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Do You Love Literature?
Lourdes Oppong is a Year 12 student at Hornsey Sixth Form, and has a passion for literature. I spoke to her about how this passion has been developed through the mentoring she receives from The Access Project.
What made you chose English literature as the subject you wanted to receive tutoring in?
I’ve always loved English and was keen to improve. It was just a great opportunity for me.
What was your first tutorial like?
It was a little awkward. I think my tutor was also nervous. We talked about books and found that we liked similar authors - that helped a lot.
So who was your tutor?
Abbie Chicken. She studied English Literature at Cambridge.
So what happens during a tutorial?
The tutorials are two ways. To begin with we ask each other about our days, I’m keen to learn more about her working life as well as literature. We set targets the previous week to allow me to prepare in advance. For example it might be a question like,” At what stage did the character become sad?” and we would share our views on this and focus on the effects this had on the character. It’s good to hear each other’s interpretation of the text. It helps me to develop my own views and understanding. I now feel much more confident in lessons.
What are some of your favourite pieces of literature?
I really like Shakespeare and poetry, especially John Keats.
Do you still think Shakespeare is relevant today?
Definitely – there have been so many spin offs. The story lines are always dramatic and they make you reflect on life. Othello really stands out to me. It was unusual in Shakespeare’s time to cast a black person as the protagonist. I think by doing this even now it acts as a way to liberate modern authors to be more creative when writing new stories and characters.
So what is your ambition?
I want to study English literature at uni. Originally I wanted to pursue journalism but I now know that that’s too narrow. I love reading and writing and being creative. I appreciate that creative writing has been one of the options within enrichment - it just helps me to keep that passion alive.
So what’s Hornsey Sixth Form like?
It’s a community. Everyone is supportive and you have lots of time with your teachers. I think the students and the school have an impact on each other.
What do you think is meant when they say, “Hornsey Sixth Form, give yourself the EDGE?”
Its shows that we’re special. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. You are not limited at Hornsey you are known as a person, as an individual and are pushed to develop yourself.
Lourdes is studying AS English literature, Media and Sociology and has ambitions to read English Literature at Cambridge.