In the flurry of emails I received as a new graduate student this summer, I took notice of one request in particular. The Office of Student Affairs and the staff of the First-Year Experience were recruiting volunteers to be a Summer Reading Discussion leader for fall orientation. I was anxious to take advantage of as much as I could while working toward my PhD and thought that this experience would be good practice before the stepping into a classroom of my own.
Part of the new student orientation since 2003, the Summer Reading Program encourages incoming students to take part in a community reading experience. Each year a new title is selected by a committee made up of faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students, with the goal of “engag[ing] the entire Lehigh community in discussions around a theme of contemporary interest and concern.” This year’s selection, No Apparent Distress by Rachael Pearson, M.D, will also be discussed in Critical Reading and Composition (ENGL 001), giving the students who participate a head start on their reading for the semester.