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Reflecting and Taking it All in

My study abroad ended just about a month now and I’m still in Europe for one more month. I still find myself reflecting on the experiences I gained on my study abroad. I constantly think about discussions I had with fellow classmates I would otherwise not have met if I had not attended this study abroad. I also reflect on our classrooms: forests, fields, gardens, museums, ruins, and street corners . These unique classroom styles I think has made me remember the class more intimately due to class being in a seperate location every day. I often think about the words we were left with by one of our professors, Dr. van Iersel, he told us that, “that which joins and that which divides are often one in the same”. I’ve sat on various buses, trains, and planes reflecting on what that saying means and why it is important to the lessons learned during the class. To me the quote refers to opinions. Our era I feel is so defined by opinions and a tribal feeling of “our” opinion against “theirs”. On the trip when walking gardens I felt no divide. There was a feeling of togetherness when walking gardens. This is because we were collectively encapsulated into an artistic space that offers a common ground to enjoy. I feel perhaps this is the purpose of art and gardens. While artistic properties are subjective, there is not a reason to quarrel over art, only enjoy art. The importance of gardens is that they provide a neutral area, free from the opinions that join and divide.