farley, Resident Dorm Head