Wednesday was a day of great academic success for the students in Balliol College. Buoyed by the fun had the previous day, the morning lessons were returned to with vigour; and after lunch, afternoon workshops were taken before opportunities to attend activities. Following the success of punting earlier in the week, students were again able to indulge their inner boatsman in yesterday’s afternoon sun.
Free time in the afternoon allowed further opportunity to better get to know friends on the course and to explore Oxford, before dinner in Balliol’s Hall. After dinner, there was a variety of activities on offer. As on the previous night, there was the opportunity for the students to deepen their understanding of their subjects in the Homework Club— but there was also the chance to participate in a Model UN debate, an intense discussion of topics such as the North Korean question, Donald Trump, and nuclear disarmament in which students chose a country to represent in the international forum. In addition to pride and intellectual enjoyment, students were also debating for something more: the winner of the UN debate was given passage into the great ORA debate held later in the week, in which they shall argue against students from other campuses.
For those who preferred to direct their attentions elsewhere, there were counsellor-led activities on-campus; and for those who enjoy the theatre, a trip to see Creation Theatre Company’s deeply innovative production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was provided. Although students were at first confused by being told that the location of the production was on a pavement, they soon realised that the play was interactive: in a fascinating blend of Shakespeare and something more approaching Dorothy L Sayer’s Oxford-based murder mysteries, the audience themselves had to track their play across the city. It was an evening filled with fun, and students were smiling widely as they returned to Balliol College.