Edwards' Summer BlogsSunday 7th July to Saturday 20th July
Thursday 11th July 2019
Today we had an exciting debating challenge championship at no less than the historic Oxford Union Society which has seen the most prominent presidents, politicians and popular culture leaders debate – Barack Obama and Kanye West are recent guests!
Team Edwards was thrilled with the new style of debating they were introduced to by tutor Ivo: British Parliamentary Style debating! Tumi captivated his group with his story telling in the warm up activity, with the story taking many twists and turns! In the next activity of ‘Agree and Disagree’, Emilia provoked a fascinating discussion with her thoughts on the value and benefits of eating meat. In the same activity, Camila was in the difficult position of defending torture, however she managed to turn the question on its head in a rather humane fashion! In the ‘Hot Air Balloon Debates, the students were thrilled to take on the role of their favourite Marvel characters, with Tumi really excelling in his role as the Black Panther, winning over the crowd with some compelling arguments! Emilia was a one man show against the fierce competition of the boys as she argued the negative effects of social media on mental health, and things got very heated as discussion carried all the way back to the house! Team Edwards had official representation in the final round of the debating challenge as Camila made us all proud with an excellent performance to cap off such a great day!
Wednesday 10th July 2019
On Wednesday we went on our very first trip! In the afternoon we took a coach with the other houses to Blenheim palace in the Cotswolds, the residence of the Duchy of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. We got audioguides and toured the beautiful palace and surrounding gardens. Boitumelo in particular had the best time exploring and experiencing the most British of days out.
When back in Oxford we had dinner in Westgate and then back at Edwards and had a very fun House Night. Our AC Carys led a quiz with many rounds including current events, international fun facts, British trivia and a final round where the students had to face off in reenacting a film scene of their choice. Amir, Sultan, Marcelo, Steven and Nareg recreated the Lion King and took the prize as they lifted Jeronimo like Simba. Other students went for a more classical recreation of Macbeth. The prize was a cake, but the students decided to share it with everyone in true Scholastica spirit! Having seen how talented they are we can only look forward even more to Oxford’s Got Talent!
Tuesday 9th July 2019
The first Tuesday of the summer school started with the courses now in full swing and everyone getting the hang of their classes.
In the afternoon, we discovered that Team Edwards has some pro punters! Nareg took the lead and punted his boat the furthest out of any of the teams, moving them at super speeds by punting some of the way by standing at the front of the boat rather than the back! During their trip up the River Cherwell they also met some very friendly ducks named Billie and Jacob by Amir, Sultan and Ana Julia. However, their trip back was rather less peaceful as they clashed with Team Lampl’s punts who had some questionable techniques of punting across the river! With the team working together to stop all the punts hitting each other, we made it back to land safely. Other Edwards punts weren’t so lucky, with Emilia returning with weeds and muddy water on her face (!), and Aqba having to rescue her boat a few times using both the pole and the paddle!
Keen to continue the fun, Edwards joined Lampl in the park for some free time. Francesca, Jeronimo and Anastasia joined Lampl in a game of football, whilst the rest of Edwards joined in a game of ultimate frisbee. AC Holly later hosted a game of Werewolf, where we identified 2/3 of the Werewolves (including Manya!), but tragically we did lose some villagers in the process (Perrine and AC Carys).
We finally ended the day with a delicious BBQ at Wolfson College and a Masterclass on ‘Conquering Happiness’. Starting with a touching personal story, Oxford University philosopher Michael Plant introduced some philosophical theories on what happiness consists of and then asked the students to have a think about what the concept means to them. We reflected on a range of comparisons affecting happiness and Camila asked why it is that our generation finds it hard to be happy. Francesca followed that up by asking what tangible steps we can take to be happier – such as spending less time on social media and being mindful of the use of our time.
Michael finished by recalling what Epicurus believed about friendship: ‘It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help,’ when students asked what we can do for others. Edwards was particularly engaged with the talk, with several of our students asking the speaker some thought-provoking questions, including how his theory may have to be altered to accommodate for religious views.
By the end of the day, it was very clear that at Edwards we already have some strong friendship bonds blossoming!
Monday 8th July 2019
After a Welcome Talk in St Thomas’s, our students met their tutors and got the first taste of their courses at Scholastica, with the medics Perrine and Emilia excited to bring their stethoscopes to the very first class. After their independent study sessions and their exciting classes at the Blavatnik School of Government and at the English Language Centre, the students explored Central Oxford for lunch.
In the early afternoon the students undertook a walking tour of Oxford led by our local Activities Coordinators Francesca and Carys who showed us the colleges they studied in. Once they became Oxford experts their teamwork was put to the test, as they headed off for an Oxford-wide Scavenger Hunt! Francesca’s team (consisting of Vinayak, Anastasia, Emilia, Maria Luiza, Katherine, Steven and Changlei) were the winners with an impressive points score and an extra bonus for Vinayak as the Rad Cam runner!
The students began to familiarise themselves with their surroundings, met their tutors and their fellow classmates so what better way to end such an exciting day than to have ice cream in the common room after dinner.