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The Last Week

The latter half of our last full week with Abbey Road Programs has been very eventful.

From Wednesday to Friday, we have participated in activities such as a small “Iron Chef” cook-off and a talent show of sorts, as well as taking group trips to see Cezanne’s art studio and a former concentration camp. It was a bit of a surprise to see how well-preserved the studio was, as we were able to see the real-life entities that were the objects of some of his paintings and the layout of his work space just as he had left it many decades ago.

The camp (and now Holocaust memorial) that we visited was a place where people were held before being deported from France during World War II. Despite having spent a significant amount of time studying World War II throughout my high school years, visiting an actual concentration camp was a new experience to me and gave a much deeper insight into life during this tumultuous period in history than any textbook ever could.

The cooking competition and talent show were two events that took place within the bounds of the residence, but they certainly showed that we need not look beyond its walls for entertainment. The cooking competition was done in groups, but instead of making a normal dinner, we had to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert using a number of provided ingredients. We were given recipes to follow for the appetizer and entree grapefruit and endive salad and stuffed zucchini – but were given free reign to create a dessert out of chocolate, fruit, and several other ingredients. My cooking group ended up winning the competition, and the prize, an Abbey Road apron for each team member. More than just a competition, the “iron chef” cooking competition was a fun way to ensure we had a delicious dinner and perhaps even an exercise in teamwork.

The last event of the week was the talent show. I use the term “talent show” with some hesitance, because the show consisted of groups of four people performing a song, dance, and short skit. Though it was not truly a showcase of individual skills, I think that the show turned out well for everyone. It made for a night full of laughter, and, in my opinion, there is no better sign of a good time.

I believe I can speak for the group when I say that it is with some sadness that we move into the weekend, as we all know that we only have several days left before we part ways, but I cannot think of many better ways to have spent the last weekdays with my Abbey Road companions.