This winter quarter marks the inception of the largest Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research Team ever! With fifteen members including four incumbents, eleven newbies, and a unifying passion for working with international writers, we believe it would be advantageous for us to explore our different team members’ backgrounds, focusing on what brings us to the CMWR and Chicago.

New members Lin H. and Coco S., along with returning CMWR member Logan B., engaged in an interview trifecta, so as to exposit the rich backgrounds of our CMWR members. Let’s call it a cultural exploration because our team is made up of people from around the world. Here are their reports on one another:

Lin on Logan:

LoganLogan comes from San Jose, CA. He has been in Chicago for 4 years. The reason why he came to DePaul is because one summer he came to visit family in Chicago, and they suggested that he come here for school. After he moved here, he loved the city very much because the people here are really nice and they appreciate the simple things. Logan loves the food in Chicago and his favorite restaurant is Cozy Noodles, which offers Thai food.

After Logan started to work at the Writing Center he was assigned to the Conversation & Culture program. After working in this program for one quarter, he fell in love and. His advice for international students is: don’t be afraid of making mistakes because you have nothing to lose.

The oddest person Logan has ever met is a guy called Stew Birdy Bird, who adopted a group of pigeons he calls his children. And Logan loves the smell of the Pacific Ocean.

Coco on Lin:

LinLin is originally from Shantou, Guangdong province, south coast of China. She came to Chicago about a year and half ago and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Accounting at DePaul University. The reason why she came to DePaul is not uncommon – she and her father love watching the Chicago Bulls, and her GMAT and TOFEL scores fit with DePaul’s standards.

After her meeting with the Writing Center representatives at the Kellstat Graduate School Of Business Orientation, Lin went to make a Conversation Partner Appointment with one of Writing Center’s tutors hoping to improve her spoken English. One thing led to another and Lin was introduced to one of the CMWR’s signature events—Conversation and Culture. Not only did she go to the event, but also she ended up being a regular to the event. Then she tried Book Club that she fell in love with and finally became a CMWR staff.

Since spicy Chinese food is her favorite, Lao Sichuan is the place she likes the most to go to have meals with her friends. Lin loves all aspects of Chicago. Oh, and her favorite smell is lavender because it can help to calm your nerves and give you a peaceful mind. Guess what, her body lotion is lavender!

As a foreign student, she has some advice for the people who study abroad. While it is important to learn the local culture, trying to embrace your culture and be yourself are as important at the same time. People in the foreign country will be interested in listening to you talk about yourself and learning about your culture. Being different is not going to be a hurdle when it comes to making foreign friends.

Logan on Coco:  

CocoCoco S. is from Datong in the Shanxi Province of China. After hearing DePaul University name-dropped in the American television program The Good Wife while in China, Coco decided to apply to DePaul.  She received her acceptance in February, 2012, and Coco has now lived in Chicago for a year-and-half. With regards to Chicago, Coco likes the architecture, the friendly atmosphere, public transportation, and the integration of nature into the city. Coco has a taste for Italian food and recommends Vapiano restaurant; the pizza, according to Coco, is delicious and reasonably priced.

Coco had mutual friends who knew Shanshan and Ray, previous CMWR members, who explained the missions and events of the CMWR to Coco. She attended Book Club for a year and a half before she joined the CMWR team. The structure of Book Club- where the whole group reads a book or article slowly together and then participants break off into small groups to discuss the culture described in the reading- is what especially appeals to Coco. It also worked out well because Coco’s favorite smell is new book.

Coco advises international students to be open-minded and to break out of their comfort zones. If you put yourself out there to embrace a new culture, then you can really learn more and understand the culture better.

By: Coco, Lin, and Logan