SummerMagazine_2014_final - page 10-11

On Campus
summer 2014 | St. Lawrence University Magazine 9
8 summer 2014 | St. Lawrence University Magazine
On Campus
T
he Arabic Language Club is just
one of many that give students a
chance to practice their language skills
away from the classroom.
“Arabic can scare students away be-
cause it represents a new and seemingly
separate system of meaning,” said Matt
Dudley ’14, president of the club, last
spring. “My exposure to it has led me to
appreciate the commonalities between
languages and cultures, rather than focus
on their overt differences.”
Sounds of laughter and chatter filled
the air and textbooks were piled high
as Matt convened a club meeting over
lunch in Dana Dining Center. A history
major from Cazenovia, N.Y., he told
me, “I joined to gain extra exposure to
the language. Also, talking with stu-
dents who had studied in Morocco and
Jordan was a huge draw for me.”
One of the newest additions to the
language offerings at St. Lawrence, Arabic
entered the curriculum in 2008. When
students expressed interest in practic-
ing the language outside the classroom,
Instructor Gisele El Khoury says, it wasn’t
long before the club formed. It gained or-
ganizational status from Thelmo in 2011.
El Khoury adds that what transpires
“usually depends on the students at-
tending. If they’re at the introductory
level, we work on vocabularies, but if
they’re intermediate or advanced, we
tend to do more conversations.”
Every fall the club sponsors Arabian
Nights, an event with student presenta-
tions, instrumental and dance perfor-
mances (including belly dancing), guest
speakers and Arabic dishes, El Khoury says.
“We also have an Arabic film screening and
discussion during World Languages Week.”
Conversations at the club lunches
prompted Matt’s decision to study on
St. Lawrence’s cooperative semester in
Jordan, and inspired his Senior-Year
Experience (SYE), a comprehensive survey
of the original Spanish text
Don Quixote
in search of Arabic loanwords. This in
turn propelled him into a graduate as-
sistantship through New York University’s
Global Academic Fellows program in Abu
Dhabi. He says, “I believe my background
in Arabic played a crucial role in helping
me get this opportunity.”
–Danielle McBride ’14
(al-arabiyya fil-ghidaa', “Arabic Over Lunch”)
Arabic isn’t the only language taught at
St. Lawrence that has a club or conversation table.
Students of Chinese, French, German, Italian
and Spanish have theirs as well. For more,
stlawu.edu/modern-languages
We normally associate the Quad with the color green (when it’s
not white), but once spring 2014 finally established itself, the green
was stripped off as renovation got under way. That framework in the
foreground is the beginnings of the terrace and steps that will replace the old “Upper Road” alongside the chapel.
In the background, the new residence hall nears completion (for an idea of how all this will look, go to www.
stlawu.edu/new-residence-hall/photo-gallery/quad-renovation-project). Both projects are on schedule to be
“student-ready” by the time classes resume in late August; we’ll have more in the next St. Lawrence magazine.
Buildings & Grounds
“If you know
how to use a hammer or
saw, you can do anything,” Kate Fager-
lund says to me, as her eyes light up. She
is a petite woman from nearby Birdsfoot
Farm, and my basic carpentry teacher.
I’m building an apple crate from locally
milled basswood in a workshop through
the North Country Folk Series.
The series is “a set of programs to intro-
duce students to North Country commu-
nity members who are experts in the rural
and living arts,” states Kristen Whittier
’94, the coordinator. The workshops,
made possible through a Mellon Founda-
tion Grant for Environmental Education,
are free for St. Lawrence students, and
continue through fall 2014 with a Uni-
versity Innovation Grant. The program
touches upon themes of good and sustain-
able agriculture, the living arts, northern
ecology, green building and green energy.
“I’ve always thought one of St. Lawrence’s
greatest assets is location,” Whittier ex-
plains. “I love to see this synergy between
the students and community.” The series
has partnered with regional organizations
such as Traditional Arts in Upstate New
York (TAUNY), and campus organiza-
tions (Nature Up North, University
theme houses). Like Kate, instructors are
farmers, homesteaders and artisans from
throughout the region.
During our lunch break, student coordi-
nator Zelie Wright-Neil ’15 says, “This
is a chance for students to work with and
learn from really talented community
members.” Other spring events included
cheese-making, constellation-viewing
and winter wildlife tracking. Whittier
Retired Director of Dining Services Jack Taylor demonstrates the intricacies of bird-
carving during a North Country Folk Series spring 2014 workshop. Other activities in
the series included winter wildlife tracking, cheese- and yogurt-making, and herbal
teas and medicines. For more, see
North Country Folk
Series Teaches Local
Place-Based Skills
says that “feedback has been overwhelm-
ingly positive,” which was affirmed by the
first-year students I met in my carpen-
try workshop. Earlier, their First-Year
Program had built rustic benches with a
local furniture maker for the University’s
permaculture garden.
Back at our workshop, Kate described
the physics of construction and demon-
strated tool safety before letting us build.
Some students had woodworking experi-
ence, while others had never touched
power tools. As I measured, hand-sawed
and nailed timber planks, I listened to
anecdotes about life on a farm, laughed at
friends’ memories of carpentry at summer
camp and enjoyed the smell of freshly
sanded wood. Whether my apple crate
becomes furniture or simply holds pro-
duce, at least I can always carry a piece of
the North Country with me.
–Nicole Eigbrett ’14
You Bring
a Hammer
and I , ll
Bring a Saw...
KNOW IT ALL
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