A Chat about Small Talk
Please join the Serie Center for “A Chat about Small Talk.” Beth Severy-Hoven (Classical Mediterranean and Middle East) will never forget one of her first in-person classes in the spring of 2021 – only half of the students were there, sitting 6 feet apart, all masked up. Some had not been in a classroom with other people for almost a year. When we took our regular mid-class break, they had no idea what to do. They looked around. They laughed nervously. They took out their phones. What is small talk and why do humans do it? How can we help students with no small talk experience? Beth will report briefly on the science of small talk and play excerpts from the podcast that inspired this presentation (The Science of Happiness, Episode 82: How to Talk with Strangers). Then she’ll share – and solicit – ideas on how to get students with no skills to practice this simple, human activity linked to anxiety levels and a sense of belonging.