JumpStart Reads

Welcome to JumpStart Reads! We are looking forward to discussing with you how these texts can help you navigate your own transition to college and understand the different challenges your classmates may be facing. We will also consider the ways in which reading teaches empathy; in particular, the following readings challenge us to appreciate the challenges faced by students entering college from a variety of religious, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds.

JumpStart Reads selections:

  • Talea Anderson’s “Playing Beethoven” (2009)
    This essay, written by a WWU history and English graduate, asks us to think about the different ways in which people see, hear, and communicate.
  • Sarah Smarsh’s “Country Pride: What I Learned Growing Up in Rural America” (2018)
    Sarah Smarsh describes the difficulties of crossing a socio-economic divide as she moved from her rural home to an urban college.

    Both of these poems invite us to “feel and see and hear” what it is like for students to cross a cultural divide in their educational experience:
  • Nate Marshall’s “Recycling” (2015)
  • Langston Hughes’s “Theme for English B” (1959)

Make sure you have read the above pieces prior to the JumpStart Reads session on Friday September 20.


For further information, or if you have questions about this session, please contact:

Dr. Cynthia Westerbeck Dr. Kellie Bond
(509) 527-2370or(509) 527-2858
Director of Honors Chair of English

Event Details

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