Student of the Week
Theo Cox Dodgson
Our first SOTW for 2016 is Theo, from Palmers Green, who previously went to Winchmore School and is now studying A2 history, politics and English literature at Woodhouse.
Theo plans to study a history and politics joint honours degree and, until very recently, had high hopes of doing it at Oxford University. Unfortunately, despite a great application and making it all the way to the interview stage, he has not been offered a place. But he is stoical about the result and plans to study at Exeter now...
"It happens. I'm disappointed but not entirely surprised, the competition was very fierce, obviously Oxford and Cambridge are identified as the two best Universities and they get thousands of applications. At interview I met people from all over the world, even from as far as Australia, and that in itself made the process worthwhile - getting to meet lots of interesting people with a common goal.
But I like all of the universities I've applied to, and particularly like the atmosphere and course structure at Exeter, so I am just as happy to study there as anywhere else."
And Theo is happy to study at Woodhouse too, all of the time it seems. At last years AS celebrating success assembly he received a fistful of achievement certificates having been nominated by all of his subject heads. And at the same time has become part of the DNA of Woodhouse by participating in a myriad of extra curricular activities.
"Knowing that my teachers thought me deserving and put me forward for the awards was really nice, I hadn't expected that.
I think most people around college know me for being the returning officer in our Woodhouse general election last May when I announced the results in the quad to an eager crowd. But I have also been part of the debating society which I took as an enrichment option. I've participated in a couple of competitions including 'Debating Matters' in December 2014 where I debated the motion that 'sports people should not be considered role models' - and won, which was good.
I also took part in the Model United Nations hosted at Woodhouse in December 2014 and then went to the Birmingham Model UN in March 2015, both times representing Ukraine. There was a lot going on in Ukraine at the time and I was on the security council with Russia which led to some interesting debate.
I like to find the differing point of view from conventional wisdom and play 'devils advocate' in discussions. It's fun and intellectually engaging to challenge the common opinion, which was partly the motivation for inviting the controversial writer Peter Hitchens to our Speakers Corner (I was also part of the SC team last year). It was a heated but interesting talk and people stayed back for quite a while to continue the discussion. It was a similar situation with the UKIP candidate who visited last month. I really enjoyed SC because we got to invite dissenting speakers, which challenges us to think.
Alongside these activities, I am also the administrator at ALevelPolitics.com which is our politics website run by Mr Patel, the head of politics. And I'm a tutor group rep - but didn't myself forward for the college council because by the time the elections came around I'd already signed up for so many other things that I wouldn't have had time too study!
I chose extra curricular activities that are related to the political and historical as that's what I'm interested in and I want to broaden my knowledge (and also to fill out my CV somewhat ). I came to Woodhouse because I wanted to take advantage of the many additional opportunities here, that you just don't get elsewhere.
College work takes up most of my time and I don't have many outside interests, though I am learning to drive at the moment and taking my theory test soon. I spend a lot of my free time reading around my subjects, making notes and enhancing my knowledge.
History and politics are my favourite subjects and it makes sense to combine them for my degree, but I'm not sure what I want to do after university. I know I want to write and journalism is a possibility. I'm mostly studying these areas because I like them and want to know more. I'm quite interested in the 19th century and how our current political climate and patterns of thought grew out of that era, Britain's prominence on the world stage and the birth of the industrial revolution, these are big historical areas that I enjoy learning about.
I chose Woodhouse because of the atmosphere here when I came to open day. Woodhouse open days are so much better than all the schools I looked at, so welcoming and well organised, like the college is I suppose. I like the whole environment, the buildings, the quad, the field at the back... even the vending machines! But also, because it's a sixth form college and the teachers only teach A levels. That degree of specialism is really appealing and I like that I'm learning with smart and likeminded people."
Thanks Theo, for your continuing contributions to all things Woodhouse and for making us question the norm. We expect to see you on Newsnight and Question Time in the not-too-distant future.
09 November 2016
Class of 2016
22 March 2016
13 January 2016
Theo Cox Dodgson
10 December 2015
26 November 2015
12 November 2015
28 October 2015
08 October 2015
01 October 2015
17 September 2015
10 September 2015
25 June 2015
30 April 2015
23 April 2015
16 April 2015
12 March 2015
05 March 2015
26 February 2015
19 February 2015
12 February 2015
05 February 2015