Experience and Meaning: Impressions, Knowledge Gained, and Final Thoughts

Charles Ta

Jennifer Wilson/ Vogue Gaimbri/ Veronica Dakota Padilla

First Year Workshop/First Year Seminar 

27 August 2016

“Experience and Meaning: Impressions, Knowledge Gained, and Final Thoughts”

The Experience and Meaning Workshop, for me, could be summarized in a single word: profound. I say this because my impressions of Union Square Park, what I learned through my discussion with other students within the activity, and my overall experiences in engaging with the environment have all culminated into an experience that will remain special in my mind. This workshop has allowed me to take a first glance at the methodology of college and what it means to think and share your ideas with others without restriction– what it means to open your mind to different mindsets and perspectives all in the name of academia. Union Square Park left in my mind the impression of a community of peoples all united over the exchange of ideas. Everyone was engaged in some intellectual activity– some people were reading books and enriching their minds, while others were playing games of chess. Monks and preachers were spreading their teachings to passersby in an effort to promote peace, love, and goodwill, while poets and artists created their works for people seeking meaning in their lives. As for what I learned from my peers, I learned that everyone has a different way of seeing and perceiving the world– some perceptions being more colorful or abstract than others– exemplified by a friend I got to know at the park who had synesthesia, and thus saw the park around her in a whole new fashion I could never imagine. I learned that, as college students, we should look beyond the superficial and into the meanings behind the texts we read or the environments we find ourselves in. Everything has some sort of profundity to it or symbolic significance. What we experience can allow us to derive meaning– and my experiences at the Experience and Meaning Workshop can attest to this assertion.

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