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Welcome to the Ametrica Project! The Ametrica Project was formed so that domestic and international students can view the world through diverse cultural lenses. The desired outcome, of course, is love, peace and harmony, but at the very least forming strong, lasting intercultural friendships.
Why Ametrica? The term Ametrica came out of an International Student Programs (ISP) brainstorming session in which ISP was trying to create a term that illustrates a clear difference between the United States and the rest of the world. Since the United States seems to be the only country that has not adopted the metric system, Ametrica seemed perfect from the moment it came out of an ISP student worker’s mouth (Clarification: Since ISP created the Ametrica Project, we have found out that the term Ametrica was created years ago as a campaign to get the US to adopt the metric system).
On Wednesday, August 29, there will be an interactive introduction to the participants and program during the Pre-Orientation for International Students (PO4IS), which all participants will be required to attend. Between the end of PO4IS and September 12, your mentors will visit and support you by appropriate means.
Macalester faculty, staff and ISP mentors, will facilitate the Thursday evening Ametrica Project sessions. The mentors will make tasty snacks from around the world weekly. What will happen on a Thursday? Each Thursday, each Ametrica mentor group will touch base for the first 10 to 15 minutes about items unrelated to the day’s major topic. Next we’ll briefly meet in a large group, providing some context to the topics we’ll discuss. After that, we’ll again break into smaller groups to continue the discussion. In the smaller groups, one group member will be designated as a note-taker and reporter, who will report to the larger group when we reconvene. Finally, at the end, you’ll break into smaller groups one last time and collectively create an online Google.doc journal about feelings and what was learned. (Small, large, small, large, small)
What will be tangible outcomes for the Ametrica Project? First, we will create a collection of journals for the Macalester community covering the semester’s discussions. Second, we'll do a service project such as International KidsFest, the project chosen the last few years. The project will be up to you to decide, but you’ll be supported by ISP and the mentors in its coordination (e.g., a presentation at a local school, volunteer work). Finally, ISP will sponsor a trip so you can explore part of American culture together. Last year, the Ametricans stayed with Macalester alumni in Chicago and explored the Windy City during Fall Break.
Formal Ametrica Project sessions will be on Thursday evenings until November 1. After the formal sessions end, ISP student staff will coordinate programs in which the entire college may participate.
Below is the planned schedule (secondary topics in parenthesis):
August 29 PO4IS Ametrica Session
September 13 Life and Language (Gestures)
September 20 Lying, Cheating, Stealing (Superstition)
September 27 Humor: That Joke isn't Funny Anymore (Conversions)
October 4 Pop Culture: Lady Gaga, Youssou N'dour, Namie Amuro, Kareena Kapoor and Tihuana are my Faves (Food)
October 18 Family and Friends (Holidays)
October 25 Fall Break Trip (TBA)
November 1 End of Program CelebrationPlease apply for the Ametrica Project 2012 at this link