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Section I from an International Perspective

This may seem pretentious, as I still don’t know as much as I would like to know about people from my Section, but after two months, I feel a part of it, and I would like to try.

As an international student, the characteristic I would highlight the most from Section I, is the risk free environment that it has been able to create. Challenging other people’s comments is never directed to the person but instead, was always focused on the idea and facts supporting it. As a result, I really feel comfortable making attempts in class, and I think this is a feeling shared by most of the other international students.

I also really appreciate the active role of Section I in integrating international students. First, Section I is truly aware of how difficult it is for international students to follow class discussions, understand the underlying businesses concepts, and, on top of that, trying to contribute with “quality” comments to the section. As we have seen in the LEAD course, awareness is the first step, but it is not always the easiest one, as we tend to live in our own individual world. Specific expressions of this awareness have spread all over these two months in formal and informal meetings.

Moreover, not only is Section I aware of this difference, but also acts upon it. I think I have not received so much attention in my life. My classmates listen to me with their six or seven senses??? By now most of them are experts at understanding English spoken with a varied accent. In fact, I am amazed about how excellent they are at guessing what I want to express, sometimes even better than me. Furthermore, personal experiences are encouraged and, as a result, I am more knowledgeable about Indian public services, Japanese production lines, the Chinese way of doing business, and Mexican accounting rules than a month ago!
Singing “Oe, Oe, Oe, Say I, Say I” is now part of our soccer team ritual, and, even if this article is not a report of the week, I have to mention the wonderful game we played last week and the amazing goal scored by Sylvain Santamarta at the very last minute of the game. And, of course Andy Klump, I love how you say “Adentro, Adentro” when we are near the contrary “porteria.” Additionally, the multiple and continuous social events organized by our Social Rep and by individual classmates provide international students with more opportunities to integrate and learn more from the American culture. The Harvard Ball gave an opportunity to the internationals at Section I to see the American traditions at close quarters this week. Jorge O’Hara broke his endorsement contract with Adidas for sporting only slacks and shorts and was dressed a la Tomorrow Never Comes for a change. The week also saw Section I welcoming the latest entrant to the I fold, Scott Edwards. Weighing 8 lb 10 oz, baby Dave Edwards made this Halloween a special one.

Lastly I would like to finish by recalling some of the great countries that are represented in Section I: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Phillipines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain and Ukraine. And thank you Section I for the great job!

November 12, 2001
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