“It is not often you get the offer of free coffee with a side of existentialism, but when you do, you take it. Whether in the ‘real world’ or on Zoom, the Sixth Form Symposium has been a fantastic way to share and discuss anything of interest – from the philosophy of religion to the number of coffee beans Beethoven had in his morning brew”, Juliet de Banzie (Upper Sixth) tells us, regarding Mr Jones’ Symposium.
“I have been a member since the Symposium first began, initially puzzling over Mr Jones’ weekly questions such as ‘Can art rebalance our characters and make us more moral?’, ‘Can faith and doubt coexist?’, or the more intimidatingly phrased ‘Who do you think you are?’. Each week we are encouraged to share our own thoughts and interests with the group. The more students have been encouraged to take the stage, the more diverse the conversations have become. It’s been fascinating to hear the opinions from such a range of people in the Sixth Form.
This Wednesday’s meeting focused on ‘Cultivating the Life of the Mind’ – with an examination of the daily rituals of a whole range of artists, poets, scientists, musicians and thinkers. How many daily walks did Darwin take to ease him into his most productive and creative states? Why might Beethoven have 60 hand-selected coffee beans for his morning coffee? What was it about working in a motel room that fuelled Maya Angelou’s literary creativity?
I’m looking forward to hearing more presentations from the other students over the following weeks before Easter and hope to share my own ideas, opening them up for group discussion. But more importantly, I’m looking forward to more free coffee.”