CHARLESTON — Guest speaker Cathy Bao Bean will present “Living and Laughing by the Chopsticks-Fork Principle” as part of Eastern Illinois University’s Asian Heritage Month celebration.
Bean, who is the author of “The Chopsticks-Fork Principle: A Memoir and Manual” and co-author of “The Chopsticks-Fork Principle x 2: A Bilingual Reader for ESL and CFL Learners,” will speak at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Coleman Hall Auditorium, Room 1255.
Admission is free and open to the public.
According to Bean’s website, “‘The Chopsticks-Fork Principle’ is a story about how to reconcile the expectations of extended families and society at large, and how to raise a child in a respectful context while also choosing the ‘path less traveled.’ Race, class, and gender issues are imbedded seamlessly within the narrative.”
As Bean attempts to satisfy disparate cultural norms, she provides a unique window into the experience of a bicultural family. Through her, audiences experience what it’s like to be a “hybrid” coming of age in the late 20th century. In doing so, the reader finds not angst, but some wisdom and a lot of good cheer.
Bean is described as “a daughter, mother, wife, friend, sister, aerobics instructor, business manager and president of the Society for Values in Higher Education, as well as its Summer Workshop for Teachers in China team leader.
“In a previous incarnation, she was a philosophy teacher, cook, student, carpool driver and on the Board of Advisers of the Claremont Graduate University School of the Arts and Humanities, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and founding member of the Ridge and Valley Conservancy.
“In the process, she has been learning how to make the ‘foreign’ more familiar and the ordinary and extraordinary into each other.”
More about Bean and her presentation can be found at http://www.cathybaobean.com/.