June 26th, 2012
This post concludes the Humanities Blog’s series of remarks given by six different students at the Humanities Commencement on May 20, 2012. These remarks were given by Clark Soucy, who graduated cum laude with a double major in Economics and East Asian Studies and a minor in History. He speaks fluent Chinese and will be moving to Ningbo, China, next month to start working in real estate.
I’d like to thank the East Asian Studies Department for nominating me to speak today. It’s truly an honor to be speaking before you so as to commemorate the incredible education that has been bestowed upon us at Brandeis—an education that I consider to be the most valuable asset I will ever possess.
Before my entry to Brandeis, I could have never imagined that I would travel to Asia, let alone live there. However, as I began my studies of Asian History, a window opened for me. I caught a brief, but vivid glimpse of another world: A world I had read about and seen pictures of, but one whose existence I still couldn’t fathom. This was my motivation to live and study in Shanghai; a glimpse was simply not enough.
Living abroad and learning a new language radically transformed and broadened my perspective. After my return from Shanghai, I feel as though I now bridge two very different worlds. I have returned to a society that I can no longer comprehend in the same way. To me, this is the real value of studying the humanities: it lets one see anything, even an entire civilization, through a whole new lens. My world has changed irrevocably.
So now, as we prepare to go our separate ways, I’m reminded of a great philosopher named 老子 who once stated 千里之行始于足下 “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Now is our time. Thank you.