Last Friday, the CMWR held the first Book Club meeting of the quarter. The turnout was wonderful, and we had so much fun diving into new material for the spring. This quarter, we will be reading and discussing various works from the hilarious and talented author, David Sedaris. Last week, we had the opportunity to read an interview that Paste Magazine conducted with Sedaris in order to gain an understanding of his renowned work and his life, as well. We read the article aloud together; one member of the book club took on the role of the interviewer and the other took on the role of Sedaris so that we could get a sense of how the interview may have actually sounded. It provided the perfect opportunity to absorb a lot of factual information in a fast and entertaining way. After we cleared up vocabulary words and phrases from the interview, we dove into some great discussion about the ideas within it and how they pertain to our own lives. In his interview, Sedaris discusses how he loves to write in quiet, calm conditions so we opened up a discussion about what kinds of environments we like to write in. Sedaris also talks about his technique of constant journal-keeping which lead us to a lengthy discussion about our own methods of observing the world through writing and whether or not we keep diaries. Many of us reminisced about the journals that we wrote when we were younger and what the experience of re-discovering them is like.
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Conversation and Culture started off its quarter last week. Our topic du jour was “How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love,” which we discussed by reading some quotes on finding happiness in the workplace from famous innovators and artists like Steve Jobs and Lewis Hyde. Some participants in attendance believed that the truest way to find happiness in one’s career was through following their dreams and never settling on a job that doesn’t feel fulfilling. Others argued that a career doesn’t need to be the source of one’s happiness, and that sometimes it can be difficult to know what one’s calling is. Though some participants held different views, we all agreed that learning the English language would be a great way to open up new opportunities and connect more easily with the rest of the world. Though we won’t have the opportunity to meet this week due to DePaul’s closing for the Easter holiday, all the participants expressed their vigorous interest in coming back for the next Conversation and Culture!
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Last week marked the inauguration of English Café at the CMWR. We had a great turn out, with many countries represented, including Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, Jordan, and Thailand. To kick off the event, we did a Conversation Café, where we had various questions related to language learning and went around the room so that each person could give their answer. Some of the questions we discussed were: Why do you think it’s important to learn a second language? What language do you think is the most difficult to learn? What personal qualities do you need to be an effective language learner? It was interesting to hear so many different perspectives and start a dialogue where we could respond to one another about such pertinent topics to the CMWR. At this week’s English Café, we will be discussing idioms, so we hope to see you there!
English Cafe: Tuesdays 3-4:30
Conversation & Culture: Friday 1-2:15
Book Club: Friday 1-2:15