Common Reading

FAQ for the Class of 2017

When should I read this book?

You should read this book before arriving on campus. There will be opportunities for you to discuss these readings with your peers, orientation team leaders, resident advisers and professors during Welcome Week. In fact, you will meet with your Perspectives class on Friday, Aug. 23 (8:30-9:45 a.m.) to discuss several selections from the book. This will be the first time you gather with your Perspectives classmates and professor. Additionally, many of the Perspectives classes will draw heavily on these readings throughout the semester. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about the readings this fall!

What should I do before arriving on campus?

Before arriving on campus this fall, write a letter to your Perspectives instructor. In this letter you should introduce yourself to your professor (consider what you would like to tell your professor about yourself, your life, your background, etc.)

We would also like you to reflect on the theme of “Technology” in your letter. In doing so, we encourage you to consider one or more of the questions provided in the introductions to each of the readings. For instance, you may choose to discuss how technology impacts your attention and focus, the ways in which technology affects the quality of your relationships, or ethical issues related to privacy in the age of the internet.

The main requirement for the letter is that you make connections between your ideas and experiences and those presented in the common reading. Therefore, we ask that your letter include ideas and/or specific passages from at least three of the readings in the anthology. Since you will be paraphrasing or quoting directly, please include the author’s name and the page number of the passage (but you do not need a works cited page or to follow any particular citation format).

This writing should be a personal letter rather than an academic essay. Write in your own voice. This is our chance to get to know you better and to hear what you think about the university theme, “Technology”.

The letter should be typed, double-spaced and 1-2 pages long. This assignment will be collected by your instructor on the first day of Perspectives class.

Why does Susquehanna University have a common reading program?

The Common Reading Program was designed to provide an opportunity for the entire Susquehanna University community to engage in intellectual conversation about a shared text. We encourage you to think of this collection of readings about education as an introduction to your academic life at Susquehanna.

Why does Susquehanna University select an annual theme?

The concept of a year-long university theme presents opportunity for the Susquehanna community to develop a community dialogue around a central idea or question. With both curricular and co-curricular applications, a university theme supports Susquehanna's goals of developing a common experience among students, fostering a culture of intellectual engagement, creating a diverse community, and supporting communication, collaboration and creativity across campus. Your first introduction to the annual theme is the Common Reading.

What other opportunities will I have to explore the university theme?

Throughout the semester there will be many opportunities for you to explore ideas related to the university theme. The first will come early in the semester when an author from the common reading visits campus to give a public lecture designed especially for our first-year students. There will also be other events, both curricular and co-curricular, such as musical performances, theatre productions, movies and additional invited speakers.

Course Catalog

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