Celebrating Birthdays: MLHR Style

This past weekend we had a special birthday celebration for our favorite Turkish student in the MLHR program. It was the first big birthday celebration I had been to for a friend in the MLHR program, believe it or not. It’s something that I think is important to be a part of for one another. Yes, we all see each other in class, but how much can you really get to know a person just purely by sitting in class with them three times a week? It’s important to take time out from working on homework, reading, and seeing other friends outside of MLHR to actually get to know people outside of class. It is becoming more apparent to me everyday that I will be good friends with most of the people our MLHR class for years after we graduate. Celebrating birthdays together is a way to really become better friends with a classmate…

Here’s how it went down:

One of Sultan’s good friends told a few people in our class to invite as many people as possible to Olive Garden this past Saturday night. The plan was for him to tell her that she was going out with him and a few of the other Turkish students to the restaurant and she was not to know that any of her friends from class would be there. We all were there by 7:00 and of course we specifically told the servers to make sure she was surprised when she walked in.

Sultan got there around 7:15, after all, she was “working to cure cancer all day.” It was so cute seeing the look on her face as she turned the corner and realized it was a mini-surprise party in her honor. She was so happy to see everyone who could make it! We shared Sangria and talked about the “Crawl for Cancer” event during the day and we talked about classes.  Of course we also made sure to be extra loud so people around us felt the need the move (only in one case did this happen and we’re not 100% sure they left because of us) and we also made sure that the servers helped us make sure Sultan “got ready to live” by singing Happy Birthday with a little candle in her birthday cake. Overall, Sultan seemed more than happy to have people from her class there, her roommate, and some of her other friends from outside MLHR as well. What more could you want from a birthday celebration?

For me, I sat with two people I hadn’t really gotten to know very well (I mean, they do usually sit on the opposite side of the room in class, so really….), which was great. I learned that Sarah S. likes to go to outdoor theater productions in the summer and Lisa and I had fun looking at Jenna’s old undergrad student ID. It was so much fun talking with people that I hadn’t really had the opportunity to talk to over the past few months. They had so many interesting perspectives to share about classes and even things to do in Columbus, that even after living here for almost 5 years I didn’t even know about.

I’ve heard there are a few more birthdays in MLHR coming up in the near future, so let the birthday celebrations continue!