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Dinner Dialogues’ Serves Up a Full Experience

It’s certainly more enjoyable to get into an interesting discussion over a delicious dinner than it is to do so in a classroom,” says Monique Scott, an English and education major, sizing up the first of the “Dinner Dialogues” held on the Brooklyn Campus this year. That opinion seemed to be shared by the approximately 40 students, faculty and staff who gathered in the Jonas Board Room on March 6 to delve into delicious Italian delicacies and dessert along with the messages of Alice Sebold’s novel, “The Lovely Bones.”

The story, described by some as “haunting and heartbreaking,” unfolds in the Heaven experienced by the narrator, a young girl who has been brutally killed but keeps track of her grieving family and friends as they struggle to carry on with their lives.

“For me,” commented Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers, assistant provost, “the book had a very positive message — about our own sense of what’s important and our own ideas about heaven. But the best thing about the evening,” she added, “was that we actually achieved all of our goals: building a sense of campus community, creating a learning environment outside of the classroom and sharing a passion for reading — and eating!”

Sonia Masloa, another participant and a sophomore in the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, felt that the most important part of the “Dialogues” was the chance it gave students and faculty to get to know one another in an informal setting, outside of the usual hectic schedules of work and classes. “That’s so important and very rare,” she observed of the leisurely discussion and interaction, adding, “I look forward to future ‘Dialogues’ and to developing more personal relationships with some of my professors.”

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