The Last Mile

After collecting all the information necessary to write the research paper, I began about created a timeline and, in a sense, compartmentalizing sections. This way, I could structure for myself a way to format the paper coherently. Organizing the paper was the easiest task. The hardest, had to be writing the actual content. During the process, I constantly had to remind myself what the purpose of the information I had collected was. I had to ask myself why had I selected certain pieces of evidence and what it meant in the grand scheme of the paper. Slowly, that was how the paper began to take shape.

Of the graphic element I did create a graph that marked frequency of fire safety legislation against time—though this is rather apparent itself during the research process of looking through books. As I continued to write through the paper, and then later on, in put from the presentation, I found the paper growing more coherent as the numbers of support grew.

Most of the documents consulted are either second hand sources of event or government run websites as I found them to be the best, or main, source of information concerning my topic. Since the last update, the paper has been written, read, shared and edited. It has gone through the developmental stage and into a product. Throughout, I do wish I had addressed more recent events, or found a modern fire to examine. Consulting more books would have been nice as well, though the paper did just fine with online resources.

From this research process, I have learned to develop a concept and how to unravel its ideas. By opening my paper to discussion, I discovered holes and new angles and found that the experience of sharing a paper was more beneficial them terrifying. Often times, I find it nerve wracking to share what I have written, but by sharing this paper with my peers, the paper became stronger with their input as they were able to notice things that I had not—seeing as my head had been stuck in it for so long, that a new perspective was necessary.

What I have learned then, from all of this, is how to share ideas and concepts—to know that allowing others to read works is much more beneficial and well worth the time and effort. While the paper was not read in its entirety, simply sharing the ideas, the structure of the paper, what it was, was enough to impart knowledge on the listener, and then questions.

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Week 4: Science and Politics

At first, science and politics don’t seem to exactly go hand and hand with each other. Except they do. In reflection of the group presentations (Adam and Chris—along with others) it was interesting to see how science at Oxford has developed in parallel with the needs of the time. When there was a need for science—such as during the World Wars—there was a boom in the field. War, amongst other things, acted as a catalyst for the need of the increase in scientific study. In the presentation, it noted that Oxford was becoming overlooked as a university because it focused on the humanities rather than science. Politically speaking, if the university wanted to ‘retain’ its standing, it would have to focus on the more ‘popular’ field at the time, which was scientific study. As a result, there was an increase of revenue towards science.

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Another presentation that came to mind was the animal testing group. I thought it was interesting to consider how the animal testing developed and had ideas stemming from initial concepts of researching corpses. For the sake of science, people were trying to understand how the human body worked, but after a while of grave robbing and turning stolen bodies into a hot commodity, laws had to be put in place to control how bodies came into the hands of science. What is interesting is that the bodies being taken were those of a lower class and the drudges of society. In some perspective, this might be seen as using bodies that people might not miss (because they might have been considered unimportant) are therefore, perfectly acceptable for the use of scientific investigation. However, the introduction of laws controlling the ‘ownership’ of the deceased expresses political opinion on what bodies should be used and what society believed was the ‘proper’ way to obtain bodies for research.

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In Edinburgh, the Scottish nationalism was felt throughout the museum. Many of the exhibits (though unfortunately, I did not have the chance to explore its entirety) often highlighted ‘Scotland’. Many instruments, ideas, etc. were accompanied by mentions of Scotland when explaining what they were or their important. Through Edinburgh itself, there was a great sense of ‘Scotland’ rather than ‘Scotland as a part of the Commonwealth and the UK”. One of the notable scientific ‘inventions’ was Dolly the Sheep. The cloning process took place in Scotland and Dolly’s presence in the museum, along with the many other artifacts, appears to let everyone who visits to see what Scotland has accomplished. That Scotland is independent, or that it can accomplish great things within itself.

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Maybe this is my personal opinion, but I think Dolly the sheep put Scotland at the forefront of what was considered possible for science. Yes, there were many failures before Dolly, but the fact that there was a successful clone showed advancement in the scientific field. Looking at Cambridge, Oxford and all the other British universities with a focus in scientific research, the fact that Scotland was able to produce something like Dolly seems incredible. Even though it is just a commonwealth state, it was able to accomplish something great. Other than Dolly, I am not sure what other standout scientific research Scotland has accomplished, but in the eyes of politics, perhaps it showed a sense of personal growth. Even though England has so many research universities, Scotland was able to accomplish something like Dolly the sheep.

Science and politics doesn’t always seem to be clear. There is a relationship, but it appears heavily dependent on the public or nationalistic tendencies. Of course there may be other relationships, but science seems also driven by politics (take, for example, the nuclear arms race with Sputnik and America landing the first man on the moon).

Finally! A Topic!!

Summary of my initial train of thought:

Research Question: What are the levels of security implemented in the shift from public to private space in Oxford and how does they relate to the perception of safety ?

 

Resources: Student life, student journals, student ‘handbook’, observation (visiting buildings and counting the number of entry ways/doors, porters—if any, number of floors)

                   Crime data

 

Places: Oxford Brookes (from street to housing), Bodleian

 

Public safety—crime data, police reports

 

 Crime in Oxford; social science library (crime stats, what kind of data is accessible)

 

 Narrow down what kind of crime; “bike thefts in Oxford—student”

 Chart murder in Oxford—locations over time; are there any laws that have changed how they occur?

 Find a secondary source (someone who has written about the history of ____); murder


The Oxford Fire of 1644 – title something, what is the impact

Fire Safety Laws

Building requirements/codes

 

National Fire Safety Laws in regards to Oxford (sample region)

Development of fire safety laws in England

Awareness of fire safety in Oxford

After what seems like forever, I’ve finally found something of interest.  It stemmed from thinking: what doesn’t involve people?  The human factor.  The one that involves feelings and creates subjective data.  At first I wanted to go with murders because, well, murders are interesting.  Except–as my partner would point out–murders are generally carried out with personal intent.  Then, I jumped to different crimes, but each one of them were somehow subject.

Looking through crime or incident reports, one thing stood out: fires.  Immediately, I went off on that tangent and I began digging up information.  There was the Oxford Fire of 1644, and immediately thought, “well, if they named it, it has to be important.”  Sure enough, it spurred me on to discovering it wasn’t until 1941 that the Oxford Fire Brigade was formed–and that is mainly only attributed to the Fire Brigade Act of 1948.  Essentially, there was no ‘established’ fire department until the early 20th century.  Even further, the volunteer fire brigade was created in 1879, but the United States had already established  Union Fire Company in 1736!

So I kept digging through legislation in England (mainly focusing on Oxford) about fire safety.  Despite there being a history of fires in Oxford and the rest of the country–and the world–building regulations were not officially created until 1971.  Walking around, this is clearly evident in older building within the last century having narrow and long staircases–queue memory of the Celtic Hotel–and the fact that today’s modern or updated buildings have outlets with switches.

In summary, my process for this week has mainly been combing through information and reading about the different legislations and how they relate to each other in the grand scheme of things.  By creating a timeline, I am able to see how the ideas of fire safety have developed since 1644 (which I consider to be the starting point because of titled fire in Oxford during that year).  I hope that my development of a timeline will help me better understand how fire safety is understood and acts undertaken to teach the public awareness of fire safety.  Just because people know that fire is a bad thing, doesn’t mean they may be necessarily prepared for it when the problem arises.

Week 3: Considering Instruments

Without instruments, many of the modern tools we use today wouldn’t exist. The scientific tools we use today are largely based and developed upon by previous models. At the Museum of Natural Science, it was incredible to see what tools people used to use in the past. It seems like a lot more understanding of how the tool worked and the science behind it was necessary in order to be able to use it.IMG_0299

Today, we have computers and other tools that make what people in the past did easier. We don’t need sundials to tell how much time has passed or need to calculate latitude and longitude in order to tell where we are. In order to use the tools, the user had to be knowledgeable on what it was they were trying to do because there was nothing like Google to help them figure out how to work a tool if they didn’t know how.

Users were specialized or informed on how to use the tool. From a modern day perspective—or at least mine, at first glance, the tools looked like pieces of art and it seemed fascinating at how intricate each instrument was in order to accomplish something like position in relation to the sun. Looking at them, I could see pieces of a puzzle, but not know how they fit together.

It amazes me to think how educated the inventors had to be in order to develop such things. All of their knowledge then added to the instruments we use today. By their initial findings on how to calculate things like time, latitude and longitude, modern day’s society was able to create objects like clocks and the GPS navigation system.

Back when those instruments were first invented, it seems like they weren’t just used a tools, but as ornaments—for example, the astrolabes.  It’s something that, even when not being used, can be enjoyed, which is much different than many of the instruments today. Instruments of the past have a feeling of antiquity, while there is nothing special about a modern day one—other than being new and expensive.IMG_0302

One of the most fascinating things is how instruments have changed over time. Stonehenge was erected using simple tools and yet it is a masterpiece of building. With such simple tools, they must have possessed an expansive knowledge of their tools and stones—how to lift great weights and place the stones in specific manners. Not only that, but the stones align themselves with the sunset and sunrise.

Instruments have become more and more complex—able to do more as they advance in technology. Looking back on the tools people used before, it’s a wonder how science and innovation have grown to what they are today. So many of the instruments we use to today are influenced by those of the past. Without them, we wouldn’t have the tools we have today.

It’s only from constant understanding and research that instruments are able to advance in their respective fields. Instead of perhaps dragging stones into place, we have cranes that can lift objects into place with one person at the helm instead of hundreds. Instead of calculating by hand latitude and longitude in order to determine location, we have computers that already have that knowledge installed into them.

IMG_0308Visiting Stonehenge and the Museum of Natural History was nothing short of an eye opener. I feel like a lot of the instruments that we use today are ones that can easily be taken for granted. Today, we have computers, cell phones, cars, etc.—thing that in the past, might have seemed unimaginable.

Revising and more Revising

Coming in to London, Oxford and the UK, I thought the ideas from before in Seattle would work just fine.  All of that was quickly changed through exploring the streets of London and exploring the UK in person.  By exploring London, I was able to get a feel of the place and realized how much of an undertaking our initial research idea would be. The scale would be enormous and something difficult. By the time we reached Oxford, it was clear that a revision of ideas was in due process.

I then came up with another concept. I wondered about the streets and public space in relation to security. Not much different from our initial concept from a general perspective, but I thought about concepts of security and the perception of it. For example, how a wider space might feel safer than a narrow street or alleyway. Upon the discussion, this concept was again scrapped and I began another undertaking.

Once again, I returned to the idea of mapping and wondered if I could compare crime rates in Oxford and London over different decades and see how they relate to perceptions of security. I wanted to see if certain types of crimes, or crimes in general, occurred in the same kinds of spot or times. Do the happen more at night? Do they happen on the same street or corner? What kinds of people are being targeted? Do they coincide with different governmental efforts against crimes, like laws, etc?

This is where I began my research at the Bodleian and it was once again, quickly scrapped. Searching through SOLO, I found my efforts fruitless in attempting to find police records or crime reports in London and Oxford. I then thought perhaps I was entering the wrong key words, or perhaps SOLO wasn’t the right place to search. Turning to Google, I found the same result: nothing. I found it difficult to find recent and past information.

As of the moment, I now turn to the broader option. Simply search in SOLO: security. To see what I can find and if there are any leads that perhaps I can take on. Reading through material, I hope I can find something that will allow me to better understand security in Oxford then and now, and perhaps in relation to London as well. I would like to understand how the concept of security has changed over different eras and how it has changed and adapted to what it is now.

Security seems like a trial and error kind of concept. Something that has developed because there was a need for it—there was a demand from the public for some kind of protection. Maybe by understanding how security developed (it’s history) then I can find a research topic of interest or something that I can develop my concept of mapping into.

Week 2: From London to Oxford

Though part of the same country, Oxford and London are uniquely different. Oxford is very much a university city. London has a hustle and bustle kind of attitude from the different people who travel to visit it. It is the site of much history and the birth of many thoughts and ideas—not that the same couldn’t be said for Oxford, but it is shown in a different way.

Oxford

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Oxford is built of colleges scattered around. Shops line streets and are often neighbored by colleges. At the heart of the city, this might be the case, but around the outskirts and the Bodleian the atmosphere is very different. The noise isn’t the same as it is in London. There are more ambulances screeching at every hour of the day and Oxford feels a little less tailored towards tourists.

Of course there still is a tourist vibe, but it’s a little different. Walking throughout Oxford, besides from the name, it’s clear that this is a student driven area. While London did have a university campus nearby, it’s not to the scale of Oxford. The city is the university. Everywhere you look, there are reminders that before being a city, it is a university. The best way to describe it, in my opinion, is that while Oxford has both a city and university mixed together, it is the city growing out from the university.

London

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There are pockets of the educational setting everywhere. London seems much more scattered. It’s building have been bombed and redeveloped, modernized and as a mix of different eras. For the most part, Oxford is just oxford. The buildings are old and built of stone. Sight of modern redevelopment seems far off, or not as easily to find as in London. People are living inside the city like London—where there were narrow passageways. Everywhere in Oxford, the streets are wide and the sense of area is different.

London has high walls as living complexes. Those don’t seem to exist as clearly in Oxford—or perhaps I just missed them. Here in Oxford, the buildings seem to be set shorter unless it’s a tower or something else meant to be tall. Otherwise, most of the buildings are short and stocky stone buildings. Oxford doesn’t seem like it was built for workers to be working within the area. Parks and other public spaces are set as large, green areas. Finding a place to sit seems more difficult than it was in London.

At least in London, the parks provided seating area whereas, if the seating at a café or restaurant is full, there is a lack of places to sit other than the occasional bench or empty doorstep (that you hope the door it belongs to is both locked and in no fear of being opened). But Oxford in itself is like a large public space. While the colleges themselves might not be open to visitors, people are welcome to walk around and enjoy the same spaces that students and educators enjoy.

Oxford and London both limit what is public and private through the use of space. Oxford doesn’t specifically designate “true” public spaces like parks, but it gives public space in the aspect of shops and areas that allow “free” entry. Colleges create private areas much like one would do for a residential area where the colleges themselves are houses of knowledge where most individuals are not allowed to pass through unless they belong to it.

As a city, London seems much more structured than Oxford. In Oxford, the buildings just seem like they’ve been tossed together and scattered about. Oxford contains the thinkers, while London the builders. It seems that both Oxford and London were built on different concepts, which can be seen through what both appear to value most—discussion or intellectuals and education.

Week 1: London

London is a city largely shaped by the people that inhabit it. One of the first things that seem most notable are the buildings. Some streets are wide while others are narrow and when you look up, the buildings seem to stretch so far upwards that it is easy to imagine how difficult it might be for light to kiss the ground. This seems most apparent when walking through Soho, though, it is a trait that can be witnessed almost anywhere in London. Looking at the poverty map by Charles Booth the rich appear to box in the poor. While the wealthy looked over wide city streets, the poor lived in narrow and grungy passageways that likely smelled of sewage and other distinct and horrid smells.

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Then if London is a city shaped by its people, then why isn’t the poor who are demanding attention? Well, if the rich box in the poor, then either they were a social status largely ignored or many of wealthier ranks wanted to believe that such people didn’t inhabit the same bit of land that they did. Where social mobility might appear difficult, this may largely be attributed to the posh attitude of the wealthier. They weren’t like some kinds of street urchins, running about in the muck and grime. No, they belonged to something of a higher class where they could afford to purchase handmade goods fitted to their purpose and standing.

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Throughout Soho, there are places that seem to compartmentalize types of stores along the same street. For example, one street may be lined with cloth and clothing makers, while another might be dedicated to shoe making. Things like Harrod’s and other department stores were something new and different that the wealthy class not initially inclined to. Used to tailored and fitted clothes, it seemed strange to them to be purchasing ready made clothes that any individual of any class might be able to purchase as well. Essentially, most of the wealthier classes paid little attention to the lower class and felt disinclined to interact with them.

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With the cholera outbreak affecting many members of the working and lower class, it seems almost ground breaking at how much attention was being paid to discovering the source of the deaths and sickness. Instead of ignoring the problems of the lower class, John Snow went around mapping the deaths in an attempt to actually understand a figure out what was happening. As someone who understood that the disease wasn’t passed through miasma and was something that could just be left alone to somehow disappear, he tried to find the source of the deaths.

“He [John Snow] had spent more time than anyone working through the intimate details of the lives and death–first attending the sick as a clergyman, then investigating the outbreak as an amateur detective” (Johnson 199).

By mapping out who died and where, slowly he began to piece together the parts of the puzzle that led to the source of the Cholera outbreak. Where social lines become blurred, science is able to create breakthroughs. I am not sure how many other people during the time of John Snow and the Cholera outbreak wondered what exactly could it be that was making so many people die, or that it wasn’t being spread by miasma. How many during that time would have walked around until the found the answer and along the way, discovered that the ones who survived were the same who had been drinking alcohol instead of water.

There seems to be a level of care needed to break through and blur the lines between the social classes in order to advance science. By caring for those who lack opportunities that are otherwise available to the wealthy, science is able to discover the sources and treatments for diseases.

Research Proposal: Preventative Measures in Large Spaces

By Alison Chiu and Heather Borror

Background and Questions

The UK is famed for being a well-monitored state, with London being the most highly “watched” city in the world, with approximately 7,431 security cameras in usage. Naturally, our first question was “why?” After sifting through the history and ideals of the Security Service (MI5, domestic affairs) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6, international), we discovered that that terrorism is one of their biggest perceived threats in the current age. The acts themselves stem from various groups – from Al-Qaeda to violent Irish Nationalists – but regardless of motivation, the safety of the general populace is at stake in all instances. The state recognizes that these events often occur when many people have congregated in public spaces.

At the same time, we know that public space does not necessarily “belong” to the public. More often than not, it is organized and managed by a committee, council, or other such organization; in other words, groups of people control how these spaces are operated. For instance, there are many spaces on campus considered to be public (notably, Red Square and the Quad) yet groups such as RSOs must first receive approval from the University to conduct events open to public. To host an outdoor event, the RSO’s plan must be approved by the Use of University Facilities Committee (UUFC). To post flyers on the HUB walls, the main desk must first approve it.

As one can see, the state doesn’t necessarily have a direct hand in the ongoings of these such spaces. They have established strategies for the management of large potential gathering areas, such as this one, yet usage of these spaces is still largely at the discretion of the management.

This brings us to the following question:

How do the managers of these “public” spaces manage security, with the government’s regulations/guidelines/strategies/concerns in mind?

This question opens the doors for many others:

  • How do these managers feel about these measures?
  • Is there any consensus among various organizations?
  • What aspects of their space do they have most control over? The least?
  • How, if at all, does that affect the way they conduct business (non-profit, otherwise)?
  • What are their larger concerns about big crowds? Ones that don’t align with the government?
  • How much do these concerns vary between rural and urban areas?
  • Were there any changes made before and after an attack? Were they effective or not? How so?

Methods

To provide meaningful data, we will interview those who manage these large spaces.  This will vary from shop owner, to workers and public officials.  Members of the public may also be interviewed and inquired about their experience with the public spaces in relation to security features.  Individuals that are interviewed will be given anonymity and an alias when referred to unless otherwise given permission.  We will also be making observations at select locations on how each location reflects any government regulations that may be in place.  Each location will be determined by the day’s activities and therefore, are both flexible and variable.  Several locations that are currently under consideration are: Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Prior to arriving at Oxford, we plan to conduct further research on government regulations that are currently implemented within England.  We will also be researching past events of terrorism, demonstrations and protests–which will include the recent Occupy Movements.  Documents we may consult are city planning or renovation plans in order to understand the current values concerning public safety.  With this supplemental, contextual knowledge in mind, we hope to gain an awareness of the measures taken to ensure public safety by the government.

Research Plan

Our plan will be largely dependent on the availability of our interviewees. We would make initial contact through email while still in the US, ideally having our interviews queued up by the time we arrive. Preferably, we would have these meetings completed in the first three weeks, allowing us to use the last week to prepare for the final presentation. These interviews would be preceded and followed by on-site exploration, making note of things we see.  On-site exploration will depend on locations planned for the day, though additional excursions may be taken as well.

There may also be interesting government history texts or official government documentations–land ordinances, amendments or additions to current regulations for the public, etc–that are not available to us in the states, but available at Oxford. We will try to exhaust materials easily accessible from or within the US before approaching our interviewees, thus doing most of the book work in the beginning.  We would like, or aim to, review texts and timelines concerning the history of the UK which may be done through books or online resources.

Prelim Development of Research Topic

The debate between science and faith: evolution/creationism, the “God particle” etc

Science and faith always appear to knock their heads against each other.  Science uses facts and data, while faith relies on belief.  Take for example, the solar system.  At one point, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, not the Sun (Heliocentrism).  Just as England proposed a separation between church and state, science often challenges faith.

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Many ideas of science are what have driven society forward.  Science is proof, evidence of the theoretical.   On the other hand, faith relies on people and a united belief.  Hard evidence is not necessary for belief, and when science and faith become mixed, the result is messy.  What science believes, and what faith believes are two different things.  Another example would be how alchemists appeared to use “magic” when in fact they were using science in an attempt to turn lead into gold.

Sources I would consult would be textual and online sources, citing texts such as Darwin’s theory of evolution and how it was accepted by the scientific community and religious communities.

Militarizing science and education – spies, engineers and code breakers

During WWII, it was the radar that helped the British intercept a planned German invasion from France, known as Operation Sealion.  Without scientists, and the militarization of science, the UK could have easily been invaded by Germany and the outcome of the war would have been very different.  Wars are not won by men alone.  It is advanced by science and which side has the upper hand in order to prevent potential threats from happening.

So, how much is too much?  When does spying become ‘creepy’?  There are many benefits to spying, such as intercepting potential threats, but it can also be an invasion of privacy to the public.  Spying on the public is a growing concern, especially after leaks by Edward Snowden.  The public is becoming increasingly where of government spying, making science become a burden.  Militarizing science has its pros and cons, but when do the cons outweigh the pros?

The types of sources I would consult would be documentations of how spying has developed and changed over the years, in addition to interviews and other online resources.

A Walk Around the Block

It seems easy to forget how old a university can be.  There are the building, of course, some look newer, others more modern.  Walking around campus, as I have done so many times before, I photographed first the place my mom pointed out to me a few years ago.  They mark the building section’s date of completion (1934).  On Suzzallo, the establishment date is stamped behind a pillar.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Every day, we go to class, but there are little signs of the past that have made the campus what it is today.  My route took me from the Quad to Drumheller Fountain and back, passing through Red Square on both occasions.

Annotated Map of Walk Locations

The first set of photos I took around noon.  It seems almost strange that Red Square and the Quad are only a few feet apart.  Tree roots make the brick path to Red Square uneven.  Many of the paths crisscross with a main pathway going straight down the middle, from the music and art buildings to the heart of the campus.  Both Red Square and the Quad give a different sense of space.  The Quad is peaceful, whereas Red Square is surrounded by domineering buildings of cement and stone, seemingly towering over people.  In contrast, the buildings lining the Quad have plants scaling their walls and the sounds of twittering can be heard.  Of every place on campus, the Quad is the greenest and most family friendly.  It’s not just used by frisbee playing college students, but families and other students lounging on the grass.

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On my way to the fountain, which is a constant reminder of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, beneath where the cement was cracking, I spotted what looked like stone.  Perhaps this was done to make walking easier, as most of the campus is either paved with cement or bricks.  I will also add that a number of students choose to ride bikes, scooter, skateboards, etc. to get to class, so bricks and cement seem like much better surfaces to travel over.  Environmentally, it is probably bad for irrigation.  The bricks in in Red Square are meant to keep water from dripping down into the underground parking lot–it does, however, make for a very slick surface when it rains.  In Red Square, every brick and building is purposeful and not out of place, unlike the Quad where there are gaps between bricks or even missing bricks.  Red Square gives off a more academic feel with Kane squished between Odegaard and Suzzallo–which serve as the center of campus–, while the Quad is relaxing and laid back.

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At noon, Red Square was much busier than by almost 3 pm.  Nonetheless, there are tents set up for clubs and the Greek system.  Occasionally, there are the occasional tours, as seen in the above photo where it seems there is a large group of people next to Odegaard.  What I found most surprising about my walk was how different each building is.  Paccar and Denny provide a stark contrast to each other, seeing as Denny is one of the oldest–if not the oldest–building on campus, and Paccar is amongst the newest.  Walking around campus, from the top of the Quad and from the stairs of Suzzallo, it is hard not to take in how open this university is.  In a way, it is easy to forget how close to urban life UW is, because each building transports people to different time periods and feels like a closed environment.

Throughout my walk, it seemed as though there lacked a clear reference to Pacific Northwest heritage other than the Burke Museum.  Inside Guggenheim Hall, there is an amazing totem pole-esque carving mounted on the wall that greets visitors as they enter the building.  Nonetheless, there is a large respect for the environment, because even with helicopters, planes and other mechanical noises going about, birds can still be heard quite loudly.  There is also a clear view of Mount Rainier, and a view of the Sound as the statue of George Washington looks west.  Even within a closed environment, there is a connection with nature (dually note the Duckling Ramp in the Drumheller Fountain) and city life towards the west side of campus.