Students Reflect on Moveable Feasts

The Office of Residential Living’s “A Moveable Feast” program has provided almost 200 Georgetown students and faculty members opportunities to gather for conversation in a casual setting over a meal paid for by Residential Living in the 2015-16 school year.

The program, established in 2013, was designed to encourage students to connect with their professors and deans in a more casual space, according to Associate Director of Residential Living Katie Heather.

Students may apply in groups of three or more for a $100 stipend for their meal with one faculty member, which can take place in a residence hall or at a local restaurant.

Heather said students and faculty participated in 40 events during the 2015-16 academic year. Each meal included a faculty member or a dean.

“The reaction from students has been overwhelmingly positive. Additionally, the program was well-received by representatives from Academic Affairs,” Heather said.

The name of the program comes from author Ernest Hemingway’s memoir “A Moveable Feast,” where he writes, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Heather said she hopes students who participate in a dinner will remember their conversations after graduation.

“We hope this program will encourage reflective conversations with students and faculty that will stay with students after their final class at Georgetown,” Heather said.

Students said they have found the meals to be a good way to connect with their professors outside of the classroom.

Joyce Song (SFS ’18) organized a meal for her Chinese class last year with her teaching assistant. The class met at Kafe Leopold and enjoyed discussion outside of the classroom, according to Song.

“It was pretty cool because it eliminates the financial burden for a lot of students. It was nice to get out and talk about other things besides classwork, especially since Georgetown students tend to get really caught up with our academics,” Song said.

Brody Ladd (SFS ’19) shared a meal with his proseminar class last fall. Ladd said they spent their evening listening to stories of their professor’s time in Latin America.

Ladd said he saw the value in learning from his professor in a different context.

“It was great getting to know our professor on a more personal level, and some of his experiences he shared were as valuable as the topics we were sharing in class,” Ladd said. “I feel like a lot of professors have similarly valuable experiences and these dinners allow them to share those stories with their students.”

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