By Joseph (Joyo) Young
Communication (Comm) majors usually have more social insight when it comes to interpreting and expressing ideas, experiences and other narratives of life. Studying in the College of Literature and Journalism at Sichuan University with 19 comm scholars is part of what made this journey so memorable. Although today, I face a rather unfamiliar challenge: defining my experience. My memories have been tested with broad questions surrounding the trip. I may be asked “How was it?” or “What was your favorite thing about the trip?” Many things come to mind when I ask myself these questions. “Should I talk about the weather, the traffic, the time difference, the nature or the commerce?” This thought process, in and of itself, takes more time than most people have patience for. Despite being a comm major, this challenge has prevented me from expressing the details of my experience in a way that satisfies both me and the reader.
Throughout our two weeks, we took in a lot of things from Chengdu’s bustling environment. I had two basic methods of perception; broadly observing the infrastructure, aesthetic, and other explicit signals placed at the forefront, or interpreting the implicit social aspects in a meaningful way, which became an intimate process. What I found important was the interrelated nature of what I gathered from both methods. This understanding inspired some of the most memorable moments. Gawking at the extreme developmental activity in Chengdu’s business district was one method of perception and getting to know the people was another. The intrinsic relationship between the methods revealed itself a little more each day. This relationship was inextricably essential to the culture of Chengdu. More so than I ever could have fathomed before visiting. I’m sure that this is only the beginning for this new way of learning.