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Two Mid-Semester Honors Book Clubs Offered

Two mid-semester book clubs offered. Book covers and descriptions, repeated in text below.

Want to earn an additional Honors credit this semester? Sign up for one of our Honors mid-semester book clubs, and earn one Honors credit while discussing great books! 

HONR 293Y: Faith. Focus. Fight. Mental Toughness in the Game of Life

Throughout the course of time, mankind has struggled with a plethora of challenges. As the world changes, though, certain core challenges remain the same —and many of them require a certain level of mental toughness to navigate.

In “Faith. Focus. Fight.” students will investigate what it means to be mentally tough, in sport, and in life. They will grapple with issues of direction, balance, adaptation, risk, choice, meaning, and perspective. They will draw upon the works of Craig Lambert and Viktor Frankl, as well as available sport psychology literature, to answer some of life’s most difficult questions:

  • How did I get here? Where do I go?
  • What do I find balance when there is so much to be done?
  • How do I adapt to ever-changing expectations?
  • How do I take risks and grow into my future self?
  • How do I choose the right path?
  • How do I find meaning when things get hard?
  • How do I develop the perspective I need to live a fulfilling existence?
By using self-reflection, book reviews and class discussions, students will engage in meaningful exploration of what it means to be mentally tough, how it is cultivated, and why (or why not) it is necessary to optimize the human experience.

This class will meet on Mondays from 1-2:15 p.m. in Lincoln Hall during the final eight weeks of the Fall semester.

HONR 293Z: Readings on Appalachia

Join Cate Johnson from the ASPIRE Office for her mid-semester book club starting Thursday, Oct. 11. The class will meet from 3-4:15 p.m. in Honors Hall. 

Students will read two texts: 
  • What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte
  • Strange as this Weather Has Been, a novel by Ann Pancake
This course will explore and compare these two texts while students discuss both the struggles and beauty of contemporary Appalachia. Grading will primarily be discussion-based.

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia book cover: a print of trees along a water bank, with people reflected in the water below. The water is red.

What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte
In 2016, headlines declared Appalachia ground zero for America’s “forgotten tribe” of white working class voters. Journalists flocked to the region to extract sympathetic profiles of families devastated by poverty, abandoned by establishment politics, and eager to consume cheap campaign promises.  What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia is a frank assessment of America’s recent fascination with the people and problems of the region. The book analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians. The book offers a must-needed insider’s perspective on the region.

Strange as the Weather Has Been cover. Trees on a sandy knoll.

Strange as this Weather Has Been, a novel by Ann Pancake
Set in present day West Virginia, Ann Pancake’s debut novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been, tells the story of a coal mining family—a couple and their four children—living through the latest mining boom and dealing with the mountaintop removal and strip mining that is ruining what is left of their mountain life. As the mine turns the mountains to slag and wastewater, workers struggle with layoffs and children find adventure in the blasted moonscape craters.

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