Thursday, September 5, 2019

Advisory Discussions on September 11

Hope everyone enjoyed reading Educated by Tara Westover! As our Community Read, this book will be used throughout the school year and will be embedded into curriculum across departments.

We'll use advisory block on Wednesday, September 11 for small group discussions. For these conversations, students are encouraged to be present, listen, process, and take risks.

Knowing that choice is important and allows advisors as discussion leaders to choose the best option for the dynamics of their group, here are two options for starting a discussion using Educated as a starting point. Advisors may also lead a conversation based on a structure/format of their own design.

  • "Education" Option (also found on the back of the bookmark that was handed out with books, this choice may be good for groups just getting to know one another): Start by watching this 3-minute video conversation with Bill Gates and Tara Westover. What does the term "educated" mean to you? A great deal of educational moments take place in the classroom, but not all. What other important moments of education happen in life? What kind of freedom do you feel education has given you in your own life?
  • "Intrinsic Motivation" Option: Read aloud the following quote found in the book: "An education is not so much about making a living as making a person." Indeed, Tara was not extrinsically motivated by external drivers such as a degree from a certain institution or by dreams of a high paying job, but rather by intrinsic motivating factors like intellectual curiosity and the joy of learning. What role does intrinsic motivation play in education? What role should it play? Is it possible to teach intrinsic motivation? How does it feel to achieve goals you set for yourself when you are intrinsically vs. extrinsically motivated? Watch the 3-minute segment (9:22-12:50) of Tara Westover's commencement address at Northeastern last spring. What motivates us to create this "third identity" and what could we gain allowing ourselves to be motivated not by our virtual avatars but by our flawed human selves?
Consider using this discussion as a way to set a group advisory goal for Tri1, as suggested by Mr. Williamson during opening meetings. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Pre-Reading Questions and Video for Educated

As you prepare to read this year's Community Read, Educated by Tara Westover, here are some pre-reading questions and a pre-reading video to consider:

Pre-Reading Questions

  • What does the term "educated" mean to you?
  • A great deal of educational moments take place in the classroom, but not all. What other important moments of education happen in life?
  • What kind of freedom do you feel education has given you in your own life?
Pre-Reading Video
  • A conversation with Bill Gates and Tara Westover: http:/

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Guiding Statement for 2019

Our guiding statement for Community Read 2019 comes from the Pingree mission statement:

"Independent and Imaginative Thinking"

Feel free to get creative in terms of style, format, content when suggesting titles!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Discussion Questions for September 12

Advisory discussions of our Community Read will take place on Wednesday, September 12. We will also be skyping in November with Angie Thomas, author of the book The Hate U Give, and there will be breakout sessions by grade during class meeting time as we continue to delve deeper into many of the book's themes.

Advisors should feel free to choose the option that best suits their group. Also, advisors are welcome to partner with another advisory group for these discussions.

As you participate in these discussions, please encourage your advisees to think back to our guiding question when we voted on the book last spring: "What does it mean to be an American?" What does it mean to be drawn into activism and to find your voice? What does it mean to be, as Tupac says, an "underdog... someone who goes out there and succeeds, someone who overcomes obstacles." If justice is denied for some, how can we realize the full role of America?

Option 1: Focus on three questions based on scenarios
from Chapter 7 (p. 104-121).
  • What stood out to you in this chapter?
  • How does Starr navigate between being her authentic self and how she thinks her friends think she should act?
  • What do you think about Hailey’s decision to unfollow Starr on Tumblr? What is unsaid between them?

Option 2: Quotable quotes.
  • “I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.” (p. 34-35)
  • “People like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”  (p. 59)
  • “I tense as footage of my neighborhood, my home, is shown. It’s like they picked the worst parts—the drug addicts roaming the streets, the broken-down Cedar Grove projects, gangbangers flashing signs, bodies on the sidewalks with white sheets over them. What about Mrs. Rooks and her cakes? Or Mr. Lewis and his haircuts? Mr. Reuben? The clinic? My family? Me?” (p. 245)
  • “That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” (p. 252)
  • “I’ve taught myself to speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people. I’ve mastered it.” (p. 301)
  • Is there another quote from the book that you'd like to discuss?

Friday, May 4, 2018

and the winner is...

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

We had the most votes ever for the Community Read! Good job, all!

Books will be distributed during the last week of classes.

Monday, April 2, 2018

What does it mean to be an American?

This is our guiding question for book suggestions for this year's Community Read.

Have you read or heard about any books - fiction or nonfiction, memoir or collection of essays - that might help shape thought-provoking discussions about what it means to be an American?

Email Mrs. O'Neill with your ideas by April 10!