An early happy Fourth of July to all our Deac families. Administrative offices will be closed on Friday the 4th, and in addition our Parent Programs office will be closed on the 3rd as well. This is our most condensed period of travel due to all our New Student Receptions, so a long weekend will be just what we need to recharge our batteries.
For parents of incoming first-year students, I have an interesting book recommendation for you. The Summer Academic Project for first-years is to read Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct. They will receive a copy of this book at their permanent address in mid-July.
As an academic adviser, I am also supposed to read this book, which I did this past weekend. It is an easy and quick read – a small, short book, but it makes a lot of very interesting points about civility and how we ought to act together in community.
This book is not rocket science and it might not tell you things you don’t already know, but it is a very good reminder about how the small things matter just as much as the big things, especially in relation to how we treat each other, and what that might feel like to the people near us. So if you – or your upperclassmen Deacs – are looking for a book to read this summer, consider this one. Practicing civility and being kind and attentive to others is a skill that will never go out of style, in my humble opinion.
There was a quote at the end of the book that I just loved. The author, P.M. Forni, is recalling a passage he’d read in a book by Peggy Tabor Millin:
“I was on a train on a rainy day. The train was slowing down to pull into a station. For some reason I became intent on watching the raindrops on the window. Two separate drops, pushed by the wind, merged into one for a moment and then divided again – each carrying with it a part of the other. Simply by that momentary touching, neither was what it had been before. And as each one went to touch other raindrops, it shared not only itself, but what it had gleaned from the other. I saw this metaphor years ago and it is one of my most vivid memories. I realized then that we never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. Our state of being matters to those around us, so we need to become conscious of what we unintentionally share so we can learn to share with intention.”
Categories: campus life