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‘School of life’ begins a new lecture season
AS students return to Oxford, so too does term start for residents at a West Oxford ‘school of life’.
A programme of lectures based on people’s experiences and subjects they are passionate about – dubbed West Oxford Academy – begins next Tuesday.
Only West Oxford residents can give talks, which have covered topics as diverse as blues music and Syria.
The 101st talk will be at the West Oxford Community Centre, in Botley Road, from 8pm until 9pm.
It will be about The Tower of Babel, and the development of world languages.
The talks were started by West Street resident Susan Hutchinson, who said: “They have always been really interesting. I think if people talk about something they are passionate about, they make it interesting to other people. What I like is when people come to a talk they can’t see themselves enjoying and then becoming interested and asking questions by the end of it.”
Up to 40 people attend each talk and speakers have 20 minutes to give their lecure, followed by a 20 minute Q and A.
Mrs Hutchinson has spoken on the history of the Internet, while Duke Street resident Mary Russell has talked about her travels in Syria.
Mrs Hutchinson said: “It is only for the West Oxford community. But I think in most places if you stop and listen, people have a story to tell. Or maybe we are just lucky here; we haven’t had a single duff one.”
Among the regulars is city and county councillor for Jericho and Osney Susanna Pressel, who said: “I try not to miss a session and have been to dozens of fascinating talks. The atmosphere is attentive, but pleasantly relaxed.
The sessions run as two terms of eight weeks starting in October and January. They cost £2 per session or £10 for a term.
Some of the upcoming talks:
The Body Line Tour
The origins of the internet
How to have and execute good ideas
Writing for children
Looking at modern art
The Czech air traffic control system
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