The Olive Tree
In the past, we have chosen people who are already established as caterers and used to cooking and entertaining large groups to prepare our international dinners. Last fall, we took a different approach. Friends coordinator, Gretchen Gfeller and Fogler staff member Wei Dai contacted the Chinese student group on campus to see if there were any students who were interested in helping to plan a Chinese dinner. Six students responded and "Tasting China: an evening of Chinese cuisine and culture" was born. The dinner was held on October 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.in the University Club. The chefs included: Yurui Zhen, Xiao Han, Yi Xu, Min Jiang, Yuying Zhang, and Ling Huang. Wei Dai, who is originally from Beijing, also helped.
What the students did was very impressive. They planned, prepared, and served a traditional 8 course Chinese dinner for 35 people. In addition they gave a presentation about their culture and the customs surrounding the preparing and sharing of food. The food was wonderful. We made a point of selecting dishes that are not usually available in American Chinese restaurants. The students took the time to decorate the room and brought Chinese music to play. It was, in short, a perfect evening and the most successful of our dinners to date.
The Same Great Struggle
Guests in our Special Collections department enjoyed a fascinating tale of family, country, and connections when Andrea Constantine Hawkes, the author of The Same Great Struggle: the history of the Vickery family of Unity, Maine, 1634-1997, visited the Library on November 4th.
Hawkes, who is a Ph. D. candidate in History at UMaine, used resources in Fogler's Special Collections in combination with the extensive genealogical research done by James Vickery to write a book rich in detail and human drama. During her presentation, she read from the book and introduced the audience to a fascinating cast of characters and stories. She also spoke about the process of historical research and gave an inside glimpse at what is involved in this type of project.
The Open Road: Travelers and Journeys
The Works In Progress series continued on November 12th with an afternoon devoted to travel writing. Robert Klose, Joan MacCracken, Tina Passman, and Marisue Pickering all joined us to read from their work and to reflect on their travel experiences.
Klose is the author of Adopting Alyosha: A Single Man Finds a Son in Russia. He is also an essayist for the Christian Science Monitor and has written extensively about his travels in Iceland and elsewhere. He teaches biology at University College in Bangor.
During her 23 years of practice of pediatric endocrinology, Joan MacCracken has written medical articles for journals in her field, and in 1996, Tiffin Press of Maine published her first book, The Sun, The Rain and The Insulin: Growing Up With Diabetes. In 2002, the Bangor Daily News Weekly published MacCracken's article on her first trip to the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with a medical team from Partners in Health.
Tina Passman has taught Greek and Roman Classics and languages at the University of Maine since 1985. She is a grandmother of three and lives in Orono with five cats. A student of Buddhism for several years, she traveled to China with a "bunch of Buddhists" in November 2001.
Marisue Pickering's travel reports, essays, and poetry have been published in the International Travel News, The Maine Scholar, Le Forum, the Northern New England Review, Echoes, and the Bangor Daily News. She is Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the former Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University of Maine.
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