Your Westminster education begins even before you set foot on our beautiful campus, with this year’s summer reading — What the Eyes Don’t See by pediatrician and public health expert Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.
Because every first year student will read the same book, the summer reading assignment provides a common intellectual experience for you to share with your future classmates and professors. It will give you a sense of what college-level reading is like, and serve as the basis for classroom discussion and campus events this fall. Your experience with the book will set you on the road to a liberal arts education by challenging you intellectually and personally, and helping prepare you to make contributions in our rapidly changing world.
In What the Eyes Don’t See, Dr. Hanna-Attisha describes how economic decline, democratic exclusion, shortsighted policies, and indifference combined to create a public health crisis. She considers how easy it is to overlook grave threats when they don’t affect us directly. She shares insight about the ways her personal and family history contributed to her activism. And, she describes her role on the team of community volunteers, researchers and civil servants that blew the whistle on the dangers of Flint’s drinking water.
We hope you enjoy the book. As you read it, consider the questions it raises about the nature of poverty, exclusion and injustice, as well as the ability of individuals to make a difference and bring about positive change. If you’d like to know more about the situation since Flint’s water problem was exposed, you can read about some of the progress that has been made to improve Flint’s drinking water, as well as the challenges that remain, here: Flint Has Clean Water Now. Why Won’t People Drink It? - POLITICO.
You might also enjoy listening to these NPR reports:
Your job now is to read What the Eyes Don’t See and to write an essay in response to one of the three questions provided below. Follow the instructions for writing and submitting your summer essay that are provided there. Be sure to upload it to the drop box on the FY 000-01 First Year Summer Reading page on Desire2Learn by Monday, August 14th.
Flint residents protest outside the Michigan State Capital in January 2016.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Corroded water pipes.
Source: Min Tang and Kelsey Pieper
Below are the links to alternate formats for the summer reading book What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.
If you require additional assistance please contact the director of the Office of Disability Resources, Faith Craig at email@example.com.
By Monday, August 14, upload your essay to the dropbox on the FY 000-01 page on Desire to Learn https://learn.westminster.edu/d2l/home/33095
Click on Dropbox from the menu at the top of the page. Then, select “What Eyes Don’t See Summer Essay” and use the uploader to submit your essay.
Also, be sure to bring your copy of What the Eyes Don’t See when you come to Westminster in August.
CHOOSE ONE OF THE THREE essay topics below and write a two-page essay that responds to the questions posed. The essay is assigned so that you will engage in a meaningful way with the perspectives offered by the book. Don’t worry about writing a comprehensive answer to all the prompts, but consider and respond to them as you read and reflect on the book. Do be sure to use examples from the book and explain how those examples illustrate the points you want to make.
Information about Inquiry Sections and themes can be found on this page. Students need to submit their choices by June 16th. Schedules for sections of Inquiry and WST 101 will be completed by the first week of July.