Monday, June 4, 2012

Sir Winston and I: thoughts on the tutorial system

I am studying Winston Churchill for my tutorial. For those of you unfamiliar with the Oxford system, let me do a bit of explaining. Instead of attending lectures, the Oxford student attends tutorials. Tutorials are one-on-one's with Oxford Dons for an hour a week. Mine is at my Don's house and his wife serves us tea.  A typical tutorial goes something like this: you defend your essay from the previous week for an hour, at the end of which the Don gives you a list of books to read and a new essay topic, which you prepare for the next week.

Needless to say, this system is absolutely brilliant for a former homeschooler. This is how I learn.

Winston and I have been fighting it out. I'm on my third cup of tea and I haven't moved for around 2 hours.
I'm working on the idea of leadership, exemplified in Winston Churchill's life. One of our speakers said "great men see what other men do not see." but i'm beginning to think that great leaders also act when other men do not act. Winston had brilliant perception, but more than that, he was fearless. He felt no ties to any party, any belief system other than his own head. While this created a great mistrust for him in the British people before 1940, it allowed him the unique ability to grasp hope and to act against the tyrannous storm gathering in Germany when many men felt helpless.

soup time.

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