Back when I was in high school I really had no idea where I wanted to go to college – or even if I wanted to go to college. To a certain degree it had just been decided by my parents that I would go to college, but it was up to me to figure out where. I looked at UC San Diego (its on the beach and beautiful – need I say more?). I looked at University of Oregon (I would have paid out of state tuition, but I loved the idea of moving to a rainier climate). The last university I visited was ironically the closest to my childhood home and the place I finally attended – UC Davis. So why did I give up the beach and a cool rainy climate to live in the hot and dry Sacramento Valley? Picnic Day!
Picnic Day is UC Davis’s version of open house. The morning starts off with a parade and throughout the day every department puts on show to demonstrate their latest and greatest. For example, in the Entomology Department you can dine on grasshoppers and the Pomology Department puts on a strawberry tasting demonstration. Don’t be suprised if you round a corner to see DNA fingerprinting being done with a composting display next door. Picnic Day is also the place where you can check out 19th century tractors and 21st century fuel cell cars all in one location. However, as a proud father of three dachshund girls my favorite part is the Doxie Derby. If you’ve never seen it watch the video below.
The 94th annual Picnic Day will be held on Saturday April 19th. If you have nothing on your calendar for that day you might want to drive up and check it out. Actually if you have something on your calendar, clear it off. Picnic Day is much more fun!
Getting to college is a regular conversation in my classroom, especially after College Awareness Month in February. Since junior high really is the perfect time to get kids excited about going to college and preparing for a high school career that places them on the right track, I know I will also be mention this great event to my students. I encourage you to do the same. Perhaps there will even be a little extra credit in the deal.