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28. February 2019 Václav Benedikt Loula

The Perks of Being a Warwick Student

In my first entry I described the general atmosphere at Warwick University. Now, I find it appropriate to describe my learning process and also to mention my new observations. After all, Warwick is a fairly new university that is very dynamic and ‘we’, as students, are a part of the establishment process. It is us, who will lay out the foundations & traditions for the generations to come. Hence, each student at Warwick is embraced with a sense of responsibility for this place.

As any other English university, Warwick has a number of societies. Recently, I joined the Warwick Improvised Theatre Society. In this society we learn how to make improvised sketches, speeches and gestures. Compared to standard education, improvisation is somewhat relaxing. After a long day of learning, I cherish the fact that I can commit myself to something completely non-serious. Nevertheless, philosophy never ceases to amaze me. For instance, I have found out how epistemology (a branch of philosophy dealing with theory of knowledge) is absolutely crucial for politics or law. Furthermore, metaphysics provides inspirational grounds for scientists to embark on their discoveries. No wonder that philosophy is often called “the first science”.

The English university model allows students to study few optional subjects in other departments. Hence, in my two terms I have already done one module in Economics and one in Sociology. Nevertheless, I ended up cherishing philosophy. In economics, I felt detached from the realm of ideas, since all the major concepts are reduced to a simple diagram. In sociology, on the other hand, my endeavour to reach objective truth was not truly satisfied. To be frank, the prescribed sociological readings, altogether with the module’s structure, were filled with biases. In this class, many of my classmates felt hopeless when the tutors openly disclosed their political allegiances to an ideology many of us were eager to criticize. I was quite disappointed how easy it is to fabricate truth in Sociology compared to Philosophy, a subject that constantly strives to undermine its own certainty. I am not sure whether it is a fault of the English system. Perhaps the country is not yet disillusioned with several ideologies. It is also possible that Sociology per se is a troublesome discipline. One way or the other, I still wrote a letter of complaint to the Department of Sociology. After all, philosophy is an arch-nemesis of ideology, although any ideology would pretend to have roots in philosophy. 

I also went on to investigate surrounding cities. Leamington Spa caught me by surprise as I found out that the Free Czechoslovak Army was garrisoned in the city during the Second World War. In fact, the city built a memorial to the parachuters who carried out the operation Anthropoid. It is customary in Britain to build manyfold commemorating monuments,  probably out of deeply rooted reverence for tradition. Coventry is rather a modern city, since the majority of the original buildings did not make it through the war. There, I have found a flat to live in for the next year.

At the end of the day, although Warwick provides interesting surroundings and compelling opportunities, it is mostly the attitude of students that matters. It is our inquiring, critical and (sometimes) relaxing nature that makes Warwick the place to be.

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