Medical Science Presentations

On Wednesday, the Medical Science students presented various topics to their classmates. This format enabled first a factual presentation outlining the topic’s medical relevance and dangers, before a student-led rigorous Q&A.

Topics ranged from ‘Arsenic Poisoning in the Workplace’ to ‘Farmers and Occupational Hazards’


In the ‘Arsenic Poisoning’ talk, workplace prevention occupied the first section of the Q&A, with the presenters detailing solutions relating to gas masks and urine tests. Further questioning related to the reasoning for the prominence of arsenic poisoning, with the presenters once more up to the task of outlying the importance of arsenic in the electronics manufacturing process. In order to put further perspective on the issue, Dr Ranavaya then provided a few anecdotes, even including how Indian women would use arsenic to gradually poison their husbands!


We also managed to sneak a small sample of the Farming talk!

The Oxford Tradition Talent Show

The lights were bright, the stage positioned, the microphones primed, yet the occasion not too daunting for the Tradonian performers. As the time drew near, the Catholic Chaplaincy filled with the 350 or so students, eager to see their classmates and friends show off their vocal, instrumental and comical abilities. Host Will Jefferson, philosophy teacher and performer extraordinaire, embraced his inner Tom Cruise as he infiltrated the show on a sliding trolley whilst Co-Host Oliver Smith, Program Assistant and enthusiastic performer, danced his way onto the stage to Earth, Wind & Fire’s September. Together, they kickstarted the performance with an uplifting dance routine of Grease Lightening.



The first half of the show was dominated by musical acts – ranging from lofty vocals, slick plucking and elegant tickling the ivories. Alexander Bjornstad and Pedro Larrea opened the show with X’s and O’s, followed by the whirling rhymes of Alphabet Aerobics, rapped by Jandro Alcantara. Manuel Elizalde belted out Beauty and the Beast’s If I Can’t Love Her. Angela Yan’s rendering of Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu truly dazzled the audience, drawing a standing ovation.



Pedro Larrea followed with a stirring guitar and vocal performance of Ed Sheeran’s The A-Team. The piano once more featured as Jamie Ho delivered Arabesque No.1 and Tate Gibbons amazed with his inspiring improvisation. Broadway ‘crossed the pond’ as Vicky Luo sang Phantom of the Opera’s Think of Me, whilst McKenna Kelly delivered a powerful rendition of Manhattan.



Up next were three vocal performances: Anastasia Kalloniati singing Who’s Loving You, Nastja Schiedler and Violet Massie-Vereker duetting In the Middle and to finish the first half, Alexandra Bjornstad belting out Something’s Got a Hold on Me. Another highlight was Paisley’s McKenzie’s Highland dancing to Ed Sheeran’s Nancy Mulligan.



Following a brief interval, the show resumed with a specially modified version of Alexander Hamilton, from the musical Hamilton. Mr Jefferson, the host, rapped about the program and the experiences of the students. Then followed a beautiful duet of Sweater Weather by Xander Howell and Cara Christie, a deep vocal expression by Will Tway through I Know Him, a hilarious comedy routine by OxTrad returnee Marcelo Fernandez de la Mora, a plucky ukulele performance by Russel Sy, and a piano performance by Anne Straith of The Raindrop Prelude.


Sophie Behzadi sang a heart-wrenching take on She Used to be Mine, followed by a stylish adaptation of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb by Hugh Notman on the guitar. Axel Rivera de Leon and Griffin Smith duetted Can’t Help Falling in Love, whilst Michael Gharib rocked the stage first with vocals in Agony, then in Perfect on the piano.


The audience was then treated to a sample of Indian music through Mansa Sukheja singing Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon, followed by an incredible original composition – The Wind and the Wave – sung by Mia Huber with her guitar. Xander and Cara returned to the stage with an impromptu guest to perform a rendition of Vance Joy’s Riptide that brought the whole room to its feet cheering, singing and dancing.



Colette Macarios certainly didn’t carry an umbrella when she stormed through the hall with her strong vocals in Rain on my Parade, and Ethan Clock took no prisoners with his special take on Feeling Good, first entrancing the audience with his vocals before turning to his fancy footwork in tap dance. Finally, to end a truly wonderful evening filled with so much talent, the self-organised a capella group ‘The Singing Spires’ worked their magic, and a ragtag group of staff sang their hearts out to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, bringing the entire hall once more to its feet in dance and song.



Creative Writing and Photography Team Up!

Humans of oxford
The Creative Writing and Photography majors paired up on Monday for a Humans of Oxford assignment. In pairs–one student from photography and one student from creative writing–they went into Oxford city center to learn more about some of the strangers around them. Their conversations resulted in beautiful first person accounts of the human experience, coupled with stunning portraits of beautiful strangers.
To see their interactions, check out the collection on the Creative Writers’ website:

Friday Field Day – Warwick Castle and Burford

A bright and early start to the day brought plenty of yawns to the quads of Corpus Christi and Pembroke. Yet, the tired faces soon melted away as they journeyed on the roads to ancient Warwick Castle and the idyllic village of Burford, immersed in the glamour and splendour of the Cotswolds.



The day began with Warwick Castle, constructed by William the Conqueror in 1068 following his famous victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. During its 1000(ish) years of existence, the castle has been witness to many events, eerily similar to Game of Thrones. The 13th Century saw the castle switch hands during the Second Barons’ War, with the forces of Simon de Montfort successfully capturing the town by surprise. In 1469, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, rebelled against King Edward IV and imprisoned him within the castle. Having failed to rule in the King’s name, Neville was defeated in the Wars of the Roses. The castle was also a focal point of the English Civil War – Robert Greville, a Parliamentarian, survived a Royalist siege. Then following the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, prisoners were kept in Caesar’s and Guy’s Towers.



Moving on through countryside, the students visited Burford, a quintessential English village, which lies only a handful of miles away from the home of David Cameron, the former Prime Minister and Oxford Graduate in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). Often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Cotswolds, Burford offers the traditional assortment of quaint shops, B&Bs (Bed and Breakfast) and a historic church. Legend has it that in 752, there was a battle at Burford between the West Saxons and the Mercians. At the end, Aethelhum, the Mercian standard-bearer, who carried the flag with the golden dragon on it, was killed by the lance of his Saxon rival. The origin of the golden dragon standard is attributed to that of Uther Pendragon, the father of the legendary King Arthur. Whilst the students saw neither battle nor dragon, they were able to tour the town and countryside.



All in all, it was a fantastic day out with students and admin alike enjoying the sunshine and country air.


How Round is Your Circle? – A Maths Revolution advocated by Dr Chris Sangwin


On Thursday evening, OxTrad welcomed fan-favourite guest speaker Dr Chris Sangwin once more to Corpus Christi. Chris is the Professor of Technology Enhanced Science Education at the University of Edinburgh, researching the automatic assessment of mathematics using computer algebra and problem solving using Moore method and similar student-centred approaches.



In an interactive presentation, Chris first invited students to the board to display their best attempts at hand-drawn circles, before asking the audience for their ‘favourite circle’. There followed an investigation into perceptions of roundness filled with mathematical circular conundrums and other assorted revelations. Posing the question of ‘how do we define a circle or a sphere’, he suggests that the traditional concept of constant diameter might not hold up in light of recent research. Instead, he argues that whilst the constant diameter argument is still necessary, it is no longer sufficient as mathematicians discovered a new shape (Meissner’s Tetrahedron) which has a constant diameter but is not a circle.



International Education Forum

As part of OxTrad’s International Education Forum, representatives from five of the United Kingdom’s top universities – Imperial College London, Durham University, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of St Andrews – met with students in the Catholic Chaplaincy.

The session began with short presentations outlining the attractions and histories of the respective colleges. The format then shifted to an informal Q&A where more specific questions were asked.



St Andrews was founded in 1410 and boasts famous alumni, most notably Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Newer institutions such as Imperial are at the forefront of research and teaching, producing scientists such as penicillin-discoverer Sir Alexander Fleming, and even a writer or two, such as H.G. Wells.

Globally, these universities are ranked in the ‘Top 130’ (Times Higher Education World University Rankings), with Imperial and Edinburgh placed 8th and 27th respectively.  The Tradonians received a broad view of university life in the British Isles with Imperial and Durham based in England, Edinburgh and St Andrews in Scotland, and Trinity College in Ireland.


Irish Times Journalist Shares Valuable Trade Tips

Katie Colgna, an Oxford Tradition student taking Journalism, has written a piece about the talk by Suzanne Lynch that was held on July 4th.

From her perch as White House correspondent for the Irish Times, Suzanne Lynch shared some interesting observations about journalism during her talk at the Pichette Auditorium of Pembroke College on July 4th, 2017. She implored her audience to read political stories closely and think about how a reporter might have gotten information that wasn’t available to other reporters. Who were the sources? Did they have an agenda?

Lynch also used her own diverse career—she’s reported on major world events, such as the 2008 global economic collapse and the Syrian refugee crisis—to emphasize the importance of journalistic “versatility.”

During a time when the media is under constant attack by the new Trump Administration, Lynch cautioned aspiring journalists to check facts closely and not rush stories into print. She also suggested that young people interested in journalism would be wise to work at their school newspaper, yearbook, or even the local paper. Getting experience as a reporter and learning how to find stories puts you on the path to a career in journalism, she said.