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Category Archive for 'Special Events'

austen dancing

Originally uploaded by mebertolini.

This fall (and last) I hosted a Jane Austen Dinner Dance for my first-year seminar (FYSE 0144), Jane Austen and Film. I used my Atwater Commons money to mount each event. In each case, I invited another Atwater Commons FYS to attend (and use its money) for the event. Both dancing and food play an important part in Jane Austen’s novels. In fact, the marriage prospects of Austen’s characters often depend on their willingness and ability to dance, so the experience of dining and dancing as Austen’s characters do enabled my students to better understand both Austen’s characters and their milieu.

I used my FYS funds to hire an expert on English country dancing. You can see pictures from the two events here: (F06) & (F05)

The dinner provided by catering consisted of authentic Regency recipes, many form the Jane Austen Cookbook. Each dish on the menu, also, paralleled a quotation from an Austen novel. The green tablecloths reflected our Atwater Commons affiliation. Here is our menu.

Here is a short i-movie I created for my students with pictures and video of this year’s event: Dance i-move.

At the end of the semester when students chose individual research topics, several chose dancing or dining in the Regency era.

TIME.com: Why the Family Meal is Cooking Again — Jun. 12, 2006 — Page 2

Families who make meals a priority also tend to spend more time on reading for pleasure and homework. A whole basket of values and habits, of which a common mealtime is only one, may work together to ground kids. But it’s a bellwether, and baby boomers who won’t listen to their instincts will often listen to the experts: the 2005 casa study found that the number of adolescents eating with their family most nights has increased 23% since 1998.

See my post Across the Kitchen Table. Have I started a trend since my last post?

Across the kitchen table . . .

When my children were small, they did their homework on the kitchen table. I love the idea that the same physical space produced food for the mind as well as food for the body and sometimes even food for the soul. Coming from Italian-American roots that link breaking bread with conviviality and sharing, is it any wonder that I want to combine eating and learning? Throughout the academic year, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research, where I work and teach hosts lunches with faculty members and special events for students, such as Thesis Nights for seniors. where specially trained Peer Writing Tutors help students with their theses, and we provide seniors with tasty, nourishing snacks.

Perhaps my favorite event of the year is the Thank You Lunch for the graduating seniors who work in our Center.
We bring together Peer Writing Tutors, ACEs (Academic Consultants for Excellence, Study Group Leaders and Student Office Staff at the start of Senior Week, before.jpgand we treat them to a sit down lunch. In turn, they treat us to stories about what working for the CTLR has meant to them.

Originally uploaded by mebertolini.

Seeing them go off is always bittersweet–like parting with our own children, so I’m glad we serve dessert.

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