Philosophy; Religion, Ethics and Philosophy (REP); and Classics trip to Rome
By David Mackie, Head of Philosophy & Classics Teacher, and Oscar, student
Time flew and the sun shone. Inside a chiesa, Bernini’s Teresa. The Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps and 12-euro gelato. The area sacra (the ancient remains of the site of Julius Caesar’s assassination and more importantly the home of a colony of our feline friends under the care of a charitable organisation). Eyes met in a Roman square – the Pantheon’s oculus and ours – and it may have been love, but once again there was not enough time: logic was broken (three Doppelgängers) and with it the group: David’s Romans divided into two sub-groups, with REP students enjoying the beautiful architecture of the Jewish synagogue, museum, and a walking tour rich in stories and insights with Natasha, while others, led by Jane, visited various landmarks nearby, including the Ponte Fabricio, the oldest standing Roman bridge – in continuous use since 62BC.
There was the Portico of Octavia, the Theatre of Marcellus, the Bocca della Verità which, it is said, will bite your hand off if you lie, or are unfaithful (happy to report: all 52 hands returned to the UK), and the temples of Portunus and Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium, before relaxation at the Circus Maximus with more modestly-priced gelato and a drink called ‘Oppidum’ in the middle of the Urbs. Trajan’s Forum and Column, woke seagulls, and the Column of Marcus Aurelius. Peoples of the Danube and Dacia were spirally s’posed to welcome the yoke of Roman civilisation; reports of David’s deification were deemed dodgy. The Ara Pacis and Augustus’s Mausoleum, and the Palatine and the Forum and the Colosseum, and an unforgettable meal (or, in fact, several unforgettable meals but not always for the same reasons) and St Peter’s, a cardinal, talk of sins and confessions, the Vatican Museums and not nearly enough time and somehow no one got lost and all twenty-six of us sat on a coach and a plane again and we came to Sixth Form bang on time to be reunited with our animals.
And, as ever, our brilliant and lovely d’Overbroeck’s students were super-enthusiastic, splendidly supportive, wonderfully well-behaved, formidably fun-loving and fantastic company, and they showed fabulous fortitude, terrific tolerance, and glorious good humour despite challenges. Lower Sixth bonded with Upper Sixth; everyone learned to love, and to be amazed by the reports from, their step-counting software. Blistered heels, nagging nails, and troublesome toes were patched and sent back out on to the track. There was never enough time, but all had a little taste of a wonderful city – one that we hope will inspire them to go again, and do more, and do it rather better than David managed to. There was much laughter and there have been new experiences and shared pets, pictures, stories, friendships, and jokes that have continued well beyond our return. I’ll call that a result.