Wednesday, February 25, 2009


If you've been following University Challenge recently, you might have seen Oxford's Corpus Christi team with 26-year-old Gail Trimble blazing an incredible trail of general knowledge. It makes you wonder if Oxford makes you brainer. Obviously the university has a huge effect on the town, but I do get the impression sometimes that just living around here makes me smarter.

You can barely walk 10 metres down a street without seeing a poster for a special lecture or for a highbrow cultural event. Even modern shops are set in old buildings, so you feel like you're absorbing culture with every step.

Let's not even get started on all the bookshops! Even non-academic cafes are crammed full of people studying, reading and writing. There are academics wandering around deep in conversation, and you can bet some of those joggers in the park are listening to lecture notes.

If my theory is correct, and Oxford makes us smarter, all the more reason to not feel guilty about lazing around. Education!

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