What is the Common Reading Program?
The Common Reading Program is designed to welcome and connect incoming students to the Kent State University academic community. It is our hope that reading the book will provide common ground for our new students to share with their peers. The objectives of the program are…
- To help students get acclimated to the academic life of the university.
- To provide students with an understanding of the university values, principles, and standards.
- To build and maintain relationships that foster success with peers, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members.
All new students will discuss the book with faculty, staff or community members on August 22nd, 2014 during Destination Kent State: Welcome Weekend. The program, as a whole, will build a supportive and encouraging atmosphere that will ease the transition to university life. The book will be available for purchase at the University Bookstore in May.
The Common Reading Assignment
The Common Reading discussion is a great way for students to practice being an active participant in a college classroom. Below are questions that will help you to participate in the discussion. Please answer the questions on a separate piece of paper (typed) and bring it with you to the required book discussion on Friday, August 22nd from 2:00pm-3:00pm.
- Many of the technologies the author invents in The Circle seem futuristic, but they are not so far from realities that exist now in 2014. After finishing the novel, did you find this overlap between fact and fiction unsettling? Did it affect how you personally engage with technology?
- For a company that thrives on order and efficiency, the Circle also seems to endorse—require, even—loose and extravagant socializing. What do these two seemingly opposite values say about what working for them entails? How does Mae’s value set evolve to accommodate these expectations?
- During one of her visits home, Mae tells Mercer, “I guess I’m just so easily bored” by what he considers a normal tempo of speech, but what Mae considers “slow motion” compared with the Circlers’ communication in person and online (p.130); and later that night, going through her Circle account to answer queries and social requests, she feels “reborn” (p.135). How much of this shortened attention span is evident in our society today? In the end, are Mae’s instantaneous relationships more or less gratifying than she expects?
- Please write a discussion question that you would pose to your discussion group.
Common Reading FAQs
Who Participates in the Common Reading Discussion?
All new incoming freshman students will participate.
Where will the Common Reading Discussion take place?
You will be notified of your Common Reading Discussion location when you check in for Welcome Weekend. Students will meet with their First Year Experience (FYE) class as their assigned group for the discussion. You will NOT be in your regularly scheduled FYE course location.
Is the book for a class?
This experience is intended as an academic component for Welcome Weekend and the book is not tied to a specific class. Some FYE Instructors and other course instructors adopt the book for their course for the semester. It is not an expectation of FYE instructors to adopt the book as part of the class
Do my assignment responses need to be typed?
Yes, please type your responses to the questions. Be sure to include your name on the page.
How long do my responses need to be?
You should provide a minimum of 3 sentences per question. Some questions may require a list with explanation.
Will I be turning in my assignment questions?
You will be utilizing your answers to the questions during the Common Reading Discussion. It is also possible that you may be asked to turn in your responses to your discussion leader or FYE instructor.