Students Get a Chance to Bring Their Cuisine to Dorm Life

Mandarin teacher Ting Song leads a Chinese Cooking and Culture CAP.

Sophie Sharp, Senior Staff Writer

This semester, a new Cooking CAP has been introduced to the MacDuffie community, formally known as Chinese Cultural and Cuisine Kaleidoscope. This CAP is run by Mandarin teacher Ting Juan Song, and her hope is that “through cooking and other Chinese songs, games, and art, we will learn Chinese history, literature, art, culture, geography, and so on.”

“It’s very simple,” says Song, “Yummy food for your stomach, but you also have to feed your brain!” There are currently 7 students signed up for the CAP, all of whom are Chinese, but Song strongly encourages more students to join. From what she’s observed, Song feels that many of the Chinese students at MacDuffie are more interested in talking to one another than reaching out to anyone else and she would like to see that change, starting right in her own CAP, which overtakes the Rutenber House kitchen four times a week.

Song thinks of eating as a common foundation that brings people together and makes their relationships stronger. According to her, conversations are also more personal during meal times. “[The students] ate hot pot,” she says, “and opened their hearts!” In the Spring, Song plans on playing games with the members of her CAP outside to keep them off their phones. She also wants to teach the kids to work together. “I’m like a grandma to them,” she says, playfully adding, “ Listen to your grandma!”

Taking their budget into consideration, each of the students participating in Song’s CAP has a chance to suggest meals to make. That way, they all have the chance to try new foods from different regions of China. Soon, Song and the members of her CAP would like to start cooking for the entire school.