Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rathaus, Wien 26/V/2011

Kelly, Mr. Murphy, and Andy on Thursday evening
Posted by PicasaNo sleep today, but what an event at Vienna's City Hall. My native English speaking students of Philosophy are tired, but happy. On Friday they will write philosophy in Spanish -- a language they have only studied in school in the USA for about 6 or 7 years except for a one month immersion, academic, home-stay experience in Salamanca at the Universidad de Salamanca. Their competition will be students from 29 other countries, most of whom have been studying English for many years, some have an English speaking parent and some spend a substantial amount of time in their lives in English speaking countries. The great majority of these students will write in English on Friday.

Well, 65 kids from 30 countries. What do you think the lingua franca of the IPO is? It's not Latin, but I'll make an interesting analogy in a future blog. Some of the Philosophy teachers and I discussed it at some length here in Vienna this week. I'll leave you with this. Imagine what it must have been like for medieval scholars to travel around the major university circuit of the 13th & 14th centuries -- Bologna, Sorbonne, Salamanca, Cambridge, Dublin, Heidelberg, Cracow, Vienna.... Then imagine them all coming together once a year in one of the places mentioned to discuss philosophy with each other and with the star students they brought with them. There was a 'common' language. But imagine the accents.