Sunday, May 20, 2018

Signs Songs and Schools

Today we are taking a look at Universities their history,songs,traditions and famous residents.
  •   Oxford University -- is a unique and historic institution and is the oldest university in the English speaking world. Teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and then during the 12th century when well respected teachers began to lecture there and students came to live and study in Oxford, it grew quickly. The University’s first library was built in approximately 1320 in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, in a room which still exists as a vestry and a meeting room for the church. 
  •  The Bodleian Library was built and opened in 1488 is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.Then built alongside the kitchens in the 1520s,was the Great Hall and it has been in almost constant use since the sixteenth century. This is where J.K.Rowling's, Harry Potter's school, Hogwarts, is set and if you look up at the stainglass windows in the hall you will see the face of a girl, her name, "Alice Liddell".
  • One of Oxfords most famous residents and Maths tutors was Lewis Carroll / Charles Dodgson who taught at the Christ Church College in Oxford. "No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise". It was in 1862 down the river Isis he first told a young girl," Alice Liddell" about the Adventures of Alice. Which had a whole maze of characters from white rabbits,madhatters to a Walrus and from these characters so many classic songs and stories have evolved. My own personal favourites were Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. 
White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
Live Woodstock 1969
  •  Cambridge University was set up after an ugly dispute at Oxford which saw a number of students, setting up their own learning institution, in 1209, that institution was Cambridge . It is the second oldest university in the English speaking world. In 1231 a charter from King Henry III granted it the right to control its own members and then a bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach everywhere in the Christian world. The papal bull actually refers to a seal. lol! The Catholic Churches seal of authentication of a document. The University has been the centre for political and religious controversy throughout the centuries. The university also operates eight cultural and scientific museums.  
  • Its most famous resident and teacher of mathematics was scientist, "Sir Isaac Newton". The story goes in 1666 he was sitting beneath an apple tree at Trinity College when one dropped and landed on his head and his gravity theory was born. It is most likely it was at his mothers home in Cambridge where this occurred and the apple tree was the Flower of Kent variety which is a green cooking apple not the red one as portrayed through history. The apple tree at the University today is a grafted cutting from the original tree from his mothers home which was blown over in a storm in the 1800's. Newton is ranked as arguably the greatest scientist of all with his theories on gravity, light and frequencies.
  • University of Notre Dame is located in the US state of Indiana. It was established with the aim of being one of America’s great Catholic universities. Notre Dame attracts over 1,100 students from nearly 90 countries worldwide. Founded in 1842 by Reverend Edward F. Sorin, a priest of the French missionary order known as the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Father Sorin named his school in honor of Our Lady, in his native tongue. The Rev. Michael J. Shea and his brother, John F. Shea wrote the original lyrics to Notre Dames fight song or victory march and it was copyrighted in 1928 . In 1961 South Melbourne Football Club,now the Sydney Swans an Australian rules football team in the Australian Football League , gained copyright to adapt the Victory March into their own club song, "Cheer, Cheer the Red and the White,"
Victory March the fight song for the University of Notre Dame.

  • The Ivy League -- Harvard University ;Yale University ; Princeton University ;Columbia University ;Brown University ;Dartmouth College;University of Pennsylvania; Cornell University
    A planting of an Ivy originated in 1850 at Harvard and gradually was taken up by Yale,Pennsylania and Princeton.The roman numeral IV is often used for Ivy because of the four original Unis, Yale,Harvard,Princeton and Columbia who met up in 1876. The Ivy League term was first used back in 1935 in the Christian Science Monitor. The league was formed in 1936 to preserve the ideals of athletics. It wasnt until 1954 that an agreement was drawn up to include all sports. The Ivy League represents the eight major universities in the USA. They have a selective admission process of the social elite or academic excellence . They were established in 1954 with the headquarters being at Princeton University in New Jersey. Princeton has won the best Uni award for 11 of the past 18 years.

  •  University of Texas -- On September 15, 1883, the University of Texas at Austin opened with one building, eight professors and 221 students . We are proud, ambitious and determined to change the world . Spirit and pride run deep at The University of Texas at Austin, and never is that more evident than on Longhorn game day. The year was 1955 and Harley Clark, head cheerleader at the time introduced the hook em horns gesture as the official hand sign for the University of Texas, to be used whenever and wherever Longhorns gather. At games it is often used in conjunction with the the school spirit song"The Eyes of Texas". Which is set to the tune of  " I've Been Working On the Railroad. " In 1902 student Lewis Johnson played tuba and was the manager for just about every musical performance on campus. While he wasn't a composer himself, Johnson was determined to create a song for The University of Texas. That song was The Eyes of Texas.    

  •     Corna in Italy or the Karana Mudra in Buddhism and Hinduism this is used as a symbol to ward off or prevent evil or negative spirits. In the 70's it became popular with rock bands as a symbol for rock'n'roll. Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath used it as did many heavy metal bands it was also used on the cover of the Beatles Yellow Submarine Album with John Lennon making the sign over Paul McCartneys head.
  •  When we look at meanings of certain signs, songs, symbols it makes me think of Lewis Carroll and Alice. The Oxford maths teacher who loved mathematical puzzles.  
 “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” Lewis Carroll


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