Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Education in Intoxication

This day centered on one of most prestigious universities in the world: Oxford. There we met up with Ashley Nord, a Rhodes Scholar and 2009 graduate of the University of Minnesota...
Tuesday, May 25

This day centered on one of most prestigious universities in the world: Oxford. There we met up with Ashley Nord, a Rhodes Scholar and 2009 graduate of the University of Minnesota. She is currently a PhD student in the biophysics department of Oxford. She led us through the lecture, tours, and breaks that followed.

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Ashley Nord leads group through Oxford

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University of Minnesota group

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Panoramic shot of Oxford and students

The first set of technical activities was a physics lecture and a tour of the new biochemistry building. The lectures were Professor Judith Armitage and Dr. George Wadhams.

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The new biochemistry building

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Students in the lecture hall

Since most of the grass was restricted from pedestrians, we walked to Balloil College, one of the few places where sitting on the lawn is allowed.

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Lunch on the lawn of Balloil College

We then received lectures and tours in the Physics building. Among the lecturers were Andrew Tuberfield, Jelena B., Paul Koecher, Kris Gryle, and finally Ashley Nord.

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Bizarre research at Oxford

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The chemistry lab

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Ashley explaining the optics behind her E. Coli flagela research group laboratory

The highlight of the day, however, came after the technical visits when we visited the places where famous Oxford graduates once lurked. These locations taught us about where to go and what to do in order to become successful. The first of these locations was Turf Tavern, the place where Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton "didn't inhale." One can imagine that smoking a joint in a pub led to his dropping out of Oxford. On the contrary, one can imagine that that event led to his presidency. Regardless, one cannot deny the lessons learned from the sign on the pub wall.

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Turf Tavern, the place where Bill Clinton "didn't inhale"

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Knowledge comes from various sources

The second of the locations was The Eagle and the Child. This was the pub where W. H. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams met to drink beer and discuss their works.

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Sign in The Eagle and the Child pub

This was also the place where Ashley Nord was presented the Institute of Technology Dean Service Award.

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Ashley Nord receiving the Dean Service Award from the Institute of Technology, soon to be the College of Science and Engineering

With some of the brightest minds in history making history in pubs, we can only draw the conclusion that the best education, the Oxford education, is an Education in Intoxication.

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