MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE HOLDS UNAMERICAN LIFE PANEL
(Cochran, GA) – Middle Georgia College recently held an UnAmerican Life panel with several faculty members and a student talking about how their childhoods were different and/or similar from those of MGC students. Faculty members Hyun-Ah Fitton, from Korea, Louis Camera, from Senegal, Stephen Fuller, from England, and Viktoriya Lanier, from Ukraine participated, along with student Khirri Virgil from Trinidad.
Peter Gareis, an English professor, asked a series of questions that dealt with the panelists’ home lives, their environments, and why they decided to come to the US. Each panelist was given several minutes to answer each question.
Gareis first asked each panelist what their home neighborhoods were like. Louis Camara, an assistant professor of math, said that his home was a regular house in a normal city. “It was ok,” he said. “It was not the poorest and it was safe.”
Khirri Virgil said that since Trinidad is a developing country, they did not have technology like Americans, so they used what they had. “It was a friendly, open, hot environment,” he said.
Gareis then posed a series of questions about the roles of mothers and fathers. First, he asked how unwed mothers were treated in each culture. While Hyun-Ah Fitton, a math instructor, said it was unacceptable in South Korea, Stephen Fuller, an assistant professor of English, and Viktoriya Lanier, an associate professor of math, said their cultures were sympathetic. “There are various views,” said Fuller. “Most are sympathetic and are less judgmental.”
Gareis then asked about the role of the father in the panelists’ native countries. Most panelists agreed that while it depends on the individual, men were usually the ones who worked and brought in the income. Camara said that his father made the decisions and brought in the money. “Mom gave us support,” he said. “When I came to America, I had to teach myself to cook. I had never cooked by myself.”
Finally, Gareis asked the panelists why they came to study or work in America. Virgil said that he came for the high-class education. “It’s a first world country, so it gives you a leg up,” he said. “There is more variety.”
Fitton said she came to America because it was easier to study here. “There is more freedom and opportunities for jobs.”
Gareis said that although they didn’t make it through all the questions, the event went well, and the students responded to it. “It held their attention, and moved things along,” he said.