How did you find Oxford in 1993 after Stanford?
The differences were stark. Stanford is sunny, dry, very California, very informal; Oxford is cloudy, wet, and quite formal! Stanford was founded in the late 19th century, and Oxford’s ethos at first glance appears to belong to another era. But both schools are places of ideas and have a very committed academic culture.
What were your first impressions?
I lived at Magdalen in a ground-floor room looking onto Longwall Street. It was quite dismal so I spent as much time as I could in the Magdalen gardens. But in my second year I had a beautiful apartment that overlooked Rose Lane and the rose gardens in the Daubeny Building, and that was like being moved from a black hole into the most beautiful place on campus.