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Sweet Beginnings: A Night to Remember at I-House 

The Anticipation 

A little over a week ago, as I sat with a friend, we eagerly awaited the release of tickets for the Sunday Supper. My friend had set multiple alarms to ensure she didn’t miss the reservation window. To her dismay, she ended up on the waitlist just one minute after registration began. For days, conversations around me centered on Sunday Supper tickets – not surprising, considering it’s the most coveted event at I-House. It brought back memories of the last Sunday Supper I attended. 

Sweet Beginnings  

In February, I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday Supper themed ‘Sweet Beginnings.’ The Fall semester’s event had captivated me with its delectable food, mesmerizing performances, and infectious energy. As the day of the event approached, anticipation built among residents. Conversations revolved around outfits and tickets, the excitement palpable and the enthusiasm contagious. I eagerly planned my outfit and checked in with friends about their ticket statuses. 

The Arrival and Dinner 

On the day of the event, my fellow Program Assistants and I manned the check-in counter at the Great Hall. Once attendees received their name tags, they helped themselves to delicious snacks and mingled with others. The room buzzed with excitement and chatter. 

Soon, I was led to the Chevron Auditorium for the main event. The tantalizing aroma of various salads, seafood, and vegetarian and vegan options greeted me as I approached the food station. Candies and drinks adorned each table, adding a festive touch. 

Making New Connections 

As I found my seat, the auditorium filled with people from all walks of life—residents, board members, alumni, and more. Engaging in conversation with unfamiliar faces pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to make new connections. Before long, the auditorium was abuzz with lively conversation as people enjoyed their meals. 

Entertainment and History 

As dinner concluded, emcees took the stage to introduce a series of wonderful performances. Between performances, they recounted the heartwarming story of how Sunday Suppers began. The tale of Harry Edmond’s chance encounter with a lonely Chinese student at Columbia University in 1909 reminded us all of the importance of forging connections with those around us. This simple act of kindness inspired the creation of International Houses around the world, where the tradition of Sunday Suppers continues. 

The Candlelight Ceremony 

Following the performances, attendees participated in a candlelight ceremony. Shaun Carver, the Executive Director, shared its history and significance. As we lit our neighbor’s candle with our own, a sense of unity and connection filled the room. The flickering light of the candles cast a magical atmosphere over the auditorium. 

Dessert Hour 

After the ceremony, we returned to the Great Hall for a dessert extravaganza. With so many decadent choices, it was difficult to decide what to try. Friends brought an array of treats to sample, and my sweet tooth rejoiced. It was the perfect way to celebrate sweet beginnings. 

Memorable Moments 

The Sunday Supper has left a memorable mark on my I-House experience. From the initial anticipation to the final sweet treats, every moment of the event has become a cherished memory. The theme of ‘Sweet Beginnings’ perfectly captured the essence of the evening, fostering a sense of warmth, community, and togetherness. 

As I prepare for my final Sunday Supper at I-House, I am filled with a mixture of excitement and nostalgia. While it is bittersweet to think that this will be my last time participating in this beloved tradition, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a remarkable community. I look forward to the upcoming event with enthusiasm, eager to create more memories and celebrate the legacy of I-House. I know that even as I bid farewell to this chapter of my life, the friendships and experiences I’ve gained during my time at I-House will stay with me. The upcoming Sunday Supper will not only mark the end of my journey at I-House but will also serve as a reminder of the incredible impact that a single act of kindness can have. I am honored to have been a part of this legacy and will carry the spirit of I-House with me. 

The “Did You Know?” section is brought to you by the CILP Program Assistants team covering various topics on social justice issues. This week’s author is Anusha Thotakura.