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Nov 30 2009

Mom and the microwave: an international Thanksgiving

turkeyAs Ives Sees It
By Dwight S. Ives

My mother was first introduced to the modern marvels of technological advances in cooking when I was tapped by one of the University’s vice presidents to be the new Foreign Student Advisor and International Student Office’s Manager.

Suddenly, I found myself with a secretary, ten or more “clerks,” and well over 300 students representing at least 40 different countries to supervise. Several of the students were of high rank in their respective countries including two princes, the niece of a noted cricket champion and international diplomat, and the son of an international film director and actress. To them I had to be a parent-figure, best friend, confidant, social coordinator, and advisor, as well as their Immigration liaison between the University and INS.

The first semester came and went none too soon for me. The fall holidays posed a few problems and left me wondering what I would do with the students who couldn’t go home. That’s when my Mom stepped in with a solution: an international Thanksgiving in my modest apartment on campus. I had a stove, oven and sink, so cooking wouldn’t be a problem, but I was more worried about the dietary laws of many of my students, plus the fact that some would be sitting down with others who could be considered enemies in their homeland. I did not need an international incident.

The day of dread came none too quickly. Mom had the food ready, and a continuous stream of smiling foreign faces started to pour in the front door. My parents treated them all as near relatives, including the good natured 6’3” Haitian Sensation basketball star whom we dubbed “Little Brother”. Some brought gifts of food while some just came for the promise of food. Amazing what a meal can do.

My Dad said grace, but not before my introduction that this is our custom and not intended to insult any in attendance. My Dad prayed in the familiar thee and thou language of God that he had used my whole life, and there were no complaints. As many went back for seconds and more arrived, we began to run out of food.

My Mom had no idea how to solve this dilemma, as a good turkey takes several hours to prepare. Enter Myra, an American student, who said, “No problem! I’ll just zap some food in the microwave for a few minutes.”

“What’s that?” my Mom asked. “You don’t know what a microwave is?” Myra asked, stunned at the thought.

“No,” my Mom said. Myra took a piece turkey and brought back a fully cooked quarter in minutes without making anyone wait. After that day, my Mom advanced one giant step into the technological science of the microwave. Seldom, if ever, did she cook using a conventional oven again!

Dwight graduated from the National College Republican Fieldman School to become a political instructor/consultant. Returning from Washington, DC, he earned dual Masters in Business Administration and Management. He has done PR work for Crystal Gayle, Frank Abagenal of the movie “Catch Me If You Can”, and the “Christmas Show” produced by Brad and Jenifer Moranz. Dwight works Security at Kiawah Island for KICA.

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