Spring Courses @ The Library – Seats Open!

Posted on November 16th, 2011 by

Seats are still available in NDL 201 – Reading Workshop, a .25 credit pass/fail course offered by library faculty that meets half a semester on Wednesday afternoons, from 2:30 – 3:50. Students read and discuss a book together, read a book of the student’s choice, write a review of their chosen book to share, and reflect on their personal reading tastes. The purpose of this course is to enjoy reading and to prepare students to choose their own reading material after college as part of lifelong learning and personal identity.

Barbara Fister will teach a section of this course in the first half of the semester. The book we’ll read together is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, a book about a man living in New Orleans who stayed behind when Katrina hit. It’s a compelling story about his experiences in the flooded city, his eventual arrest and detention, and how his family tried to discover what had happened. It offers a lot to talk about, including how we as a people respond to disasters, both natural and man-made, how Arab-Americans are viewed in post-9/11 America, what is just, and what it means for an individual to do the right thing. We’ll also talk about how to tell true stories in a way that does justice to the complexity of truth.

In the second half of the semester during the same time slot, Anna Hulseberg will teach another section of NDL 201, with Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother as the common reading. This book about “extreme parenting” raises questions about how families interact, what the role of parents should be, and cultural differences that shape family dynamics. It’s a funny, sometimes disturbing, tender, and controversial book about “a mother, two daughters, and two dogs” and “a bitter clash of cultures.” It should provide interesting fodder for discussion.


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