NEWPORT COAST — The air smelled of varnish. The sound of an acoustic guitar rose above the din in the small Sage Hill school classroom packed with a dozen or so people building their own electric guitars.
Across campus, students carefully placed homemade California rolls, hand rolls, and other sushi rolls of their own creation, along with some Odon noodle salad into a bento box for judging.
Former NFL player and current NBC college football analyst Akbar Gbaja-Biamila sat in another room, interviewing students in a mock sports broadcast.
Instead of preparing for finals, Sage Hill School was using the last week before graduation to give students a chance to explore their passions and try something new at the private school's first Spring at Sage seminars. The school took their finals last week.
Head of School Gordon McNeill said the week of seminars was meant to inspire students by connecting the lessons they had learned in class to real life.