An overheard discussion reveals one of the best lessons MSU may offer.

Yesterday our staff met for a working lunch in the newly renovated Heritage Commons at Landon (Landon Hall's great dining option). With all the construction and moving going on in Linton Hall, we've taken the opportunity to branch out and explore campus meeting spaces. If you haven't been to Landon since the renovated dining room opened, we highly recommend it. And you'll have to let us know what it reminds you of. (Hogwarts, anyone?)

Anyway, while working there in the afternoon, I overheard two students' animated discussion. One was from east of the Mississippi River and one was from west. Both had a different ethnic heritage and the varying family traditions that come with it. In short, these were very different kids.

And yet, they sat and talked for over an hour. About everything. What classes they were taking. Things they'd learned in class. Their excitement over a discovery they made in a class, and the research they hoped to expand on it. Their hometowns - one was from a town with less than 500 people and one was from a big city. Where they hoped to travel and where they'd already been. They even debated the proper way to pronounce "Aunt", and whether it is a “cray-fish” or a “craw-dad”. This went on for quite a while, before they got to the real matter that brought them together. A class assignment.

They were co-writing a term paper for one of their courses. I didn't ask which class, or what their topic was. I didn't talk to them at all, actually. And yet, I'm still thinking about these two students.

I remember having to do group papers during my undergraduate and graduate coursework. I remember complaining about it. (And I'm sure my family does too.) But in hearing these students talk I was reminded about how much I also learned from those experiences.

These two students, and all their classmates, will walk away at the end of the semester having learned to co-write a paper. They'll know how to research as a team and share ideas. They'll learn how to take two (or more) writing styles and blend them together in one paper. But they'll also learn that each student brings their own background, heritage and experience to campus. Every single Spartan is unique. We all have something to offer, and we can all learn from eachother.

And I think that lesson is one of the most important MSU has to offer.

- Katie Kelly, Communications Manager

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