Spring 2012: Reading Zeitoun

December 16, 2011

Reading Workshop is a .25 pass/fail course designed to give students who wish they had more time the permission to read (and a bit of credit, too). In the first half of the spring semester, 2012, we’ll be meeting on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30 till 3:50 to discuss Zeitoun by Dave Eggers and to explore the role of reading for pleasure in your life.

Zeitoun is a non-fiction account of a man who stayed in New Orleans 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 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 addition to reading and talking about this book, each student will read a book of her or his choosing, will write a brief review of their book to share online, and will develop a reading list for those time when the pressure is off and you have an opportunity to read a good book.

We offer these courses because students like to read but rarely find time to do so just for fun. We want to provide that time and give students a chance to think about their own reading tastes and to develop a list of books that they would like to read someday – because reading books that appeal to you is an important  part of lifelong learning, and we don’t want you to be stumped when you think to yourself “what should I read next?”