Oration, Theatre, Stately Homes…and Sharks.
Another busy week comes to a close at Oxford Royale Summer Schools, and we have the latest news to share with you.
The second Great ORA Debate of the summer took place on Tuesday 25th July at the New Theatre in Oxford, where four students from different Oxford colleges battled to win the title of Best Speaker. Adam McMahon of St Catherine’s College and Pedro Paulino of Balliol College made up the “For” contingent, whilst Arya Mehta and Jingshu Ke, both of Queen’s College, made up the “Against” contingent, as they argued the point “Modern Technology and Traditional Diplomacy are Incompatible.” The debate kicked off with Tom Fletcher, adjudicator and former British Ambassador and Foreign Affairs advisor, giving a sobering speech on the financial crisis, climate change and technology, before highlighting the new generation’s need to find a way to make diplomacy work despite all this.
Then the debate began in earnest. Some salient points were made including the idea that fake news and social media masks current issues, and the idea of diplomacy as being an innovative force. After some rousing rebuttals, and interesting questions from the audience, it was Pedro Paulino of Balliol College who won the day, and was congratulated by Tom Fletcher and his fellow Balliol students.
There has been much more going on at the other ORA sites. In addition to celebrating their debate win, Balliol have hosted an outdoor theatre production of Much Ado About Nothing (set in Mussolini’s Italy) and even a famous owl who has made an appearance in Game of Thrones.
Jowett Walk students have been getting their blood up this week, with a Stage Combat class; in which they learned how to throw punches, head-lock their fellow students, and pin them to the floor…all without hurting them at all. Following this, they eased the tension and massaged their creative sided by building sculptures out of chicken wire.
Lady Margaret Hall students received a visit from Ivan Beckley and Andrew Bernard, two young entrepreneurs whose talks proved inspiring to the students.
St Hugh’s College went on a trip to Warwick Castle, indulging themselves in all things medieval as they took dizzying walks along the ramparts and oppressive descents into the castle dungeons.
St Catherine’s College students visited the home of Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister during WWII. They were fascinated by the palace and the room in which Churchill was born, and burned off some energy cooing over butterflies in the Butterfly House before racing each other through the maze; the record time was 7 minutes.
Over at Goodenough College, ORA’s London campus, students were treated to an interesting talk on Genetic Research by Maia Elliot, before going to see Wicked the musical (hint: the Wicked Witch of the West isn’t as green as she’s painted) before enjoying a VIP dinner experience at Madame Tussauds, amongst the waxwork figures of real life stars.
The youngest of ORA’s student, at St Mary’s School in Ascot, took their own trip into London this week, to visit the London Aquarium, where they gazed, open-mouthed at the sharks drifting above them in the shark tunnel, before taking a leisurely trip on the London Eye to take in the sights of London below.
With so much hard learning and hard play going on this week, it’s no wonder Session 4 students are ready to graduate and return home. We are going to miss them and wish them a fun graduation tonight!