An Inaudible Language
Hannah Weeks is majoring in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, with a minor in Psychology and Chemistry, while pursuing the Pre-Medical track. She is passionate about helping within her community and traveling the world to explore other cultures.
by Hannah Weeks
country, he is from Britain and I from the US, we are one of the same. Our passions of the arts and languages allow us to express ourselves to the world and connect to one another. A gesture, a formof communication, changes eve- rything. As I continue on through the museum, I make a point to pass on the support, and I can see the visible impact I have on others. Shoul- ders drop back, more relaxed than they were be- forehand, and eyes try to hold back tears. All of their energy is directed towards appearing okay. For some, they have lost grandparents, relatives, or family friends in the horrific genocide. For oth - ers, the mere fact of what people are capable of doing to one another is painful. Though no words are muttered, a unique language is exchanged that day.
viders in the building filled with the stolen books from those in genocide, along with their personal belongings and treasured items. I am overwhelmed by the power of the museum and how many people are here, on a calm Sunday morning in December. There are platoons of IDF soldiers (the Israeli army) and I can only admire and respect their brave service. The image of kids my age, straight backed and solemn faced with weaponry slung over their shoulder or holstered to their hip, imprints on my mind forever. Here I am vacationing in Israel, and they are fighting for their country, at risk of dying. We are stumbling behind one another, taking in the atrocities and realities of our Jewish past. That’s when it happens. Jake, who cheerfully greeted me upon arriving at Logan Airport a week ago, walks to my side and offers a comforting squeeze of my hand. I feel relief and comfort; I am not alone. Even though we had not been friends for years, after meeting, we instantly share simi- larities rooted in our history and our culture. We bond over our love for music and teaching others how to play instruments. We have exchanges in Spanish to test one another and keep the other on their toes. While we do not come from the same
form a bond with others is what the arts and hu- manities are all about. They are a way to express yourself and understand why we do as we do, ex- plaining the grey areas in life. Where the STEM field is technical and explains how certain processes occur, the arts and human- ities provide the cultural and historical context of similar material. Forms of self-expression are not detrimental to an education, rather an extremely helpful asset that allows you to understand soci- ety and what is at the core of the human species. Life is not black and white like many would like to believe for matter of simplicity; life is meant to be complex and have dynamic layers. When em- pathy flourishes, a multitude of new perspectives are gained. Now the million-dollar question: where can lan- guage and literature really get you in life? Sure, it’s lovely to talk to people and have interper- sonal and life skills, yet is there any reality and purpose to them? I believe they do. Not just lan- guages, but the arts and humanities as a whole lead to limitless possibilities that many do not realize exist. For instance, the greatest lawyers are ones who have a diverse understanding of the arts and humanities and can properly assess
Communication Changes Everything
As a little kid, did you ever create a secret lan- guage? Maybe it was just me, but my best friend, Patty, and I would get lost for hours trying to talk in our “secret language” that involved saying words backward. Now, I’m sure you’re probably wonder- ing where I am going with this idea, but the crea- tivity and communication skills we developed and shared in those simple times were demonstrating the use of the arts and humanities in our daily life, even at an early age. Fast forward a decade, and I am speaking a new secret language, only this time the words are in- audible. I am slowly walking through Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Israel, sur- rounded by 45 family-like friends, who were strangers just a few days ago. As soon as we walk down the ramp into the museum, the natural light disappears to represent the horrific times ex - perienced during the Holocaust. The entirety of the museum is constructed in such a way that it reaches the lowest point at the exhibit depicting the inhumane concentration camp gas chambers. As hope began to glisten for those estranged in Europe, the building starts to slope upward, with natural light shining in once again. There are di-
The Power of Language
I can never forget the power of language, no mat- ter how it is expressed or where it originates. I have never been the most outgoing kid, yet as I grow up, I have found strength in language. Not only can I speak up for what I believe in, but I can connect with others around the world. This foundation of language and the natural desire to
Arts & Humanities
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