Summer Common Reading Response

Incoming First Year students are required to submit an essay in response to prompts about the book. Students are mailed the instructions along with the book in late June.

Prompt for 2021: All Heathens by Marianne Chan

To prepare for your own Summer Common Reading (SCR) experience at K, read, think, and write about the questions below. There are no right or wrong answers here. We simply ask that you bring your most authentic self to the page. It’s all about connecting with the book and the other students you will be working with in the fall.

Your response should be no longer than two pages (double spaced, 12-point font) typed. Put your name on the document. Label each question and save your response as a Microsoft Word or PDF document. Responses should be submitted on your Application Status page on or before August 23.

Choose 3 (three) questions to write about from the 4 options below:

Option 1

Choose a poem that resonated with you. What stuck out to you? What feelings or experiences did it invoke? What did it make you think about?

Option 2

The author references food often in her poems, such as “When We Lived in Germany.”  How is food part of identity and culture? What foods do you associate with home that you will miss when you away at college? How does food and family connect?

Option 3

In the poem “Lansing Sinulog Rehearsal, 2010” the author shares the push and pull between history and tradition and new ideas and ways of doing things. What is one piece of advice or unshakable truth that you want to bring from home to college? What else do you want to bring with you from home, and what do you want to leave behind to make room for new ideas/experiences/growth?

Option 4

Abecedarian Exercise: An abecedarian is a poem in which the first letter of each line follows sequentially through the alphabet. So, line 1 begins with an ‘A’, line 2 begins with a ‘B’ and so on. The last poem in the book, “Counterargument That Goes All the Way Around” is a double abecedarian that goes from A-Z and then, from Z-A. Try your hand at writing a poem using the abecedarian form.

Answer the question below:

What would you like to ask our author at the Colloquium?  Bring one question to share with your group.

Submitting your Response

  • Your response is due no later than Monday, August 23, 2021
  • Save your paper as a Microsoft Word or PDF document
  • Go to your Application Status Page to upload your paper
  • Bring a copy with you to your discussion group during Orientation.Your discussion leader will use it to frame your group’s conversation and prepare for the Colloquium with the author.

Helpful Resources