As part of our collaborative task, Simon and I both sought to better understand perspectives on the idea of “Humanities” of our families and those close to us, especially coming from overseas backgrounds.
When I first heard of the humanities program at Davidson College and discussed it with those interested in my tertiary education I often found myself having to try to explain the concept in a concrete and complete form. For me, even to the current day has been difficult as I view humanities as being a more abstract and interpretive form of analyzing how the world around us operates. In New Zealand, university education encompasses focusing on one selected area of interest eg. commerce or law and gaining the skillset applicable to that industry of field one desires to enter. For my family being used to understanding this system and putting their children through it, they find it difficult to see how the Liberal Arts and Humanities prepares one for entering the workforce after higher education. I often find myself defining humanities in this one specific way. Humanities, as part of the broader liberal arts education is not interested in preparing a student for being in one specific career, or one statistic, but rather focuses one creating an person of character who has the ability to think rationally, analyze and find solutions to which humanity can apply to contemporary society.
As something that was not taught in the textbook, it is really hard to answer this question. The traditional education system in China never teach anything about humanities other than remembering historical fact. In my times, going to school is only for higher possibility of having a stable career, which can make me and my family stay alive. No one really has the time and effort to ponder about what is humanities. But for now, hmmmmm: since we are human, so everything that we created can be called as humanities.