by Soravit Sophastienphong, 21, Undergraduate at Duke University
There is a distinct moment I remember from my high school days that, while seemingly insignificant, is the reason I have always valued the humanities and humanities courses throughout my college experience. I was walking to a restaurant to meet a friend for lunch nearby my high school when a Taiwanese couple stopped me and asked for directions to a famous pond nearby. I could tell that they could not understand my instructions, so I tried my best to tell them the directions in Chinese, given my limited knowledge studying Chinese in school.…
Choosing a Humanities Moment was initially a challenging task. Over the last few years working with the organization PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the humanities, liberal arts and a philosophical education. In particular, the so-called crisis of the Humanities, the popularity of STEM fields and the blossoming of a national testing regime prompted me to think a lot about what a good education should entail. In thinking back to my own education, my Humanities Moment both shows the…
by Stephen Kidd, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance
Stephen Kidd, Executive Director of the National Humanities Alliance, recalls a trip to Kent State University that he made as a high school student while growing up in Ohio. This visit to the site of the 1970 Kent State shootings provided a greater historical context to an event that had cleaved his home state several years prior. For Kidd, the campus tour crystallized the connection between physical spaces and the stories that surround them.
by James Cannizzaro
Throughout my senior year of high school, I got to work alongside my classmates and my teacher, Mrs. Woods, as artists. This was our AP year, so our classroom acted as a sort of studio for all of us as we got to individually work on our concentrations. My concentration took heavy influence from surrealists like Beksinki and comic artists like Ashley Wood. Every so often, Mrs. Woods would recommend me books and artists to check out, notably architectural pieces and works by H.R. Giger. This new inspiration led my art in a new direction, and I…
by Mirah Horowitz, Russell Reynolds Associates
Mirah Horowitz describes the lessons imparted from her mother, an English professor, on reading and writing as ongoing practices of critical inquiry.
by Jaroslav Folda, N. Ferebee Taylor Professor emeritus, UNC
At the end of my sophomore year in high school, during the awards ceremony in June, I received my varsity letter for playing football. And then my history teacher, Mr. Harvey, got up and gave three academic awards. To my complete surprise, I received one of those prizes. It was a book of Plutarch’s Lives
, which was inscribed to me in part as follows: “This book ... represents his persistent toil toward clear, precise and meaningful expression in history at the Paris American High School.”
In addition, Mr. Harvey had also written…
by Justin Parmenter, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District, NC
English teacher Justin Parmenter describes how his encounters with essays by Thoreau and Emerson, and later with the poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” helped him to understand how literature can provide both an escape from the troubles of life and a connection to others who’ve seen and felt the same things though they may have lived centuries before.