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.

It’s the Little Things

Contributed by Soravit Sophastienphong, 21, Undergraduate at Duke University
Chinese class

Description

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. Afterwards, they were very appreciative, smiled, and gave me a nod before being on their way, but this small moment made me recognize that the skills I was learning in my math, science, and computer science courses, while valuable, would rarely grant me such an experience.

My knowledge of Chinese, a foreign language and therefore a part of the humanities, was necessary for this moment to be memorable. If I had been unable to help the couple, I would have been disappointed with myself.

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About this Moment

Title

It’s the Little Things

Description

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. Afterwards, they were very appreciative, smiled, and gave me a nod before being on their way, but this small moment made me recognize that the skills I was learning in my math, science, and computer science courses, while valuable, would rarely grant me such an experience.

My knowledge of Chinese, a foreign language and therefore a part of the humanities, was necessary for this moment to be memorable. If I had been unable to help the couple, I would have been disappointed with myself.

Date

Spring 2014

Contributor

Soravit Sophastienphong, 21, Undergraduate at Duke University

Identifier

the-little-things

Location

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