I’ve already fallen a bit behind on my goal of posting something every week, but at least I’m doing a bit better than last semester! Anyway, three weeks into Spring Semester, I finally got to see my OU cousin again! We texted each other (in Chinese) occasionally over winter break and during the first few weeks of school, but it was a lot of fun to finally see her again. We went to an event hosted by the OU Cousins program, OU Cousins Bingo Night. The main draw was probably the free pizza and pop, but bingo was a lot of fun too. The game started off with small prizes like T-shirts and posters, but eventually some lucky person won a TV, and a girl at our table won OKC Thunder tickets. My cousin and I didn’t win anything, but it was still a night filled with fun, games, friends, and free pizza.
While I’m on the subject of my OU cousin, last semester in my Global Engagement class, our final project was to create a digital story about some international experience. I created a story about my OU Cousin that I’m pretty proud of, but I guess I never posted it on here. So, without further ado:
OU Cousins is a program that pairs international students at OU with American cousins. This is a great program that aims at developing friendships between American and international students at the University. I recently met my OU cousin, and it was an incredible experience. Despite being a Global Engagement Fellow, I can’t say that I’ve encountered a whole lot of difference or diversity in my life. I spent the first 18 years of my life in the same house in Castle Rock, Colorado, and the biggest change I’ve ever encountered was moving to OU just a few months ago. Needless to say, my OU Cousin, who knows French and Chinese in addition to English, and has lived in two countries before studying abroad in the US, has a much different perspective than I do.
My cousin and I spent a few hours at the beginning of this semester just sitting in front of the library talking about our lives. Mostly, we talked about my cousin’s life, because it’s much more interesting and impressive than mine. My cousin grew up in China, but attended a French university. Now she’s studying at OU for a year before she returns to France to complete her master’s thesis. Despite having spent the past several years in France, she’s retained a lot of her everyday practices from China. She still eats almost exclusively Chinese food, which she makes herself. She’s also kept all of her small electrical appliances from China with her through her education in France, and now has them here in the U.S.. Despite carrying her culture with her, she was really curious about American culture, particularly how we celebrate holidays.
Naturally, when OU Cousins hosted a pumpkin carving event, my cousin was very excited to see what Halloween was all about. Neither of us were able to make it to the event, so we bought some pumpkins from Target, and carved them together. Afterward, we ate some tofu and pig’s ears prepared by my cousin for lunch. It was a really cool exchange of culture, and I hope to have similar experiences with OU cousins in the future!