Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

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by Savannah Hanley
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The color green. It’s a simple color you can see in everyday life, on the leaves of summer trees or on grass, but to my friend it is the best color in the world. By mentioning the color green, an infectious smile that reaches her ears appears on her face. She communicates with the world through her Dynavox, an alternative communication system, and her facial expressions. She has this amazing ability to make the people around her smile and laugh. She will come into a room telling you about Bobby Flay, her favorite book Out of My Mind, or the…

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To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit calhum.org/about/we-are-the-humanities.

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To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent Californians to explore what the humanities mean to them. For more information visit calhum.org/about/we-are-the-humanities.

by W. Robert Connor, trustee emeritus, President and Director, of the National Humanities Center (1989-2002)
Captain John Borling, 1973
In the Hanoi Hilton, the place where the North Vietnamese imprisoned and often tortured American captives during the Vietnam War, the US prisoners used a tapping code to communicate with one another. But they didn’t just send conversational messages, they tapped out poetry, reciting from memory some of the favorites they remembered from school and composing new poems to lift their spirits. Their captors would not allow them to speak to one another. But they didn’t notice the tapping — or didn’t understand what it was about. Here’s…
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