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First-Year Read

Think of the firstĀ­-year read as your first assignment as part of WEL100. While engaging in assignments, activities, and discussions based on the book, you will begin life as a college student by exploring themes (particularly ones relating to the University Theme) while engaging in dialogue with the Bay Path community.

We are excited to present our first-year read for 2017, A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern.

In A Step Toward Falling, Cammie McGovern shares the story of both the power, and limitations, of one’s actions. When Emily and Lucas see their disabled peer, Belinda, in danger, they fail to rescue her in a vulnerable situation. As a consequence, the school soon sends them to help at a center for students with disabilities. Emily and Lucas explore relationships with a variety of students both relatable and unrelatable to them. But with the expectation that working at the center will help them to understand the challenges of others, they begin to fall short in recognizing their own personal challenges.

Meanwhile, friction between family and friends rubs against each other until Emily and Lucas realize they have less control over relationships and outcomes they try to salvage. The book widens the exploration of everyday interactions from multi-angled points of view. Alternating between the narratives of Emily and Belinda, McGovern weaves through the series of events in a way that thoughtfully suggests there is never a single side to a story.

It is a story that illuminates the consideration of whose voices get to speak and whose voices are left out in the multitude of everyday situations, and once this consideration is brought to light, McGovern ignites a discussion of misconceptions, expectations that fall short, and inner strength. All throughout their journeys, she invites us to live with a new critically aware consciousness.

If you need to talk to someone about any difficult feelings that arise from this reading, please contact: Bay path Counseling Services 413.565.1276.

Previous first-year reads:

One Amazing Thing
Chitra Divakaruni



A Tale for the Time Being
Ruth Ozeki



Three Little Words 
by Ashley Rhodes-Courter



Do It Anyway
by Courtney E. Martin



The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri



I Am an Emotional Creature
by Eve Ensler