New Students to Probe Adversity Through Common Read Program

By whitlocd | June 24, 2011

An ongoing tradition for helping new students to transition to Arcadia is for students to read a book during the summer and become part of discussion groups during New Student Orientation in August. This year’s book is Strength in What Remains by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder. The book is about a man named Deo, a native of the African country of Burundi, and his journey through horrific violence and his dedication to his dreams of finishing school and healing the world. The new student discussions begin during New Student Orientation on Aug. 27. Freshmen will meet with their Learning Communities, and transfer students will meet in small groups with other transfer students. Discussion topics include:

  • How ethnic hatred and violence from thousands of miles away affect our lives here in America?
  • What lessons could the delivery worker, the baggage handler at the airport, the homeless person who sleeps in the park or the foreigner who struggles to speak English teach us—if only we took the time to listen and to care?
  • Can one person’s courage really make a difference in a country ravaged by violence, disease and poverty?
  • How can random acts of kindness between strangers literally save someone’s life?

Reading and discussing Strength in What Remains will give students their very first taste of what brings them to Arcadia: the opportunity to consider their relationships to the vital and complex global issues of our world.