What does Denison taste like to you ?
Oolong tea is my favorite. It’s a little bitter when you take your first sip, but after a few seconds, the bitterness gradually turns into a sweet taste. I always enjoy this process. To me, Denison is much the same. As an international student, I spent a hard time communicating with a culture that is greatly different from my own. However, as I get more and more involved, I found Denison is actually a community that is so willing to embrace differences.
I’m going to start out with the word “diverse”. However, that tends to be a trigger word on this campus. From the top, we have our admissions office and administration promoting statistics about the many corners of the globe that they attract our students from, the financial aid packages extended across the socioeconomic spectrum, and the general education requirements that help us become well-rounded humans. Diversity thus becomes a selling point in the real estate that is Denison. From the bottom, there’s an ever-growing list of students who argue against Denison’s definition of diversity and claim that representation falls short of reality.
When I confront a human being as my Thou and speak the basic word I-Thou to him, then he is no thing among things nor does he consist of things. He is no longer He or She, a dot in the world grid of space and time, nor a condition to be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. Neighborless and seamless, he is Thou and fills the firmament. Not as if there were nothing but he; but everything else lives in his light.
When I was asked by several fellow students on the Taste of Culture Education Committee, “what does Denison taste like to you?” I thought that I could come up with a quick and witty answer that encompassed many great ideals instilled at Denison University. However, the more I pondered this question I began to think deeper about what Denison truly means to me.
I could not help but think of the many different students from an assortment of backgrounds who I have met and have had the pleasure of working with.