s/o Summer assignment for college freshmen? -- "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 7/31/2013 by Monklady123 in NSBR Board
 

Monklady123
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Posted: 7/31/2013 1:30:59 PM
Just wondered how many other universities give summer assignments? Dd will be a freshman in the fall (actually, in three weeks! ack!) and all freshmen are required to read a book. This summer it's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". Whatever the book is the freshman seminar discusses it, and then the author comes to talk to the students. I think it's a great idea to give the incoming students something in common right from the start. This school is very big on community and small student-teacher ratio, so this is all part of that philosophy. Maybe it's also more common in smaller schools? Dd's school is about 4,800 students. Her friends who are going to some of the huge state schools such as Virginia Tech or Virginia Commonwealth don't have any assignment that they all have to do.

Anyway, I'm finding this book to be fascinating and dd and I have already had some interesting discussions. And coincidentally my book club picked it as this month's book and we meet this evening to talk about it. They picked it totally without my input because I wasn't there last month, so that was a good coincidence.




emilymae8
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Posted: 7/31/2013 1:44:46 PM
I go to UNT and they advertise a book for each freshman class to read every year. It's totally optional and a different book each year. There's a meeting you can go to near the beginning of the fall semester that's basically a big discussion group. I think that's pretty much all they do with it, though.

I didn't read the book my freshman year - I'm not even sure I ever heard what it was. Haha. It is a cool idea, though.


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Wildcatmom
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Posted: 7/31/2013 1:47:03 PM
My son's got one to read but I can't remember the name. I wish he'd hurry so I could read it before he moves to the dorm!

He's going to a smaller school, about 8,000 students.


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kellybelly77
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Posted: 7/31/2013 1:47:33 PM
I didn't have to read anything prior to starting my undergraduate or my graduate program, but I just wanted to say that I loved that book!


Kelly

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Posted: 7/31/2013 1:56:35 PM

This summer it's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". Whatever the book is the freshman seminar discusses it, and then the author comes to talk to the students.


I would LOVE to meet the author! Great book!


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Posted: 7/31/2013 2:21:34 PM
Very typical for freshman seminar. I loved that book!



desertgirl
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Posted: 7/31/2013 2:34:55 PM
Very good book choice! Hope your dd has a great freshmen year.

And Virginia Tech does have the common book assignment - has had it for awhile now. A good friend of mine teaches there. It's not required but she refers to it in her syllabus and in class assignments.


SockMonkey
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Posted: 7/31/2013 3:06:12 PM
I really liked that book, too.

Good for her college for assigning summer work for the Freshman Seminar. More of them should do it.

Monklady123
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Posted: 7/31/2013 3:19:02 PM

And Virginia Tech does have the common book assignment - has had it for awhile now. A good friend of mine teaches there. It's not required but she refers to it in her syllabus and in class assignments.


hahaha I'm going to pass this on to dd because her friend who's going to Virginia Tech swears she has no summer reading. Sounds to me like "selective memory" if you say it's not required. lol. This girl is the type who won't do one stitch more than is required.

At dd's school it is required and they've been warned that they need to show up for the first day of the seminar with the book in hand. lol

(aren't I so old-fashioned with my "lols"? )



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Posted: 7/31/2013 3:24:07 PM
My dd goes to a small private college, and this is also the norm there. They require it of all the students though, NOT just the freshman. The author comes, and does the rounds, etc. I think it's very neat. The author also attends some pertinent classes, etc. They make it a wk of activities revolving around the book, and the subject. They are also very much in to community service, and spend the first wk of classes doing service assignements in the community.






pretzels
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Posted: 7/31/2013 3:38:32 PM
It's great book, and so heartbreaking.

Mimima
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Posted: 7/31/2013 3:38:53 PM
Oooh, having the author come to speak would be awesome, I really enjoyed that book.

In my college, it was When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip. The author did not come and speak.


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miss_katie
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Posted: 7/31/2013 4:41:12 PM
Yes. Right before I started undergrad we were sent out a few book suggestions to read. I wish I could remember them

What do you think of the book? I've heard an NPR piece on it and it sounds very interesting!

The book club I'm in went with a simple read for the month of July, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close. We're going to chose something more "substantial" for August.

Best of luck do your DD, college is a wonderful experience.



catholicone
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Posted: 7/31/2013 4:58:28 PM
WOW! That is such a cool thing for the college to do. I'm completely impressed with the selection as well as the follow up with the author.

ostrich girl
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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:08:43 PM


I would LOVE to meet the author! Great book!






I read it when it first came out- before it got caught up in the mainstream literary world. The author did a reading at my local Barnes & Noble. It was neat to hear it in her own voice and share stories of the family. She was very pleasant.


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guzismom
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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:09:55 PM
My daughter was given a summer reading assignment at her private, catholic university; it is a series of essays and after each essay they are encouraged to write a statement (no longer than one paragraph) on a facebook page set up for their year detailing their thoughts or "take home message" about the passage. I haven't read any of the passages myself so I can't comment on them.


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Peabay
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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:10:40 PM
When my daughter did her freshman seminar first semester she had to come prepared with a book read (I can't remember the book.)

I think it's great to hit the ground running. And it's a great book too.



Dalai Mama
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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:13:02 PM
I guess I'm in the minority but I'm having a hard time seeing how this book would merit a compulsory reading by every incoming college freshman regardless of area of study. I'm someone who is fascinated by both the science and the ethical issues that arose from the harvesting of the HeLa cells but I thought the book kind of sucked.


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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:21:27 PM
My DD is a sophomore. They had to read The Other Wes Moore last year. They had discussion groups during their orientation week and then the author came to speak with them a few weeks later.

She goes to a small private college. She really enjoyed the experience.

My youngest is freshman going to a state school with about 8000 students and she doesn't have a common reading requirement.


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tksmom
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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:27:43 PM


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Posted: 7/31/2013 5:35:45 PM
They didn't have required reading when my daughter went to college as a freshman 3 years ago, but I can tell you that all of the high schools and middle schools in my area require a book for summer reading/annotating.

My daughter who is going to be a senior is reading "Pride and Prejudice," while my daughter who will be a sophomore is reading "The Count of Monte Cristo." My son, who is going into middle school is reading "Esperanza Rising."

One year one of my daughters not only had to read a book and annotate it, she had to build a model of a ship that was discussed in the book.

Although now that I'm thinking of it--is it your daughter's freshman English class that's requiring it? My oldest tested out of freshman English with the AP exam, so maybe her school did have required reading for that class but we wouldn't know about it due to her having skipped it.



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Emanon
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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:05:17 PM
That was the required book for Genetics this past year. I think they are going to keep it as a requirement. You have to write a paper on it too. Great book!

Monklady123
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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:24:12 PM

Although now that I'm thinking of it--is it your daughter's freshman English class that's requiring it?

No, it has nothing to do with freshman English. It's a class that's required of all freshmen, the freshman seminar (although I think it has another name.)



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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:31:44 PM
Back when I went to college in 1982 we had a required book - the entire freshman class read "The Double Helix" by James Watson and then met in small groups to discuss it, write papers and have a "soft place to land" in discussing college, the changes, the expectations etc... My freshman seminar professor was fantastic too.

I wasn't a science major - but that was the required book. It was a good book to read. I remember being surprised by how much I liked it.



SillyRabbit
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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:37:43 PM
I don't recall doing that when I went to college, but it's a great book. So fascinating.


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Hoosier2
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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:44:43 PM
the college I work at and that my son goes to did this for college freshmen 2 years ago. good book. the author usually comes to speak to the students and it's open to the public. they take a class the whole semester that revolves around the book.

tamhugh
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Posted: 7/31/2013 6:48:06 PM
30 years ago, when I went to college, our summer reading assignment was Cry, The Beloved Country. In 2006, we went on a cruise with several other families to celebrate some of their children graduating. There were 5 of them, all going to different colleges, and they were all supposed to read The Kite Runner. I don't remember either of my boys having an assignment, but they both tested out of freshman seminar. Maybe they never had one.

Miss Lerins Momma
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Posted: 7/31/2013 7:19:35 PM
I don't remember any summer reading assignments in high school or college (although they seem like the norm around here). At least they picked a good and very interesting book!








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Posted: 7/31/2013 7:27:32 PM
I swear I had the WORST reading/literature classes in both high school and college. When I read threads here about what school are doing, I feel so cheated! It's a wonder I came out a reader at all.

So I've had to do my book groups and my interesting literature as an adult!


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MellyW
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Posted: 7/31/2013 7:28:53 PM

It's a requirement for my DD's medium sized Catholic college. Nothing past Freshman that I'm aware of though.


Cindy March
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Posted: 7/31/2013 8:25:37 PM
My niece had to read mountain by mountains for her freshman year last summer. (We read it together.)


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