Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge nor reason. Pope Francis
These are excellent guiding words to share Thanksgiving with grace & love and gift international students with an afternoon of that elusive “feeling at home.” For all of us who have traveled far from our homelands for extended periods, we know about those moments of melancholy.
Yes, academic progress is imperative. Yes, getting a good score on a TOEFL can be the “make or break” for a successful university application. Nevertheless, I feel that there is more to teaching. Teaching is not only planning and delivering the very best curriculum to our students, but it is also an opportunity to model grace, loving kindness and caring.
Every term, before my students go off on their journeys, I cook a meal in my home, and we spend the time to talk, laugh and sometimes make music. Over the years, I received emails or letters on how important this experience was for them. How the meal, being at “home” was the “light” of their American experience.