Romanum is not all about dancing, fighting, or fucking - at least it is not for me - and for the past 2 years the Collegivm Romanum, the organisation focusing on education in our city, has hosted the Socratic Academy, a school of philosophy modeled on its Athenian forebears.
The Academy offers a forum for full and frank debate on moots based on canonical writers in our Graeco-Roman history. The weekly sessions have been a great success but lately attendance has been faltering, so we decided to run a survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QDSM37R) on what discipuli want from the Academy to improve it or even to determine whether it is worth continuing at all.
Nineteen of you have responded, and I want to thank you very much for the feedback and commentary. I will summarize the responses to the survey here.
I. Have you heard of / attended the Socratic Academy? The overwhelming majority of respondents had heard of it and / or attended sessions.
II. What do you think of the Tuesday 11am time slot? About half are ok with it, the other half cannot attend at that time.
III. Which other time slot for sessions would suit? Most preferred a Friday time slot, but every day had its fans. A quarter could not attend any of the session times on offer.
IV. What do you think of what the Academy offers, content-wise? A quarter has not seen any debate topics of interest to them. Most found debates and the format interesting and enjoyable, but some would like more preparation time, and also the opportunity to just observe the session without any pressure to contribute.
V. What should change to make sessions more attractive? More promotion is needed, including that the debates can be fun and are not intimidating for people who are less schooled in philosophy (or don't have English as a first/debate-level language). Some want a more accessible US time slot. One suggested a more formal philosophy class than debate.
VI. Which topics should be discussed more? May be subjects related to Roman/Romanum life, culture and issues, but plenty of you say that philosophy and the spectrum of past debates have been wide enough to cover issues of interest.
VII. Which courses should the Collegivm offer, outside the Academy? Practically everybody is interested in learning about Roman culture and religion. Half of the respondents would like courses in building, making art and Latin.
Thanks again to all of you who took part in the survey.
From 1 December, the Academy will have its session on Fridays at 9am SLT, and will be looked at again in the new year, when the new rules on overlapping events take hold.
Romanum Collegivm Magister