Boston College Magazine Spring 2004  

International graduate students

Friday, April 2, 2004, 1:002:00 P.M.

By Gary Wayne Gilbert

Seated, from left: Danqing Hu, Yun Peng, and Dan Wang (China); Suzanne Barrett NC'70 (ADC director); Erdene Doljinbaasan and Batbold Ganhuu (Mongolia); Mauricio Soto (Colombia). Standing, from left: Jennie Thomas (Presidential Scholars Program); Takayuki Namikawa (Japan); Amrish Makwana and Jaspreet Singh (India); Paul Chung (Korea); Uma Chandrika Dam and Alka Arora (India); Bryan Marinelli MA'00 (ADC assistant director); Susan Shea '98 and Devon Reber '01 (Office of International Students and Scholars)

the occasion
Young men and women from seven countries help themselves to the buffet, then settle in their seats to discuss the day's assigned topic: family. To help students from abroad practice English and adjust to American culture, the Academic Development Center hosts Friday lunches at its offices in O'Neill Library. Susan Shea of the Office of International Students and Scholars starts off today's gathering with a reading from the journal U.S. Society and Values, in which a Jewish-American woman says American families are "like the weather in China . . . anything and everything." There are some tentative comments on the stereotype of the American family ("three children and a dog, big car, big house, nice yard"). The ice breaks with the passing around of family photos, which spark a round-robin discussion of family structures, cultural differences, and black-sheep relatives.

By Gary Wayne Gilbert

ambience
A classroom space, a rectangle of library tables, students sitting elbow to elbow. Late arrivals take chairs along the wall.

menu
Wraps, potato chips, fruit salad

references
Your grandparents, my nephew, our two cocker spaniels, my mother's brother who married Irish

overheard
"Is there a point where you can no longer fall in love and your marriage is arranged?" • "We had a buffalo."

 

Text by Nicole Estvanik. Photos by Gary Wayne Gilbert

 

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