Capital Classics

Interview with Gage Kumar Havering Sixth Form College, 06/05/14

Gage Kumar is an A2 A-level student studying Classical Civilisation, History and Maths at Havering Sixth Form College, which has been involved in the East End Classics Centre and its activities since the launch of the Capital Classics Programme.  Gage previously went to Kelmscott School in Walthamstow, which is also an active and committed member of the East End Classics Centre and the Capital Classics Programme. Gage completed a short course in Classics at Kelmscott School before choosing to study A-level Classical Civilisation at Havering Sixth Form College. Gage attended the Wadham Summer School in Classics last year (in 2013) and now holds a conditional offer for an undergraduate degree in Classics at Wadham College, University of Oxford.

 

We caught up with Gage to ask him about the Wadham Summer School in Classics and whether it inspired him to apply for a place at the University of Oxford and Wadham College in particular.

Gage, please could you tell us about your experiences at the Wadham Summer School in Classics 2013?

 

It was fun getting to grips with studying Classics at university level.  I was already thinking of studying Classics at uni before the summer school and it really affirmed my decision was the right one. The experience of learning some introductory ancient Greek was probably the most valuable and striking experience of going to the summer school.  It was something I had not come across before.  Hearing what Oxford lecturers had to say on their respective areas affected how I view the Classics.

 

What was your favourite thing about the Wadham Summer School in Classics?

 

The experience of learning some ancient Greek was probably the most valuable experience of going to the summer school.  It was also a great opportunity to meet like-minded students who are also deeply interested in studying Classics.

 

What was it like studying Beginners Ancient Greek at the Summer School?

 

The experience of learning some ancient Greek was the most valuable experience of going to the summer school.  The experience of learning the basic building blocks and elements of this ancient language was amazing and made me want to study Greek further at university.

 

Did the Wadham Summer School in Classics give you a good sense of what university life is like, and what it is like to study at university? 

 

There is only so much you can gain from a week, but it was a very good insight into university life.  The essay they set us gave a good insight into the standard of work that is expected at university.

 

Did the experience of participating in the Wadham Summer School in Classics encourage or inspire you to apply to the University of Oxford and Wadham College in particular?

 

Yes, definitely.  I really liked the ‘vibe’ or atmosphere of Wadham College and the way that they approached teaching Greek to us was exciting.  I was already hoping to apply Oxford if I got the grades but this really affirmed the decision for me.

 

What degree will you be studying for / reading at Wadham College, and are you excited about going to University?

 

Classics Course 2, Lit Hum Classics Course 2 (for students who haven’t studied Greek or Latin previously).  Yes, it has definitely made me excited about going to University and I’m looking forward to tackling the texts which have amazed me for so long.  I’ve particularly enjoyed studying Catullus, Homer’s Odyssey, Aristophanes’ comic plays and look foward to studying these texts further, as well as others, at university.  Aristophanes’ humour is transcendental and easy to appreciate, regardless of the time when it is read, and even in translation.   I like both Greek and Latin cultures, but prefer Homer to Virgil!  I also prefer Euripides to Sophocles.

 

What are the main benefits and advantages of attending the Wadham Summer School in Classics?  Would you recommend the Wadham Summer School in Classics to other students?

 

I would definitely recommend it to other students.  Its a great opportunity to meet people who are like-minded and have a strong interest in and passion for studying Classics.  Its mind-expanding and opening and gives you a good perspective into what it might be like to study Classics at university anywhere, wherever you are thinking of applying.

 

Wadham Summer School in Classics 2014 will be held from Monday 25th August until Friday 29th August 2014.  All students are welcome to apply, whatever subjects they are studying, and any students aged 15 years or above is eligible to apply.  If you would like further details of the Summer School and an application or if you have any questions or queries about the Summer School, please email Dr Crystal Addey (caddey@bsix.ac.uk).

The closing date for applications for the Wadham Summer School in Classics is Monday 12th May 2014: please return your application to Dr Crystal Addey via email (caddey@bsix.ac.uk)

or by post to: Dr Crystal Addey, The East End Classics Centre, Bsix Brooke House Sixth Form College, Kenninghall Road, Hackney, London E5 8BP