Events promote world culture
It wasn't the M&Ms that were foreign - it was trying to pick them up with chopsticks that was a new experience for Lansing High School students who participated in a short lesson on how to use the utensils Tuesday in the library.
"If you can master getting the M&M from the plate to your mouth, that's pretty good with chopsticks," said LHS French teacher Mary Alice Schroeger, who recently returned from an exchange program trip to China.
Students practiced their chopstick-wielding skills on M&Ms, cereal and dumplings. Schroeger said picking up the cereal with chopsticks was like picking up rice and the M&Ms were slippery like noodles. Dumplings are a staple in China, and during her trip, Schroeger said, she ate them for breakfast, for lunch and sometimes for dinner, too.
The chopsticks lesson was staged during the school's seminar period as part of International Week festivities, which are being organized by the LHS French Club and National French Honor Society.
During the program, students who traveled to China with Schroeger and two other teachers presented a slide show of places they visited. The audience also learned a few key phrases - "hello," "please," "I'm full," "thank you" and "good-bye" - as well as how to say numbers 1 through 10 in Chinese, French and Portuguese.
Brazilian exchange student Felipe Blotta taught the crash course in Portuguese.
"Portuguese is almost really the same as Spanish," he said. "OlÃ¡" (hello), "por favor" (please) and "adeus" (good bye) were a few examples of Portuguese words a Spanish-speaker might recognize.
Schroeger said the purpose of International Week is to "encourage international literacy and awareness." To do that, officers from Malaysia, Iraq, Austria and Belgium who are attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth made presentations at the school earlier this week, and an officer from Korea will visit the school today from 11:48 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The language and chopstick lessons taught Tuesday will be repeated today during seminar period, and there will be a movie night featuring a Japanese anime film from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today in the library.
In addition, the organizers have been playing international music during passing periods, and they have put on several contests, including trivia, "guess the exchange student" and a bumper sticker contest. French students are selling Toblerone, Gummi Eiffel Tower and Ritter Sport candies to pay for the week's activities.