Catawba announces fall’s common reading freshmen

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 26, 2013

An article published in the March 17, 2008, edition of the New Yorker is the common college reading for the freshmen students at Catawba College. “The Real Work: Modern Magic and the Meaning of Life” by Adam Gopnik will be discussed during orientation in August and in their fall semester seminar classes.
The reading committee, led by Dr. Forrest Anderson, Dr. Jay Bolin and Dr. Margy Stahr, chose the essay in part because it “represents a high level of writing while taking as its subject matter a fairly accessible topic: magic, magicians and the way they perfect their technique.” This committee said the essay offers “an intellectual and philosophical perspective on magic told through a series of interviews with well-respected magicians,” including David Blaine and David Copperfield and Teller (from Penn and Teller).
The learning of magic, the committee believes, is “analogous to what professors ask of their students.” The essay touches on apprenticeship, dedication to mastery of technique and what it means to be a member of a “disciplinary” community.
Dr. Sheila Brownlow, a professor of psychology at Catawba, directs the first-year seminar program. She said the common college reading is an introduction to college-level reading and discussion.
Canadian-raised author Adam Gopnik is best known as a staff writer for the New Yorker, but he has written several books, including “Paris to the Moon” (2000), “Through the Children’s Gate” (2006), “Angels And Ages” (2009) and “The Table Comes First” (2011).
Catawba’s previous common reading texts have included “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers and “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande.
Catawba students in upper level business and communication courses will read “Conscious Capitalism,” by John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, and Raj Sisodia, the co-founder of Conscious Capitalism Inc. The book promotes a business culture that embodies “trust, accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, loyalty and egalitarianism.”
It also advocates a new business practice that heeds four tenets: higher purpose and core values, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership and conscious culture and management.