A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN HONOURS STUDENT
My day always starts with a 45-minute walk to College. I only have three early mornings a week which start at 9.15am. Otherwise, I just go into College for the 11.35am lesson. Most of the time I arrive early, so I just hang around outside the classrooms either catching up on social media or pre-reading what may be taught in the lesson.
We have four contact hours a week per subject, and four hours of Honours as well. I sometimes stay back on my early finish days to do some homework in the Honours library. The Honours library is small but much less crowded and much more comfortable than the main College library. It has an old-world vibe with the hardwood table and the wealth of books, plus good heating which makes for enjoyable reading on colder days.
One of the best things about the Honours class is that it is made up of students doing all types of subject combinations. I do Politics, Economics, Geography and Literature. But, around me are aspiring doctors, future artists and everything in between. As you can imagine, this opens the door to a world of questions:
A biological take on sexuality, or a psychological one?
A philosophical view on language, or a mathematical one?
We are now in the midst of individual presentations on our chosen topics. Last week, I talked language, meaning and translation. Besides looking at basic linguistic features, I also explained the struggles of translation in our increasingly multilingual world.
Presenting to the class really helped me solidify my own understanding as well as consider some unexplored aspects, such as:
Does the Chinese culture place little importance on time because there are no tenses in the Chinese language?
Can we say we’ve truly read a work if we’ve only read a translated version?
We have recently also been exposed to documentary called Bitter Lake. It explores the reasons behind the rise of Islamic extremism by placing Afghanistan and its conflict in the centre, without over-simplifying many of the complex issues. It gives an unusual and artistic perspective of the changing world, through the eyes of various stakeholders.
Though dealing with a tough subject matter, it manages to highlight the similarities we share with people all around the world – from the tribes of Africa to the religious groups of Eastern Europe.
Most of what we do in Honours is based on questions – many of which do not have answers. However, encouraging us to think outside the four walls of a classroom and instilling passion and dedication to subjects we wish to pursue are at the core of the Honours Programme. The support provided and diversity of opinion shared will no doubt aid in our interests to apply to top universities in the UK and around the world.
Now, do you have any questions?