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Darpan Sodhi
Dr. Harrison
Honors 1000
4 December 2015
Reflective Essay
Through Honors 1000, I was able to find multiple perspectives of reading the city of
Detroit. I learned that whether it be from the past, present, or future, the way of seeing the city is
the main component that drives its function. This is due to the fact that the way that the population
sees the city drives the way that they act within in. By interpreting the city in context of who are
we? and where are we going truly gave me a different insight of how Detroit is unique to any
other city I had never seen before. Honors 1000 helped me grow as a student through the multiple
methods of learning that it exposed me to.
Before being exposed to other interpretations through the lectures and seminars, I was
given articles based on certain subjects of the city. These readings helped me to develop my own
interpretation of the city before seeing other perspectives. A key reading that was constant
throughout this semester was Scott Martelles Detroit: A Biography. Martelles story focused on
the how the history of Detroit has influenced the current condition of the city. It takes small
portions of important history within the city and then reflects back on how that impact is still
shown in Detroit today. From this reading being analyzed in lecture to analyzing its texts myself
in seminar, I was able to understand the meaning behind the past having such importance when it
comes to the future of the Detroit. For me, it helped me understand how the citys basic structure
shapes its future due to the way it impacts individuals reactions to society.

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Furthermore, the passport events and field trips throughout this course helped to take me
on real life journey with what I learned. They were a big component in me understanding one of
the key questions from this course, who are we?. Through the analysis of the multiple sites in
Detroit, I was able to gain an insight of the true potential of the city. Since I read articles associated
with each site before experiencing going, it gave good background knowledge as to what I wanted
to achieve by going to them. Notably, the passport trip to Eastern Market showed me the power of
the simplicity in Detroit. It exposed me to the strength of the unity within the city. At Redford
Theatre, I was able to see the beauty and prosperity of the city hidden beneath the poverty that
surrounded it. Furthermore, through the theatres production of Charlie Chaplins film Modern
Times, the concept of leaving the past behind became an apparent concept based on the fact that
the city didnt offer everything for everyone. Hillsberry Theatres The Great Gatsby revealed the
impracticality of leaving the past behind without it coming straight back at you. With Diego
Rivieras mural at the DIA, the vision of the ideal city at a time when equality was a luxury for
most was created. This really helped me grow as a student to realize that the possibilities for the
future can be what you believe if you reach for them. The various angles of the city that I saw
through this class each have become a component of my current vision of Detroit.
Two of the main essays in this class made me explore the questions of the course who are
we? and where are we going? in context of the city. Through the essay focusing on who are
we?, I conducted research to understand what the city seemed to promise in comparison to what
it truly gave individuals. I learned a lot about the different discriminations and inequalities that
existed less than a hundred years ago in a city that promised liberty. Through the second essay
focusing on where are we going?, I was able to interpret how small building in Detroit, Fox
Theatre as a symbol of the journey of the city from its prosperity with the auto industry to its fall

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with the recession. It helped to establish the story of where the city takes us and what it will do to
keep us going. Through both of these essays, I became aware of how the environment around me
can teach me so much about the history that shapes Detroit today.
Personally, I believe that Honors 1000 has had an immense impact in shaping my future
career. It helped me become more well-informed about the city that I am living in. I believe this is
an important quality I gained due to the fact that I will be looking for internships and jobs within
Detroit for the next few years of my college career. From the passport events to the essays, I was
able to look beyond the stereotypical poverty of the city into the magnificence that is held within
it. Additionally, it helped me strengthen my research skills, a component that is very important
when it comes to my future college career because research will be a huge component of my
engineering career. The skills I learned this class are truly something that I will use throughout my
education.

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References
Martelle, Scott. Detroit: A Biography. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 2012. Print.