Sunday, September 28, 2014

Intercultural Conversation on the Topic of Limits

On Thursday, September 25, the Advanced Reading class of the Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP) enjoyed our first Intercultural Conversation of Fall 2014.

An Intercultural Conversation is an opportunity for our LIEP students to engage with other members of the Loyola University community and with interested New Orleanians, who are invited to join us in discussing topics that our LIEP students have read and talked about in class. We meet in the Library Living Room of the Monroe Library at Loyola University New Orleans, where we are served cookies with coffee or tea. We begin with a time of informal chatting to get acquainted in small groups.
New Orleanian Dee Smith, Loyola University student Mary Beth Brungardt of Atlanta USA, and LIEP students Ana Pereira of Brazil, Ryota Kojima of Japan, and Sister Theresa Le of Vietnam are getting acquainted.

The whole group then comes together to discuss our Intercultural Conversation topic.
The whole group has gathered for our Intercultural Conversation.

Last Thursday's Intercultural Conversation topic was limits, a prominent topic in our September class readings and discussions. During this Intercultural Conversation, we talked about outer-imposed limits, such as traffic speed limits; inner-imposed limits, such as limits on amounts and kinds of food we eat; and limits that we discover, such as how much alcohol our bodies can handle. We talked about how we respond to other- and self-imposed limits and to discovered limits, as well as how and when we strive to stretch our limits. We talked about how it felt to learn society's limits as children, how it feels to be faced with a different set of social limits in a new culture, and how it feels to return home and re-adjust to one's own culture's social limits after becoming accustomed to different limits in another culture.

Dr. David O'Donaghue
We are very fortunate to have Dr. David O'Donaghue lead our Intercultural Conversations. Dr. David O'Donaghue is a philosopher, a psychologist, and an artist. As the founder and director of two life-long learning initiatives, the New Orleans Lyceum and Chautauqua New Orleans, he has organized many such discussion groups in New Orleans coffeehouses, libraries, and homes.

Thank you to Dr. David O'Donaghue, to our New Orleans and Loyola friends, and to our LIEP students and faculty for making our Intercultural Conversation such a rich time of sharing ideas!

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