Happy New Year dear reader, and welcome back to my weekly blog from inside The University of Oxford! I do hope you managed to have some family festivities over the Christmas period.
I had a few days post-end of term where my body was still running on the adrenaline of Michaelmas term, and then around about Christmas Day, I had the almighty great crash to Earth that my body needed. I subsequently came down with a cold, earache, headache, you-name-it-ache and felt pretty rough for most of the holidays! And no, before you all diagnose me with Covid-19, it was not. I had my self testing kits, which I did religiously. It was just my body’s way of saying “alright, let’s have a rest now thanks”. So I did just that: no exercise, attached to the sofa, and dutifully gave into it.
Once fully recovered I made it back to Oxford to learn of the lockdown news and that for the first half of Hilary term, we will be entirely virtual. Oh the joy. This is when I’m thankful that I don’t live in college accommodation because at least I have Michaela here and we have a separate kitchen and living room space, not just a poxy college bedroom. Saying that though, my bedroom has been transformed into a sleeping, working, and exercising space with the arrival of my turbo trainer for Bikey.
I figured that the best way to get through Lockdown 3.0 was to prioritise the joy where we can. And for me, that is movement and exercise and Bikey is a big part of that. However, the U.K. in January is not conducive to long bike rides (hello black ice) so instead I can pedal away in my room and go absolutely nowhere. Exercise helps to provide that structure to my day, which I need. I’m a structural, process person. I like to have a plan and I like to know what I’m doing when, so having Bikey set up in my room makes it so much easier to plan around. Unfortunately it doesn’t make it easier to plan around literally, as I’m very rapidly running out of space!
But here we are, back ready to kick off Hilary term tomorrow. Three new modules for this half term; however, one of them, “GOTO” will span the entire Hilary term rather than be dropped mid-February. And that is where we kick off this coming week, focusing on GOTO module and what it means.
Global Opportunities & Threats: Oxford or “GOTO” is an action-oriented, problem-solving approach to address some of the most complex challenges the world faces today. The module is an entirely team-based, experiential project-based one where over the next few months we explore complex 21st century challenges to drive towards creating new businesses, policies or interventions that go some way to tackling the issue.
The overall theme for this year is called “Systems Reset”, focusing on the systemic crises the world faced in 2020 (so not many to pick from, eh?!) Before the holidays we all had to pick which “track” we wanted to focus on and then we were allocated teams based on our preference. The choice was between: Climate, Economic, Health, or Social. I chose the Health track and as far as I am aware, as a team we have complete free reign to decide what our focus will be within the realm of Health reset.
This coming week will give us much more information about how we are to tackle this module and what we are expected to create and present at the end of March. Each year, at the end of the module there is a closing ceremony where the top teams present their ideas and there is a keynote speaker. Last year their GOTO theme was on Climate Action and the keynote speaker was former US Vice President, Al Gore. Pretty cool, eh. I’ve also seen photos floating around of a massive trophy up for grabs for the winning team, which obviously, I liked the look of…not that I’m competitive or anything….
This will be an interesting half-term for sure, with the full lockdown in place. We can only hope and pray that the vaccine rollout is efficient and effective and we can go back to the Business School in late February/early March. But for now, if anyone needs me I’ll be pedalling to nowhere on Bikey, controlling the controllables…