One of the many students and alumni who continue to be impacted by the teaching and mentorship of LBC | Capital’s Dr. Ed Scheuerman is Chantal Peterson ’23. Just after Thanksgiving break in 2020, she sent an email to her professor titled, “…and then it all made sense!” Read Chantal’s message below:
Hi Dr. Ed!
I experienced a minor subculture today! I’m staying with a friend for the first part of break, so today I visited her church. It is a different denomination from what I have experienced, and from the moment I stepped into the door, I realized how little I knew of what to expect. Thus, I compelled to observe. I observed how the congregants had two things: their own rhythms (they knew what to do and when to do it intuitively) and their own unspoken habits (habits that required no words and few thoughts: what door to use to walk into the sanctuary, where to seat, when to speak and when to be silent).
I noticed that in response, I watched people and followed my friend’s family. I realized later that as I observed and was fully engaged in understanding, I likely appeared “reserved” to outsiders. But how could I have been flippant, or my natural self, without knowing what others in this new place considered to be in line or out of place? Furthermore, I thought, how many times do we think international students are quiet, when in fact they are taking in all that is going on around them? I also realized that I profiled or made comparisons and parallels to previous experiences (church visits).
Before today, I had a vague idea that ICS principles should be taught to everyone. But today, I learned why. I learned just how often we experience mini subcultures all the time! After all, we step into new environments all the time! And although ICS refers to cross-cultural experiences, we can apply ICS principles to any new environment!
My experience today was really cool because a lot more about what I’ve been learning in class and about my major in general made sense because of it. For that reason, I thought I’d share.
Thanks for reading.
In His good, good hands,
Chantal Peterson (’23)