Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Visitor

This morning, I was the visitor observing a newly hired instructor and her ESL class here on campus. People, women, men, young, not so young, from Afghanistan, India, Italy, Iraq, S. Korea, Mexico, Nepal, and the U.S were learning from and talking with one another. And a few days ago, I joined two other classes and instructors for their field trip out to eat Chinese food in Fort Worth, Texas; I sat and visited with two from Vietnam and two from Iraq (recounting with them my having lived as a boy, a visitor, in the one war torn country, Vietnam, and hearing for the first time of experiences of the tearing of war in the other country, Iraq). I know these are not normal kinds of gatherings in the world, and I always feel quite fortunate to be among so many so different joined together in peace, in common causes and new friendships. (And, for some reason now, I recall Phyllis Chesler's review of Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor. Sometimes a good film is all we have, and sometimes there really can be more.)

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