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Common Reading 2020: Summer Assignment [required]

Summer Writing Assignment: Curiosity

In her poem “Sometimes,” Mary Oliver gives three instructions “for living a life”: 

Pay attention.  
Be astonished.  
Tell about it.  


This writing assignment is an invitation for you to reread certain of these texts in the spirit of Mary Oliver and then to “tell about it.” Did you pay close attention to one or two of the readings? Which ones? Why? Did anything from the readings astonish you? What? How? 

In the form of a letter to your Perspective Instructor (or Global Business Perspectives, or Honors, or Living Learning Community Professor), share your response to readings in this anthology on curiosity. Your instructor will collect this letter during the first week of classes. 
 
In your letter, include some of the following details: where you are from, your family, your interests, circumstances or events that have influenced who you are, what matters to you personally or academically, what astonishes you about life in general. Show the connections between your experience and the readings.  
 
The assignment should be typed, double-spaced, and 2-3 pages long. You should be paraphrasing (or quoting directly) from the book, so please put the last names of the authors and the page numbers in parentheses whenever referencing them in your letter. Here's an example of how you might do this: 

Since my early childhood, I’ve had an irrational fear of tomatoes, so I was astonished to learn that “fears and rumors of the plant’s potential poison lingered” in the United States up into the 1800s (Smith 68). 


Even though this is an academic assignment to be collected, write in a personal voice. It’s a great chance for your instructor to get to know you as you begin your college career.