It’s been abundantly clear since the start of the session that the students in Balliol College this fortnight are a talented bunch. From evenings in which strains from guitar and voice fill the evening air, to the quick-witted one-liners in casual conversation, the Talent Show last night had long been identified by all as something to look forward to— and justly, we can now say.
Before the evening’s thrills, though, there was a day of studies and preparations of final presentations. The Medicine Prep students went to King’s College London, one of the leading universities in the UK, for a tour of the medical facilities there. We wouldn’t be surprised if some of them ended up studying there. It’s an impressive place, and their cutting-edge equipment is certainly eye-catching. Architecture students similarly sought out some specialist tools in a trip to Summertown, on the outskirts of Oxford, to a leading studio to make use of their dedicated equipment.
In the Business Challenge class, meanwhile, students were developing their pitches to investors. They have been set the task of creating an imagined company and marketing it to sources of income; on Friday, their projects will be put through a test of fire when they present their ideas to the rest of the class. Of particular importance was to analyse their projects through the lens of SWOT, looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business. A wide range of products and projects were being mooted and prepared, and there was some impressive detail and commitment on display.
No less impressive, and indeed no less committed, was the display at the talent show last night. Some of the students seem to be well on the path towards being full polymaths, with a full grasp of numerous abilities and areas. There was dancing, of multiple sorts; singing, in groups and solo, in English and in other languages; displays of baffling flexibility and coordination; comic routines which had the audience and judges in stitches… When students look back on ORA, their summer, and indeed their youth, this sort of evening, filled with laughter and clapping and friends, is the sort of thing that stays remembered.