Everyday Scholarship

Cressida

Seeing an alternative perspective

When studying Wide Sargasso Sea I was intrigued by how Rhys managed to portray such a well known story from an alternative perspective and was able to make us sympathise with the infamous 'madwoman in the attic'.

Cecily

Debating whether Philip Augustus was a 'Great King'

A few of us in the class are pretty committed Philip A. partisans, so our teacher decided to make us argue that Philip was a King who failed to be 'Great'. It forced us to consider the more negative aspects of his reign and challenge his extremely positive historiographical reputation. We also began to wrangle with the concept of medieval kingship and what exactly it meant to be a 'Great King' at all; was it ever possible to successfully reconcile secular and spiritual leadership, domestic and foreign policy, short-term achievement and enduring legacy?

Betty

New literature, new forms of language

The Pre-U English course has enabled me to explore beyond the so called 'English canon', due to the exams being at the end of the second year. This space has allowed me to read literature such as The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, a Trinidadian writer. It opened my eyes to new forms of the English language and as a class we embarked on an interesting exploration of creoles and pidgin languages. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to discover what has become a new interest of mine.

Katie

An insight into human rights law

I especially enjoyed one Friday lecture given by a human rights activist - it was eye-opening to see where our laws come from, how they are enforced, and how important it is to protect the basic human rights of everyone around the world.

Dr Vosper Singleton

Cracking coding

As on-trend as it sounds, I’ve discovered the joy of coding. It’s motivating to have a challenge that’s both intellectual and creative. Working on logical reasoning and language skills, I find myself taking pride in the (very) small bits of code that I write, first being happy with having solved a problem, but then looking for ways to solve it better. Increasingly elegant code emerges as I learn more commands and understand how to combine my mathematical insights with the key terms of a tightly-defined language to hone programs, making them as concise and efficient as possible. The best part is that the solution to one problem yields insights I can take into the next, but also raises questions which create new problems to solve. The limit to these challenges truly does not exist.

Vivienne

The freedom of linear courses

What has characterised the Senior School for me has been the freedom of study and flexibility. The opportunity to explore and deepen our knowledge of each subject beyond the constraints of a syllabus was an invaluable opportunity and a reminder of what learning should truly be about.

Emilia

Discussing the General Election in politics

Having studied the different parties, their ideological roots, their leaders, and their roles, we used what we’d learnt in the classroom to discuss issues beyond the syllabus and better understand the real world. That, for me, has characterised senior study.

Leena

The library as the core of St Paul’s intellectually curious atmosphere

A valuable place to work and reflect, I’ve spent study periods just browsing the endless shelves and discovering books on topics that I had never come across before: the geopolitics of food, theatre and globalisation.

Josie

Studying Sylvia Plath's poem The Munich Mannequin

Specifically the line that likens the mannequins to 'orange lollies on silver sticks'. This prompted a really interesting class discussion about the objectification of female bodies, and societal expectations of femininity itself.