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Liberal Arts Essay

  • Date Submitted: 02/24/2011 03:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.6 
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Liberal Arts Essay

Significant and Applicable Knowledge Liberal Arts in the 21st Century

Last year at this time, I was wandering the streets of Japan. With my digital camera and a sense of adventure, I explored the shrines and temples, documenting what I experienced. I wanted to savor the moments so I could recall them vividly later on. Looking back at those pictures, I remember my first impression of Japan was a sense of the immense population that lives there. I recall the industrial city, the apartment buildings rising into the sky. Families stacked up in small units to create space for businesses and shopping districts. No room for the landscaped thoroughfares so common in the States. At first glance, I took in the sites, sounds and smells of a heavily populated community. As soon as I got settled, I walked along the small sidewalks throughout the city, taking in everything I could. Turning off one street, I followed a passage running beside a small river. Gradually, the landscape changed. Instead of garbage cans, tropical plants were lining the path I walked. The small river opened up to a lake, a beautiful pagoda stretched out onto the water. Swans gracefully paddled near the shore . Plum trees blossomed on the surrounding hillsides. A shrine for prayer and reflection blended in unassumingly among the natural setting. It seemed that I had just stumbled into a whole different dimension. I could still see the high rises in the distance making me aware that this haven was nestled safely among the city. The families in the nearby apartments, the workers in the offices and the diligent students could easily access the park when they needed to unwind or reflect. I realized that there was an equilibrium between the sacred shrines and the surrounding community. My understanding of the world and how it worked changed in that moment. I feel that the liberal arts is much like my neighborhood in Japan, a mixture of elements coming together to serve a purpose....


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