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    7th May 2006

    Cross Cultural Engagement Retraction and the Madison Finale…

    I let my emotions get the best of me on my last post. It was unfair in some ways because I didn’t give you all the whole picture. I wrote an e-mail to Professor Lissa Schwander, the prof who heads up the CCE committee, with similar content to what I wrote below and also directed her to this site. She replied promptly and thoroughly, and made me feel that I should probably not speak poorly of a program that I really do support for the most part.

    I’m proud of my college for sticking its neck out there and saying that every student should have to think through some of the issues of living in a variegated society. This is bound to be unpopular requirement in some ways, it is bound to be controversial, and cross cultural engagement is very difficult to define. But it is really important. Administration of such a requirement has got to be a lot of work and there are a lot of people who have done some significant cross cultural engaging who still have to take a class like the one that I just took.

    And the class I took was very good, and will probably lead to my continued reflection on the racial privilege structures of our society, as well as concerning my own thoughts and behaviors around people of different race or culture. For example, this morning at Church of All Nations, a small (only 4 months old) multi-ethnic church in Grand Rapids, the pastor (a Korean) had us pray for the American soldiers in Iraq. This prompted me to find out how some of the Koreans feel about praying for the American soldiers when some of their own friends are currently serving their 2 years required military service – and for some of the guys graduating from Calvin this year, when they themselves are about to go to serve in the Korean military. (We more or less concluded that it is good to pray for the soldiers even if we aren’t praying for a specific outcome to a conflict.)

    And in other news, we had a large cookout at the Madison House last night. It was the 11th significant gathering that Jesse, Tyler, David, and myself had put together in the last two years. Though I missed a few of them last year, I think this is more or less a brief recollection:
    Fall 2004 – double grill party with lots of food and a glimpse of the dance parties to come
    Fall 2004 – balloon stomp, bobbing for apples, habanero eating contest
    Fall 2004 – a dance party that I don’t remember hearing that much about, except that it was the first one using money from Calvin, I think
    Winter 2005 – semester kickoff
    Winter 2005 – Enchantment Under the Sea Formal, Jesse and Sarah’s birthday party
    Spring 2005 – Graduation Spectacular with a bounce house
    Fall 2005 – Get Down at 120 Madison #1, a hot dance party – maybe too hot
    Fall 2005 – Halloween costume party
    Fall 2005 – Get Down at 120 Madison #2, another hot dance party, and the cops came to break it down
    Winter 2006 – Middle School Party, pogs, Girltalk, sex-ed spelling bee
    Spring 2006 – Madison Finale, also the party where we grilled 18 lbs of hamburger meat along with lot of brats
    So… that’s 11!

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.