The testimony of the students, Mariafrancesca Barbieri, Italian, and Raul Buffo, Argentine. Understanding one of the many features that make Sophia a special place.
"'The hour of sharing (condivisione)’, an important aspect of the formation program at Sophia, is a part of the lessons’ schedule. It is held thrice a week in which all members of the academic community (students, faculty, staff, and even the guests) participate. Mostly the professor proposes an opening thought for reflection which allows the session to be guided by the participants through their contributions, personal reflections, or simply with an active listening.
As students, we expressed the desire to offer new perspectives of reflection, based upon our experiences. Since the academic year 2016/17 we have the possibility to conduct some of the ‘hour of sharing’. Our participation started with a reflection on what is the meaning of the word ‘sharing’ for us, a word that is knit in fabric of the life at Sophia. The question it led us into an expedition that became the topic of one of our discussions during one of the hours of sharing, so that all can partake into the insights and ask questions that emerged.
At the beginning, we explored the web for the meaning of the word "to share". The results, as expected, concentrated either on philanthropy or social media (sharing pictures, moods ...). The term is so abused on the web that another term "oversharing" could be derived i.e. going beyond the limits of sharing in an inappropriate manner. Later turning to the encyclopedic dictionary of the Italian language, we found two meanings: to divide something among others, in a predominantly material sense, and to agree and endorse the words and opinions of someone else.
Still far from the sense that we attribute to the word ‘sharing’ (condivisione) at Sophia! Next step was the etymological research in classical languages: If in Latin "communicatio" indicates dynamism, being part of something or take part in common, in Greek "koinonía" means to participate in the same reality or in common wellbeing. Not even these terms, although seem mush familiar to us, as they belong to the disciplines that are studied in Sophia, do not express the experience of ‘sharing’ as understood in Sophia.
At this point we tuned our focus on the academic code dedicated to the ‘moment of sharing’ that is "FIL 102-202: Exercise"; hence, we picked the key that this is not only a study course like all the other, but in reality it is an exercise. It is not a simple lesson but an experience. It seemed now necessary to investigate how the idea of this course was born. The interviews with some of the professors helped us to understand better.
Finally, by putting together and evaluating all the answers that emerged during the process and the experiences that we live in Sophia, we came to the conclusion that the hour of sharing, is above all an intellectual experience that stimulates a growth process that can only be achieved together with ‘others’, to whom we can open up our inner selves and with whom it could be completed.
There are many times when true "sharing" is not possible. It may be due to the lack of the conditions that help us share ourselves profoundly. However, when one arrives to the point of real sharing, even the ‘oversharing’ assumes a positive connotation. During the hour of sharing if everyone succeeds in entering the experience stimulated by the points of reflection, it means that there is an element that goes beyond what could be said, written, and shared through social networks and that it is never "too much" in fact it is this sharing that makes formation at Sophia different from any other university".
Mariafrancesca Barbieri and Raul Buffo