students connecting by their cultures

Oral introductions
have students name all values they can from the five true-for-everyone areas of cultural expression, as they’ve experienced them: 1) landscape design, 2) food styles, 3) clothing & accessories, 4) transport, and 5) buildings & their interior design. All discuss the ways they’ve made choices in these, or inherited choices.

Written, in-class introductions
come by essay-CVs, or list-giving résumés, introducing oneself by how one inhabits the five areas above. First-drafts go to all peers and, after discussions, all revise, giving new versions to instructor for corrections, then circulating final copies to classmates for later reference as they like.

First essays
describe class peers whose cultural "stuff" helps show one’s own choices. Everyone gets copies and, after discussion, all rewrite, widening references to peers – direct or indirect quotes, written or oral comments. After instructor corrects, students revise – then all essays go to another class – neighboring ethnicity, religion, or nationality – by paper mail, Internet, or in-person guest courier(s).

Swapping essays
continues as students discuss new batches they receive. In responding by new essays, students always cite from the five categories of cultural “stuff” they inhabit, reference class peers, and acknowledge individuals from the “other” group. Discussions and references may enlarge to local and international literature, film, music, and other arts.

Instructors
model frequent reference to individual students – to their themes as in their cultural choices – and also refer to fellow instructors, and each’s own outside reading.


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