Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Tale of Two Universities: SDSU and Oxford

On Monday, July 28th our class ventured out to visit one of the oldest universities in the world, Oxford University. Upon arriving, there was a distinct difference in the general atmosphere of the city compared to London; there were less cars, less noise in general, and less people rushing about in a hurry. The attitude was simply more relaxed than the city of London, which might not be saying much considering that London is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, so there is a very good chance that any city outside of London will generally be more relaxed.

When looking at Oxford and San Diego State University, the place fondly known for its partying and men's basketball team, there are certain differences in both the education system and in the schools in general. When John Makey discussed how the American education system is a bit more forgiving than the British education system, it was moderately surprising. Any person in the United States who is involved with their children's school, works at a school, reads the news, or even knows the average annual salary of a teacher could easily come to the judgment that the American education system has several flaws. Whether it's lack of funding for arts programs, the absurd amount of student loan debt, or the issue of the importance of standardized testing, there seems to be no lack of problems in the educational system. So, when Makey mentions community college as the more "forgiving" part of the education system it starts to make sense; there is not community college option in the United Kingdom, something I was unaware of before my visit to Oxford. There are several benefits to attending a community college such as saving cost on tuition, staying at home, getting the general education requirements out of the way, and the fact that almost anyone can enroll in a community college course for credit, or to simply learn something. In the UK, if a student decides that they want to study another subject, then they have to basically start over at square one, which can be a deterrent to switching fields of study. Typically, "forgiving' is not a word I think most people would use to describe the American education system in general, but it is refreshing to think that, in some aspects, it might be.

Both Oxford and SDSU differ in just sheer design, appearance, and atmosphere in general. The buildings at Oxford pay homage to philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. There are statues seemingly at every corner and a plaque to commemorate that person. There is so much history in the architecture alone.  The style, ranging from Gothic to Classical to Baroque, is a vast difference from SDSU's own Spanish Colonial style as seen in the Bell Tower.

The two universities also differ largely on the lay out of their respective locations. Oxford is a city in England, and Oxford University is in that city, making the university part of the entire town. Students are not limited to any place, or at least not seemingly so. There are no designated "students only" places, or, again, it did not appear so. At SDSU, which is located in the College area, an area specifically named for a specific demographic of people, there is a clear area of where students go to hang out, eat, relax, etc. It is called the College area for a reason, it is almost like a mini town just for SDSU students, but that is just one woman's opinion. So while SDSU is a large university, home to 25,000 undergraduates, the city of San Deigo by no means revolves around SDSU because it simply has its own corner, like a hamster in a cage. Students obviously go to places outside the college area, but whether they do or not doesn't matter; it is still the college area because that is where all the students live. Oxford is different; students live there, of course, but also just normal people live there as well, maybe to escape the bustle of London, or they simply enjoy the city of Oxford, which is understandable as it must be a splendid city to live in.These two universities do have several differences, both educational and especially physical.

While there is no right or wrong college in this observation, I consider myself partial to SDSU- it would be extremely difficult to attend a university where I could not very easily get some authentic Mexican food, but that is also just my preference.

The Contrast of the Spectacle

San Diego State University vs. University of Oxford

The contrast of the Spectacle.

This contrast is not something I would have ever expected to consider.

These colleges are complete opposites in every way possible, except of the mutual goal of providing this and aspiring generations with the education to better our world.

San Diego State University, ‘State’ as it is referred to by the students who attend, has a laid back, So Cal disposition. Classrooms are filled with students wearing bathing suits
ready for the post class trip to the beach. The professors are down to earth and easy to talk to. The campus walkways are full of bicycles and longboards as student rush to class seconds before the door is going to close. Students find time between class to lounge on the grass lawn and read up on the next lecture. The campus itself is filled with buildings which resemble spanish architecture. This brings a warm and inviting feel to the campus and the students who attend classes every day.

Oxford has a much different atmosphere. Standing in the center of the University of
Oxford it is easy to see that this is an institution which demands the utmost respect. There is also a strong sense of tradition instilled in the regulations of the institution. Dressing properly for class, in suit coats and proper slacks, sets the pace for the expectations of the students in this professional setting. The campus itself resembles the architecture of a traditional cathedral. Large walls and gates surround the campus to prevent any unwanted visitors from making their way onto the campus. The grass is even protected by signs reminding the visitors who find their way inside the walls that it is best to ‘Keep off the Grass’.

The one thing that I have noticed is that the people who attend Oxford tend to have a sense of pride in their school, there is not that sense of pride in San Diego State from the students. However this lack of pride is compensated for by pure happiness. The students of State are some of the happiest people that I have ever met and its because we all know that we are the luckiest people in the world to attend college in southern California and the beautiful and infamous San Diego State University.

There is no room in the walls of Oxford for the rebellious souls of State. Not to say that the students of State would fail and shrink any in the presence of an Oxford education, but rather I believe that any Aztec who spends too much time away from State will eventually begin to miss the 10 minute rides to the beach, casual attire in class and late night Mexican food.

- C. L. London, England 3172014

Powerful & Powerless

      On this beautiful Thursday afternoon, we made our way to the National Gallery. Right by the opening of the Gallery entrance there were street performers setting up the mood for the spectacular art we were about to see. The talent that was outside of the Gallery building and the talent that was inside was intriguing. I'm still confused on how these street performers look like they're levitating.  The galleries were filled with so many famous artists! It's amazing how it's free to see these pieces of art. My favorite artist, Claude Monet, had some of his work in one of the gallery rooms. I was able to sneak a selfie. :) 
In front of my favorite piece by Claude Monet

       When we went on the second part of our tour; when we were supposed to look for two pieces that had conflict I ended up noticing more of the people around me than the paintings. It made me happy seeing all the different kinds of people at the gallery. It was like this one place united all different cultures and nationalities. There were also a handful of people drawing the pieces of art. It was insane seeing this one woman replicate a painting. Hers almost looked better than the original piece of work. After all these years, people are still wanting to recreate something that I would think is out of date and old. Watching her painting come to life was a beautiful process.
A woman replicating a lovely piece of work! 
Judith in Tent of Holofernes
Susannah and the Elders
      The two pieces of art that spoke to me were, Susannah and the Elders 1620 by Guido Reni and Judith in Tent of Holofernes 1622 by Johann Liss. Both of these were from the same room (Room 32) but both represented something different to me. One painting showed the man with the power and the second painting showed the woman with the power. Both paintings conflict with each other and have their own conflict within the piece of work. The first painting I chose was, Susannah and the Elders. It automatically caught my eye because the woman looks so distressed. It made me want to reach out and help her. These two men are trying to take her innocence but she is already naked and barely covered while they're completely covered. No matter what the painter wanted to show, there doesn't seem like there could be any good scenario to go with this work. The gesture that one of the men is making, made me angry. Why would he put his finger over his mouth? Is he trying to be sneaky? Convince her to do something she doesn't want to do?  Tell her to be quiet? Either way that gesture has no positive connotation. This one picture makes me ask all these questions. The woman obviously looks confused just from her body language. She seems hesitant and doesn't look like she has much control of the situation. Comparing it with the second painting I chose, Judith in the Tent of Holofernes, the control completely shifts. The woman has all the power. She just cut off a mans head! I know this may sound sick, but this picture made me laugh because the womans face is turned towards us with a smirk basically saying, Yeah, I just cut off a mans head...don't mess with me. By her turning towards us, I feel like it's easier to connect with her. Most of the paintings in the galleries the men had all the power and the woman were just sexual objects but this one shows the woman with that power. The didactic said that she used this mans sword to cut of his own head. How badass is that?! Being able to get revenge by using the own victims weapon against them. 
      Both of these pieces of work had so much conflict within the painting. In one, the men are trying to take advantage of the innocent woman and the other, a woman just cut off a mans head. If those paintings weren't dramatic enough on their own trying to connect them would make it even more dramatic. The power of each sex in these paintings is so strong, it's clear to see who is more dominant. In both of the paintings, the artists made the victims painted with a lighter color which has the observer focus more on them. The artists clearly wanted us to focus on certain things in the pictures. It was weird seeing the different roles switched so drastically. I'm still in awe from these two paintings. Both so powerful!

The Nostalgia I Found in Someone Elses' Boyhood

    Richard Linklater's film, Boyhood, might be the most original concept you'll encounter in independent film for many years to come.
    While many are raving about the extended film time of 12 years, I really found the timeline of culture in the film most intriguing.
     As a child of the mid 90's-00's, this film reached out to me in a different way than many others who might not be my age might have.
     I was able to almost pinpoint the exact years that each step of the film featured. The use of pop  culture to reference the time passing included toys, music, and even the more obvious political references.
     The culture references not only helped to pinpoint the exact moments in history that the film was taking place, but they helped to develop the characters into what they would be 12 years after the start. It's an unusual concept to see a character develop through society's pressures and culture, but it somehow worked in Boyhood.
       On a more personal level, the film seemed to have a greater impact on me, who is someone who somewhat shares the timeline of growing up with the main character. Although a few years off, being a little older than the actual character benefited me in a way so that I was able to pinpoint each timeline reference. Throughout the film, I had overwhelming feelings of nostalgia, which may or may not have been a goal of the director pointed at a portion of his audience.
        The film can be interpreted over and over by critics about the concepts and what exactly Linklater's message was, but I think the beauty of the film is the way each individual viewing it feels through each stage that the film provides. I think the director's purpose was let people evaluate their own development in real life while the 12 years was progressing.
         In an interview I found with the star of the film, Ellar Coltrane, something the writer of the article struck me as a near-perfect description of the film.

"Any stretch of our lives, even the entirety of it up to this moment, has a tendency to become a kind of flash of moments that we make sense of, a series of incidents given a name for ease of reference. It helps define us even as we define them."

I could not have said it better. This film is completely a work that makes you self-evaluate your own incidents and experiences in life that make up yourself as a whole. I believe that what we are  just a large cluster of what we have experienced and how we have handled those experiences. As we look back at time stamps in our lives, we can see the making of ourselves within them.

Here's the interview I found, where Coltrane talks about how foreign it feels to finally have finished the project, and how it has affected him in his life as a real-life, experience-having person.

Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate that Soulja Boy was referenced in the film? I didn't know whether to cringe or dance in my seat...

Male v. Female Body Conflict

Compared to the Tate Modern Museum, the National Gallery is a more traditional art museum. Statues in Trafalgar Square surround the gallery and monumental pillars hold up the building. The first thing I recognized was the giant blue cockerel we saw at the beginning of our time here in London with our tour guide Simon.  I did some research on this bright blue rooster and discovered that it was created by a German artist named Katharina Fritsch. The fact that a female artist designed a cockerel to be placed near the National Gallery struck me as a humorous approach at feminism. Surrounding the National Gallery are predominantly male figures such as lions, men on horses and pedestals, and the unsubtly tall Nelson’s column in the center of the square. Along with the immense pillars in front of the gallery, the square was screaming with phallic symbols making it clear that London is a male dominated culture. Ironically, a female would then create a giant rooster (cock) to be placed among these figures to highlight and mock male dominance and ultimately imply that the roles are now changing.

The humorous implication of Fritsch’s statue contrasts the formal statues to emphasize gender equality. With this theme in mind, the two paintings I chose to contrast were of the naked female versus the naked male body. The first painting by Diego Velazquez entitled, The Toilet of Venus (The Rokeby Venus) is the only surviving portrait of female nudity because it was disapproved by the Church. The subject was rare in Spain and the fact that is was disapproved when nothing offensive can be seen shows that the female body is not thought of as beautiful and innocent but controversial. Velazquez tastefully paints the backside of Venus, the goddess of love and most beautiful of the goddesses, looking at her reflection showing that she is in control of her beauty and the audience. The audience for nude paintings was meant for men revealing the role of male dominance and implying that this painting was meant for pleasure. But Venus’ body turned away from the audience demonstrates role reversal. She is somewhat concealed from the male eye and her son, Cupid, is also nude holding the mirror showing that the naked body is a symbol of beauty, creation, and innocence not to be corrupted by men or seen as improper. This painting ultimately challenges the ideals of the National Gallery as a whole by Venus changing the depiction of the naked female body. 

Velazquez’s painting conflicts with the painting possibly by Anthony van Dyck titled Drunken Silenus supported by Satyrs through the portrayal of the drunk and robust male body. (‘Possibly’ is used because the painting was thought to be created by a compilation of artists in Rubens’ studio.) I saw this as a conflict with Velazquez’s painting because here male nudity is more acceptable because it represents a figure of massiveness and power, whereas female nudity is seen as seductive. During the Renaissance, Silenus was seen as sophisticated yet in this painting his state of drunkenness and flowing fat is the central focus. Hints of pubic hair are even visible and he is reaching for more grapes, a symbol for wine, with leaves in his hair drawing attention to his disorientated state. However, compared to the elegant portrait of Venus, this painting is considered more sophisticated because it is a male even though he is drunk and fat. Velazquez’s painting thus challenges the idea of males assuming the dominant role through the gracious beauty of Venus.

Oxford & Cal Poly

So, a bit of a difference on my part to begin with, as I am a student enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, not SDSU (that's what I will be comparing). That said, there are marked differences. In fact, I should say that Cal Poly, while still a university, is almost completely antithetical to Oxford's style – aesthetically, philosophically, and ideologically. Oddly enough, however, I do observe a striking similarity in both schools' emphasis on having a firm grasp of one's aspirations before enrolling.

The first and most immediately striking thing about Oxford is its appearance. Buildings from the 14th century abound, grand cathedral-like halls of learning are common, renaissance statues preside over the quads, and quaint, idyllic, and tranquil gardens offer a sense of seclusion and intimacy. These characteristics, as Mr. Makey explained, are indicative of Oxford's approach to learning. Focused strongly on independent study, the tranquil and unmistakably collegiate ambiance allows one easily to fall into a studious mindset. Why, it is quite appealing to imagine oneself lounging on a bench in a quiet garden leafing through a book on a subject which you are fascinated with.
The architecture (with some truly unfortunate 1970's exceptions) is remarkable, and it is clear where so many American universities got their inspiration for the collegiate gothic revival style. This devotion to creating a beautiful and tranquil space for learning is something which I observe Cal Poly to lack in the extreme. For all our clout as a renowned architecture school, the best of our buildings are reminiscent of the regrettable worst of Oxford's. In this respect I did envy those students fortunate enough to attend and of Oxford's esteemed colleges.

In its education philosophy Oxford once again differs greatly from my Cal Poly. While a lecture room filled with 200 students, none of whom major in the subject at hand, is the norm at Cal Poly SLO, the average Oxford student engages in  2 to 4 person tutorials, intimately with a professor or advisor. Additionally, these tutorials would only deal with subject matter directly relevant to the student's degree. This strikes me as very odd. The moral relativist in me, as an anthropologist, must accept this for what it is in its cultural context, but admittedly, it seems to me that this closes the student to a number of doors and intellectual opportunities that might have had the chance to better them in some way or truly expand their mind. I know that I was very much enriched by an introductory astronomy course I took last quarter, and to think that I would never be exposed to such material (irrelevant to my degree as it may outwardly appear) saddens me immensely. 

There are, of course, benefits I am certain to small tutorial groups, but my reservations remain all the same. 

The last thing I noticed was quite different was the general attitude of the place. While I am used to a somewhat loud, hustling and bustling campus, Oxford was very peaceful and quite. It had a stronger feeling of respectful solemnity, and I am tempted to say that its ancient age weighed heavily on its ambiance. Cal Poly, on the other hand, being scarcely one hundred years old, is quite vibrant and new, with very little quiet and solemn areas on campus (not accounting for the many quiet and meditative places that cover the rugged hills surrounding the university). 
Quite expectedly, my home university and this foreign and ancient one had marked differences, but ultimately it is inspiring for me to see how the proud and noble tradition of enlightening young minds and training them in the most important knowledge and wisdom humanity has to offer continues from its origins on this European island all the way to a polytechnic university an ocean and a continent away. 

The Battle of Schools: SDSU vs. Oxford


The date is 28 July 2014. A group of San Diego State University students got to visit the famous Oxford University

Our group got off the train, ready to see what another university was like. The first thing to notice, is that the atmosphere is different. The air is filled with a laid back feel. There isn't the same hustle and bustle that London has. There are not as many people and they move around at a slower pace.

Why would this be? Well, this is a college town. The students have worked their way hard to study here. Our professor, John Makey, described the process. He said students in high school complete the equivalence of a high school diploma in America by the age of 16. Then, for the next 2 years, the students are more focused on their A level classes which, basically, completes the equivalence of the General Education Requirements at SDSU. This is all before the students complete high school. 

Then, once accepted into college, the students focus more on their subject they have worked on since their A levels for the next 3 years. This is all they study once they are accepted into a university. Makey explained that the students get the same tutor for all three years and work primarily by themselves with papers. There really aren't classes for them to attend as all the work they do is on their own. 

This means that the students are pretty much left on there own with out any rushes. They do not have tests to prepare for nor do they need to worry about multiple classes. This leads to the feeling of a relaxed atmosphere as the students do not have a time crunch. By the time they get to university, their studies should be something they desire to work on. This means that is really isn't "work" to them as it is something their passionate about. It becomes more fun than tedious school work.
The students are definitely lucky to go to such a magnificent "campus." Oxford University has over 30 different colleges that students get to choose from. The buildings are old and the age shows. The sculptures are weathered enough to show age and just symbolize the majestic beauty.

However, when walking through the streets, one could not help to feel but alienated. There was a sense of... pretentiousness in the air. I couldn't help but notice that there was a distinction between those that attend the university and those that are visiting. Those that went to the university hardly looked twice at you. They passed by you without even making way for you on the sidewalk. Though this could be because they lead such a solitary life at the university, it just became the norm. 

Not only did the students not want you there, but neither did the grass!

The sign says, "KEEP OFF THE LAWN"
This was just a not so subtle reminder that you didn't belong.

Now, this lead me to wonder if SDSU gave the same sort of vibes. 

SDSU is also a beautiful campus. 

It may not be as old as Oxford, but it captures the essence of San Diego, California. San Diego was started by missionaries and the school reflects that just as Oxford reflects the scholars who attended the school. The school itself can have a very laid back feel. We are by the beach and have the best weather.  

However, there is a lot of stress on the students. You can notice that near midterms or finals, you can find many students scrambling to prepare for their tests. SDSU students must work hard to obtain classes during registration as there are too many people and not enough classes. This can also be a stressful time for many students. 

The students do not get an assigned tutor for their duration at SDSU and they must work hard to pass tests as well as papers during the year. 

However, there isn't a sense of hierarchy on campus. I can't tell if one student is a freshman or senior. All of us are welcoming and help each other out in the community because we have all been in each other's shoes. Some of us might have been partying a little too much in Greek Row and forgot about the test. Other probably have been studying for ages and still don't understand the material. Some of us might not have been prepared for 500 people classes and feel overwhelmed. Either way, we stick together and help each other through.

The city of Oxford was built around the university. SDSU was built within a city. This creates a noticeable difference when walking around the university. There are several college students around, but also people from the city. The people mingle and talk and the surrounding area becomes a more accepting place than at Oxford. We are taught to work together at SDSU and that shows up within our community.

So the big question: Which university is better? Oxford or SDSU?

In my opinion, SDSU wins.

Oxford has a great history and has produced many scholars, but the school is too isolating for me. The students don't really interact and the town is very uninviting. You are on your own once accepted and that is not always for the best. 

In America's world today, you will always have someone or other people to work with. Most of our jobs consist of working with others to advance and prosper. We need to be social and find ways to communicate in order to succeed, and I believe SDSU helps us achieve that school in and out of class. SDSU is not perfect, but I believe, given these options, that I picked the best school for me.

SDSU: I believe that we will win the fight against Oxford!

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

University of Oxford 


San Diego State University

To answer the question posed above, yes, the grass is literally greener at Oxford. One should not be surprised at how vibrant the grass is at the University of Oxford. The Oxfordians owe their strikingly green grass to the numerous “keep off the lawn signs.” As you can see on the images above, the grass at San Diego State University appears to be of a more dull shade of green is sporting a dull with patches of yellow. If you look closer, you can even see a student walking directly on the grass. The color of the grass is just one of the differences that separate the two universities. Moving on from the oh-so-interesting topic of grass to one that struck me the most on our class trip to Oxford, here is a map of all the colleges of Oxford that spreads out across the city.
            There are 38 different colleges that are divided according to a specific subject. With this design the focus directed on one area of study as opposed to having several classes. The downside to that it does not allow students any room to for exploration. Contrary to that, SDSU has a main campus that every student steps foot in. Furthermore, the requirement for completion of general education classes at SDSU gives students the freedom to discover new interests and possibly change their major. Oxford students, however, will find this to be a greater challenge because their general education would have already been completed by the time they begin at the university.
            The architectural differences are also prominent. Oxford’s buildings give off a historical feel from its various early medieval and gothic design. Their classical design is also one of the reasons why the streets are crowded with tourists. San Diego State, on the other hand,  has constant construction to renew or improve its buildings. The new glass walls of Storm Hall at SDSU deeply contrasts with the plant-covered walls of St. John’s College.
            Apart from the external differences, there are also disparities between the two. Because the University of Oxford is divided into different colleges, it takes less time for a student to graduate. As our British life and culture professor, John Makey, explained, the type of studying that British students experience is more independent compared to that of American students. They have hourly sessions with a personal tutor who, then, gives them an assignment that they have to submit in a couple of weeks’ time. With that system, Oxford students graduate after three years of attending university. That could not be any more different from what an SDSU student, like myself, have experienced. At SDSU, and most universities in the United States, we are expected to show up at a lecture hall with a couple hundred other students once to three times a week. With an addition of the general education classes, it usually takes four or more years for an SDSU student to graduate.

            The grass at Oxford might literally be greener, but it doesn’t necessarily make it a better choice for a university. If a student is absolutely certain on their major and the path that they want to take after graduating, then yes, the University of Oxford will undoubtedly be a superb choice. For a student, however, who is more likely to stray from their original path and explore their options, San Diego State University’s system might be more suitable for them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Educational Disparity

At the age of 16, an American student would be getting his driver’s license while a British student would be completing his general education. At the age of 18, an American student would be going to college with an undeclared major while a British student would be going to university with one focus. At the age of 21, an American student would be celebrating his legal drinking age while a British student would be finishing his undergraduate coursework. In this parallel timeline, we can already observe the cultural and educational disparity between two nations. If we specifically juxtapose the University of Oxford with San Diego State University, we observe complete polarity.

San Diego State University’s fierce Aztec pride has developed alongside their thriving athletics department, especially considering the basketball team’s growing success. On the other side of the Atlantic, the University of Oxford’s pride is rooted in its rich history as the oldest university in the English-speaking world. In fact, the University of Oxford, as a whole, has no official mascot and the only athletic endeavor that the school seems to regard with pride would be its rowing team  (as demonstrated by the names of their defeated painted on the walls of the residences).

While San Diego State University is home to the Viejas arena and many sports fields, the University of Oxford has its statues and courtyards. There is a stark contrast between the architecture of the two universities. With its San Diego location, SDSU’s campus is a visual indicator of the school and the city’s Spanish influence. Oxford, on the other hand, is a historical landmark in and of itself; the individual colleges were built centuries apart but many more centuries before SDSU. With buildings that date back to the 1200s and the 1600s, Oxford is comprised of stone and brick buildings with ornate accents. This is much different than SDSU’s mission-like Hepner Hall and new Aztec Student Union. While Hepner Hall is iconic to SDSU (as it appeared in the 2000 teen comedy Bring it On), the Bodleian Library is just one icon that represents Oxford’s highly esteemed academics.

The University of Oxford’s academics, as the rest of England’s, differs greatly from San Diego State University. At English universities, the students are self-reliant and responsible for attending tutorials about once a week. At American universities, the students do not practice much independent study and are expected to go to lectures and classes four to five days a week. This educational approach flaunts the divergence between Oxford and SDSU along with the grading system. Opposed to the American grades of A-F, the English receive 1st, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd, and pass. Teaching or grading style, none can be said to be better or worse. However, we can acknowledge that education in the United States is designed to serve a larger scale with its clear structure and clearly drawn line between teacher and student, whereas at Oxford and other English universities, education thrives on at more intimate nature.

Intimacy is apparent in other components of student life at the University of Oxford as well.  With a smaller student body than San Diego State University, Oxford has an average of about 500 students at each individual college. For this reason, each school’s student population edges onto the social perimeter of fraternities and sororities. SDSU is infamous for being a party school with its omnipresent Greek life. At SDSU, students find brotherhoods or sisterhoods in fraternities or sororities, but at Oxford, students find family in their school. Oxford students ordinarily achieve that familial bond in other ways than rushing and pledging. The disparity between two educational institutions, Oxford and SDSU, is evident not only on a historical and academic basis, but also, socially and ultimately, culturally.