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BY ROBERT J. BLIWISE

Y

ou’re an outsider who needs to operate as an insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. lots of rituals and rou-

Les Todd

that, he advises. Think of yourself as a partner in education, not as a recipient. You’re happy to receive coffee in the classroom. The coffee cups come with an imprinted map of the world; they advertise themselves as being made from “100 percent renewable materitines to sort out. als.” Early lessons, it seems, in what it means to be worldly and If you signed on for this orientation class, you’ve been drawn responsible. to Duke from Taiwan, Indonesia, China, South Korea, the Dorenewing, even reinventing, yourself is a big part of your minican republic, or Mexico. The class is formally known as work at Duke. You acknowledge, along with Storelli, how natthe Summer Academic Inural it is to feel culturally stitute; it’s geared to new adrift. You struggle, at master’s-level Sanford least now and again, with School of Public Policy the demands of the lanstudents in international guage. You even struggle development. Okay, you with what to have your figure it’s really a class in English-speaking peers getting started. call you: You can insist You’re probably older on being known by your than most graduate stuname (Jianduan, Adha, dents, since your master’s Sunhye), which seems program is pitched to natural enough, but “mid-career professionals” might have that ring of from developing countries. “foreignness” to an So you may have some exAmerican. That means perience in, say, the field accepting the inevitable of auditing in the public scrambled pronunciasector. And you may find tions. Or you can accept yourself here out of a conan Americanized version viction that you’ll go back of your name. Is it more to your home country and satisfying to be true to do some good: If you can yourself or to fit in? help improve auditing You try to find yourself procedures, that will mean on the standard roadmap more government acof cultural adjustment: countability, and more the “Honeymoon” stage government accountability Aflutter: Some of Sanford’s newest graduate students and their of starting a new advenwill, in turn, spur your families enjoy butterflies at Durham’s Museum of Life and Science. ture, the “Culture Shock” stage of feeling out of country along the path to control and out of context, the “Initial Adjustment” stage of development. starting to master the new environment, the “Mental Isolation” You start out early on a Monday. If you’re up on your stage of imagining that relationships should be going more weather and your geography, the sultry July morning is no sursmoothly than they are, and, eventually, the “Acceptance and prise. You’re in a Sanford seminar room, and on that first day, Integration” stage of sorting it out—the good, the bad, and the you scoot up to a mountain of scones, a delectable sign of the formerly hopelessly confusing. abundance of America. Your professor, Dean Storelli ’86 (an Storelli, you learn, is a cultural wanderer. After graduating apt first name for an academic, he tells you), starts with an from Duke, he earned a master’s degree from Columbia Unianalogy. A conventional way of thinking about education, he versity in teaching English to speakers of other languages. later says, follows the banking model: Your mind is essentially at a he taught at a school in Kobe, Japan. He mentions his own zero balance, and the professor “deposits” knowledge. Forget DUKE MAGAZINE

FALL 2014

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Profile for DukeMagazine

Duke Alumni Magazine  

Vol. 100 No. 4

Duke Alumni Magazine  

Vol. 100 No. 4