Orientation Common Read

Information regarding the Common Read has been emailed to everyone who has signed up for orientation.


All new Evergreen undergraduates will have the opportunity to review the common read, to discuss it in seminar groups during orientation week with other students and faculty, and to hear an address at our Keynote Session which will provide perspective on concepts from the materials. (The assignment is short enough to read and listen to more than once—all the more reason to make notes as you do!)

Thursday’s all-campus Keynote Session is an event when all students, faculty, and staff are invited to come together and begin the academic year.

How You Get Your Materials

The Common Read for fall 2018 includes two different materials—an article and a podcast. Students who have signed up for orientation should have received an email with links to our two Common Read materials.

Our materials for this year are (a) "Turning Strangers into Political Friends" by Danielle Allen, and (b) a podcast from the Freakonomics series by Stephen Dubner entitled "Trust Me." The themes from these will be discussed at the keynote session and in small student-faculty workshops as central topics of orientation. At these workshops, you will also reflect in writing on your education so far, and share your plans, hopes, and dreams for Evergreen (and beyond).
This year’s theme for our keynote session is Civic Engagement in an Election Year. Both of these pieces speak to civic engagement, social trust, and the value of education. They both support Evergreen’s core mission:

As an innovative public liberal arts college, Evergreen emphasizes collaborative, interdisciplinary learning across significant differences. Our academic community engages students in defining and thinking critically about their learning. Evergreen supports and benefits from local and global commitment to social justice, diversity, environmental stewardship and service in the public interest.

These materials will act as an introduction to your liberal arts education. An Evergreen education holds to the ideal of interdisciplinarity—that society operates by interconnections of topics, and so should your education. They will also form a central part of our student-faculty discussions.

To Do:

  1. Read "Turning Strangers into Political Friends" by Danielle Allen
  2. Listen to or read the transcript of "Trust Me" a podcast from Freakonomics
  3. Select one quote or passage from each of the above materials and be prepared to explain how your selections were meaningful, challenging, or important to your understanding of the piece.


Reading and Thinking About the Materials


Once you’re here at Evergreen, you’ll be engaging with a wide range of different materials and discussing them with your fellow students and faculty. Since you’re reading and listening to this on your own this summer, we’ve prepared some resources to keep you company as you read and think about these short but timely materials.