The North/South Divide

I would like to start off by saying that there is most definitely a North/South divide on the UCLA campus and I can not stand it.  Every stereotype imaginable presents itself when walking around either side of the campus.  The North has beautiful gardens while the South is filled with bland cement buildings and courtyards with no character.  In the North there are students laughing and being social and in the South every other kid is on his or her laptop.  The people in the South do not know how to go out and party and those in the North do not even have class on Friday allowing them to throw in that epic Thursday night of debauchery.

As a Computer Science and Engineering major who is also in a ska-punk band, I am constantly looking for any sort of escape from the South campus style of life.  For two quarters even, I spent my time taking Anthropology and Ethnomusicology classes as an attempt to completely flee from my former campus routine.  It is not such an easy thing to be in classes (Computer Science) with, at best, a 1 to 3 ratio of girls to guys.  I come from a major where class participation is almost nonexistent and where study habits involve staying up late on the weekends in order to finish a computer program that is still spitting out random gibberish every time the user types the letter h.  If that is not something that gets annoying fast, then I do not know what is.

My true love is music.  I love everything about it.  I love listening to it, the culture surrounding it, its affect in advertising, and, of course, playing it.  To me, there is nothing like creating a song.  In Ethnomusicology 174, Aesthetics of Music, I learned about much of the History of the evolution of music and its culture from Mozart and the other Classical composers of the time, up to modern day minimalist artists such as Steve Reich.  One thing I found most interesting was the transition from Romanticism to Neo-Romanticism in the second half of the 19th century.  We learned that for the first time in history, the music that was being created no longer represented the zeitgeist, or spirit of the times.  As a result of the Industrial Revolution, the common people were no longer concerned with things of the Romantic nature, although musicians such as Richard Wagner attempted to carry on this Romantic feeling in music despite all other cultures moving on. 

Since this time, there has been a large separation of music and the culture of the government and sciences.  After learning about this, I have been searching for some way to recombine all that is art, science, and technology in some new amazing way.  It is my hope that in this class, my eyes will be opened to some of the work that other people are doing to reach this dream.  In a simple Google search, I came across The Bridges Organization, which is a yearly conference for the Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science.  The Conference Reviews are especially interesting if anyone cares to check out the website.

A model of the new building for the Eden Project


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