This year the Humanities program has completely transformed the course to be more interactive with the world around us by having more study trips and more room for experimentation in different disciples. We have a new topic every three weeks with essays assigned. This year has been a transformative one by forming this special family through the Humanities.

Before school even started we went to the Black Mountains in Asheville, NC to build this special community. It truly changed the way we interact in the classroom and how open minded we all are. Never before, have I ever been able to talk about heavy issues with a collective group so comfortably. The humanistic texts used to allow us to ponder on what was done in the past and critique that to see if it is applicable in today’s time. After all, it is through the past mistakes where we learned to be better humans.

The humanities seek to study the human experience and we have done this through the different units we had this year:  Civil Rights, Copernican Revolution, Violence (Rwandan Genocide), Poetry (Paul Celan), Russian (Dostoevsky), Art, The Body, and Terrorism. All these units embody the Humanities. We’ve studied this material in order to better understand the experiences of the past and how it has shaped the further and how it is contemporary and if we have made progress.

These units have made me question certain things about the way I was taught things and made me start asking why specific narratives are the ones always told time and time again and the narrative of the oppressed is not. I’ve never really thought about this until I learned more about the human experiences that people have faced in the past. The unit that did this was Dr. Tamura’s unit on Rwanda Genocide since I’ve never learned this and it is something that I found should be taught in our history classes.

Her unit brought up this idea of the banality of evil which I found baffling. I always felt that all the horrific things that the murders of Genocide and awful events did this by choice but in reality they were doing what they were told. They were listening to a higher authority to ensure their own safety. Therefore, to what extent can we judge these people when they were simply following orders because would we have done the same thing if we were in that situation? The Humanities teaches us to ask these uncomfortable question and strive to understand both sides of the story in order to engage fully in the human experience.

Therefore, the Humanities seeks to have a cross-disciplinary way of learning through different lenses in order to better us as humans from learning from past mistakes or questioning why things occurred in order to ensure things do not repeat themselves and in order to stop the cyclical patterns of chaos from the past to the future. We are constantly asking questions in the humanities in order to ensure that we are constantly evolving the outlook of human nature.