We are so fortunate to live in East Lansing, which has such a large international population, thanks to Michigan State University. I have been touched by this quote from librarian Kathleen T. Isaacs: " I believe the more you know about other people and other ways of living and thinking and being, the less likely you are to see them as strangers, others, perhaps even as lesser beings whose welfare need not concern you - people you can ignore, enslave, or go to war against... "
With this in mind, ELHS student Samri Tessema and I started an "international book discussion" for adults at the library, where we read books about other cultures and countries, and then bring in someone from that country or culture to discuss them with us. Did they feel the book was accurate? Did they ever experience something described in the book? So far we have read about and had guests from Haiti, Ethiopia, Iran, Mali, Korea and many other places.
Samri has since moved on to Stanford University, but my colleague Robin Rushbrook and I have continued the book discussion. It has been very popular.
Our first meeting of the school year will be Wednesday October 21 at 7:00 in the Library meeting room. Our special guest will be former E. Lansing Mayor Sam Singh, who has recently completed a 17 month trip around the world. His inspirational talk about his travels at the Hannah Community Center, as well as his blog, shows that he will be a real asset to our discussion.
We will be talking about the book The Size of the World by Joan Silber. You can read reviews and more about the book here and here.What do you think? Please join us and give your opinion. Teens and adults are welcome. Refreshments will be served!