Kathryn Griffith, Amanda Schader, Jenna Kapes, Nathaniel Leies, Jillian Mannarino, Morgan Day, Hope Martin, Rachel Pietrewicz, and Natalie Zemon Davis
They say that if you are lucky enough to do what you are passionate about, you never work a day in your life. However, it is also important to realize that passions change and transform over time. Engaging with this theme, our campus community will look critically at dedication, ambition, and discipline. Passion, with its Latin roots meaning "to suffer," has come to signify any intense emotion or desire. We might discuss what engenders one drive or desire, and not another. How is identity formed and reformed around shifting interests? As we all pursue our own version of success as well as purpose, this theme can illustrate the importance of seeking experiences that enrich us academically, professionally and personally.
Jennifer Farina, Gabrielle Lang, Lauren Stead, Shawn Everest-Ortiz, Regan Breeden, Courtney Radel, Alyssa Turner, Nathaniel Leies, Jillian Mannarino, and Edwidge Danticat
What do you make of adventure? Would you dive with Atlantic walruses or climb Mount Everest? Would you prefer to follow Jake and Firm in your imagination? What about take a bus across the United States? Consider these possibilities: make a pilgrimage to Mecca, follow your own mother around Manhattan, host an illegal political conversation in Tehran, or argue publicly for women's rights. Are you an adventurous person?
Cory Edwards, an Earth and Environmental Sciences major who graduated from Susquehanna University in 2014, proposed the theme of adventure for 2015-2016. He noted that Helen Keller once declared: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Edwards suggested that "the term 'adventure' can encompass a broad range of experiences, from entering college to climbing a mountain, meeting new people, and rafting a wild river to learning something new or immersing oneself in another culture through a Susquehanna GO program. But just what do climbing a mountain and learning something new have in common? Does adventure necessitate an element of risk?"
The anthology you hold in your hands is the culmination of a yearlong adventure taken by a group of Susquehanna students, faculty, and staff. Our intent is to make you think and to invite you into future conversations. One of the authors in the anthology, Edwidge Danticat, will visit our campus on September 1, 2015, to give the annual Common Reading Lecture. A world-famous author of literary novels, short stories, essays, and memoir, Dan- ticat will address the topic of adventure and enrich our interactions with her work. Over the fall semester, a monthly book club on campus will meet to discuss other readings. Various classes on campus will engage with the texts. A film series will entertain and further our inquiry. For now, as you discover the readings on your own, we hope that you enjoy them, fully and deeply. We hope they lead you to questions to explore this upcoming year.
We would like to thank Bonnie Bucks ('65) Reece and James S. Reece (P'93), who established the Reece Family Endowment in 2006. The Reece Family Endowment provides funding to support the Common Reading Program at Susquehanna University.
- Catherine Zobal Dent
Director of the Common Reading Program
Lauren Beck, Victoria Warren, and Brian Christian
What comes to mind when someone mentions technology? If you're like most people, you probably think of things such as the computer or the smart phone, or maybe even "older" technologies such as the automobile or the airplane. But what about things like the wheel, the ax, the printing press or modern plumbing? Or new developments such as insect-based robots or mice that can grow human organs? So what is technology then, and how do the diverse technologies in our lives affect us? In what ways do they improve our quality of life and in what ways do they detract from it?