Students made some unexpected new friends during Insight Masterclasses at Catz yesterday ―group favourites were Sirius Black the scorpion and Tango the North American corn snake, who had left his brother Fanta to shed his skin at home. Students learned about the animals’ survival secrets: Sirius likes to get up to his mischief under cover of darkness, to suit his inky shell, but will glow green in the moonlight, at which point he knows to go and hide; Tango, on the other hand, takes a much less technical approach, stealing up on his prey and squeezing for twenty minutes until the unlucky mouse has breathed its last.
Budding journos were walked through the dos and don’ts of interviewing by a battled-hardened professional ―starting with a royal role play (one taking the part of Prince William or the Duchess of Cambridge, the other probing for information) before students moved on to interviewing each other, learning about the homelands of their interlocutors and practising their note-taking skills.
Others took on the Stock Market Challenge, an interactive trading game that challenges students’ maths, strategy and teamworking skills to play the market and bounce back from shocks to the stocks.
Lastly, students grappled with bad habits such as smoking and the death penalty in a debating masterclass. Moral arguments about health and the right to life were met with hard-headed economic analyses, and students learned how snappy rhetoric can help one win the day. It was impressive to see students drawing on a range of social, political and economic critiques ―with an especially strong performance from our Australian contingent.