Two Cultures-Van Huynh

As a first year, I have not yet completely gotten the full experience of the differences of the two cultures on campus: north and south, but I have noticed several qualities that upperclassmen have told me and that I have distinguished.

Walking to class through South campus, I noticed the silent and cold stares given by students with noses glued to their books. Through North campus, I saw peers conversing and laughing with one another, while some are purchasing artwork and posters of famous musical performers on the street. Trodding through Bruinwalk, I saw people wearing shirts noting: North Campus or South Campus.

The characteristics are obvious: South campus students seem to be quiet, anti-social, and studious whereas North campus students are friendly, social, outgoing, artistic, and creative. However, these characteristics only hurt us by making stereotypical judgements and generalizations on people. If this is the case, the division of students will not only occur on campus, but may lead to more serious cases: into the real world.

The generalizations and stereotypes should not occur because we are now in college, and we should be more mature, wiser, and intelligent, but we continue to divide ourselves. I have observed the negative results of distinguishing art and science as north and south campus. Unfortunately, degradation and disrespect is the result of differing majors and interests.

After reading Professor Vesna’s: “Toward a Third Culture: Being in between” and Lana Yoo’s: “Campus’s north-south division just a way to pigeonhole passions,” I can honestly say that there are two cultures on campus.

Yoo demonstrates her generalizations and stereotypes of North and South campus, which have led her to believe that she would not excel or do well in certain subjects because North is supposed to be for “literary humanties” and South for “the sciences.” She notes the dangers of such generalizations which have withheld her from partaking in certain subjects.

Both Vesna and Yoo’s articles note the disadvantages of labling and only limiting oneself to one or the other: literary arts or science. Yoo notes that “North Campus was a culture shock,” having indulged herself only in the sciences and dreading the arts involving literary texts and papers. Vesna describes the unwanted need for some who believe communication between the arts and sciences is unnecessary.

Personally, this is a bias and naive matter. Ignorance only leads to a divided world and if people don’t take advantage of the knowledge between different subjects, it will only hurt them in the end. Like Yoo, who felt unaccustomed to North campus subjects, knowledge, and discipline, artists and scientists will feel the same whenever encountering one another on a regular day basis.

However, the world is completely changing every day. Technological advances are occuring and artists are using scientific approaches to create art. Like UCLA, it will be a culture shock for contemporary artists who encounter artists and scientists who are narrow-minded to their works of art.

In juxtaposition, both articles examine the negligence of a better understanding of both cultures-art vs. science, north campus vs. south campus and really opens our eyes to what prohibitions we allow ourselves to endure. If we continue to divide ourselves in this manner, we will not gain a holistic quality, the goal UCLA ultimately aims to achieve for students, just as if scientists and artists do not bridge the gap to bring respect to modern art.


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