First-Year Students

Common Reading Assignment

Due Saturday, August 18

What is the “Common Reading Experience”?
As is customary at many colleges and universities, all new first-year students who enter BGSU each fall are asked to read a book in common during the summer prior to arriving on campus.  They will be asked to discuss this book with a faculty member and other students during Opening Weekend in August, and many faculty incorporate the book into their courses during the fall semester.  As well, students are encouraged to attend a variety of programming activities that relate to the book scheduled during the fall.

What book was chosen for this year’s incoming students?   
The Common Reading selection for Fall 2012 is A PEARL IN THE STORM:  HOW I FOUND MY HEART IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN, by Tori Murden McClure.  The book is available in paperback and e-book editions.

What is a good process to use for reading the book?
To help you retain information from the book, it is strongly recommended that you jot down especially important events and details as you read,and then bring your list with you to Opening Weekend.

What homework must be completed?   
After reading A Pearl in the Storm, students are required to write a one- to two-page paper which must be submitted to the faculty member with whom they will discuss the book during Opening Weekend on Saturday, August 18.  For this year’s assignment, students are required to respond to ONE of the three writing prompts that appear below.  

We hope that you will use what you know from reading the book—along with your imagination and creativity—as you write your paper.

  • Have fun with the writing
  • Bring a hard copy of your paper to your Opening Weekend book discussion on Saturday, August 18 so you can submit it to your assigned faculty member
  • Include your name and your major on your paper

Choice 1) 
Scenario:  Congratulations!  You have been hired by a well-known motion picture company to produce and direct the movie version of A PEARL IN THE STORM.  What actors would you hope to cast for the main roles in the movie?  Why would you select them?  Please identify three key scenes from the book that would be especially exciting/challenging/or essential for you to film. Explain.

Choice 2)
Think about Tori Murden McClure’s life, as told to you in her own words in A PEARL IN THE STORM—and look back at the list of notes you jotted down as you read the book.  Then list five or six questions that would you like to ask the author regarding something that is in the book.  Of these, which one question would you most like her to answer for you?  Explain why.

Choice 3)
Tori Murden McClure rowed across the Atlantic Ocean—and she skied 750 miles to reach the South Pole, among many numerous accomplishments.  In her book Ms. McClure writes about her adventures, family, education, beliefs and values, personal goals, and much more.  Why do you think such a book was selected as this year’s required reading for all of BGSU’s first-year students?  Please relate your answer to specific details in the book as much as possible.