MW study programme practical only seminar: Odney

From my perspective, the highlight of Odney this year was observing and being part of the ongoing evolution of this seminar. Over the six years I’ve been involved, we’ve built up a truly international group of MWs who travel to Odney each year and represent some of the diversity of the IMW. I feel our biggest achievement has been the move to giving candidates their mock results on the same day that they sit the paper and also the introduction of a degree of one-to-one feedback on day one. Neither of these were an innovation for 2019, but the pace of the course and the amount of marking required by each MW was extremely well managed this year - long gone are the days of 0730h decanting and still being marking at 0200h the next morning. Equally as important has been the shift in ’timbre’ to a more collegiate and ‘coaching-based’ format and away from a more didactic approach. This, again, has been subtle and is more widespread than just Odney, but I feel it has made a huge difference to the candidates - and the MWs.

Beyond these observations, I think the highlights of 2019 Odney (practical only) were the afternoon tasting seminars, in which we moved away from yet more blind tasting and tried to offer a slightly different angle that was much more discussion-based. I wasn’t able to sit in every session, but I’d give special mention to Justin Knock’s California class and especially his fascinating exposition of Californian geology and plate tectonics!

The other highlight was the staff curry. Bajis the size of my head!

Matthew Hemming MW
February 2019