The King James Bible

Toyia Parker
Student, BA

The bible is inspirational, energizing and it helps keep me going, it helps me not give up, helps me when times get bad and I feel like I don’t know which way to go. It helps me hold on to my sanity. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” I say that to myself and it makes a difference.
“The Bible as a Typographical Challenge,” Harvard College Library News
“How to Read the Bible Through History,” Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NPR
Bibliotherapy, Wikipedia

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

James Reed
Student, BA

Here’s a book I enjoyed reading several years ago. It’s titled Rich Dad Poor Dad. Its a true story on lessons about money, author, Robert Kiyosaki, learned from his two “dads”.

One dad, a PhD and a superintendent of education, never had enough money at the end of the month and died broke. His other dad dropped out of school at age 13 and went on to become one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Mr. Kiyosaki explains how to make your money work for you, instead of you working hard for money.

Refuse to Choose: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams by Barbara Sher

Abbey Krom
Student, MAP

A book that has impacted my life is Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. She defines a type of person called a “scanner” which is somebody that has multiple interests and can’t commit to one career or one path but empowers people that find themselves in this category. Most people are made to feel they should have one dream or perfect career and follow it unwaveringly until they achieve it but some people don’t feel that way or want to try as many things as possible (I am, of course, one of these people) and she takes away the shame of never sticking to one thing and following all your different passions. It’s probably one of the things that led me to quit my job and go back to school with very little anxiety. I have already passed it on to my boyfriend and grandmother who have found it helpful and quickly read it cover to cover.
Radical Indecision: Barthes, Blanchot, Derrida, and the Future of Criticism, Gerald Bruns, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, an Electronic Journal
Simple Living, Wikipedia

Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition by Henry Black and H.C. Black

Bryan O’Neal Powell
Campus Services Assistant

This is one of the greatest books that you will every purchase if you can find it. Having the book is like having meat and potatoes for supper on a daily basis. I say this because to me law and perception of theory gives me the vision to foresee ways of making history in good ways for me, my family, and others.

I’ve made history in great ways and I will continue to do so. One of the things that I’ve done is create my own Certificate of Living Birth which gives me a variety of Rights including Diplomacy Right(s).
“The Nature of Law,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Black’s Law Dictionary, Wikipedia
History of Law Dictionaries Exhibit, Seattle University Law Library, Seattle University

The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities by Frank Donoghue

Kathryn Pope
Core Faculty, BA
Director, Bridge Program

This book was like passing a 30 car pile-up on the 405. No, it was like being in the pile-up while watching it simultaneously on TV. For anyone who loves the humanities (and especially for adjunct teachers in the humanities) this book is gory — blood and guts everywhere.

Donoghue talks about the very old tension that has existed between academic and business philosophies. The basic question: is education worth it just because we learn cool stuff, or is education only a good idea if we we can make use of what we learn? It’s the big smackdown between the utilitarians and proponents of value ethics: Dickens’ left-brained Gragrind versus George Eliot’s idealist Dorthea. Who will win the match? Donoghue proposes that the Gragrinds of the world won a long time ago — and that we’re now seeing the effects. Universities are cutting costs and outsourcing, like corporations do. Professors (especially those who teach in the humanities) are valued less. He cites the now common practice of having courses taught with contingent, part-time faculty who often take two or three jobs to cobble together a living. He also talks about the dismantling of tenure and the creepy practices of for-profit universities like University of Phoenix. The humanities, he predicts, will soon be only for the class of student who can afford to buy an ivy league education, someone with more than one home and summers in the Hamptons.

I don’t know that Donoghue makes a perfect argument. He doesn’t, for example, make a case for the humanities as an integral part of culture or critical thinking. He focuses almost exclusively on the classics, and he doesn’t describe why vocational training alone isn’t enough for students. I don’t think he’s writing for Gragrind, though. He’s writing to Dorthea, who already values the humanities and who, after all, is the most likely to be that “scholar gypsy” (Donoghue) who teaches five classes and still can’t afford a visit to the doctor.

I love my work beyond measure, but since at reading I was in the adjunct, part-time pool, I couldn’t help but take all this at least a bit personally. Despite the gore, I kept reading, half to be reassured that it wasn’t not just me struggling over here, and half hoping for some magic idea from Donoghue, some glimpse into a beautiful future, where adjunct teachers everywhere, like all baristas or Barnes & Noble booksellers, can have health insurance and wages for every hour we work.
“Why Bother?,” Nicolas Dames, n+1
“The Grim Threat to British Universities,” Simon Head, New York Review of Books
“Why Are the Humanities Important?,” The Human Experience/Inside the Humanities at Stanford University

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Antonia Crane
Alumna, MFA

Cheryl Strayed’s journey into Wild began in her darkest hour—the one during which her mother died of cancer. Strayed’s hunger for transformation compelled her to hike over 1,100 miles through the Pacific Crest Trail alone. It seemed miserable. It sounded impossible. Strayed was ill prepared and under trained. Her innocent and fierce determination pressed her forward no matter what. Wild contains the emotionally intense prose Strayed is known for and the narrative is gripping. Her tenacious momentum and vulnerability combined were at the quiet, surprising heart of Wild.
“Cheryl Strayed Talks About ‘Wild,’ a Memoir of Hiking and Grief,” John Williams, New York Times
Pacific Crest Trail Association
“Suffrage Hike Brings Health to Pilgrims,” The Gazzette Times, 1912

Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave by Fredrick Douglass

Cameron Rath
Student, BA

This striking excerpt from Douglass’ book:

“My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender-hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another. In entering upon the duties of a slaveholder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that for her to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so. Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness.”

What really stuck with me about this book was how much was directly relatable to what still happens today. In the times of slavery, slaves were not allowed to read or write and were encouraged to drink on holidays to keep them complacent. Now the worst schools and least amount of opportunities are in predominately minority neighborhoods. At the time of civil unrest in South LA, there were over 700 liquor licenses. The methods of oppression haven’t changed, they’ve just been institutionalized
Frederick Douglass, Daguerreotype, Samuel J. Miller, The Art Institue of Chicago
Search results for Fredrick Douglass, Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Recovering the Progressive Frederick Douglass, Nicholas Buccola, Dissent
“Angela Davis on the Prison Abolishment Movement, Frederick Douglass, the 40th Anniversary of Her Arrest and President Obama’s First Two Years,” Democracy Now
“Lincoln’s Black History,” Gary Wills, New York Review of Books

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

Michelle Hill
Student, MAP

This is a fantastic read, and a great book about the pull of irrational thinking that to me seems to pervade our so-called modern thinking these days. In certain social circumstances, I too, more often than not, find myself feeling completely inundated by the influence of other people’s expectations, opinions, and beliefs, even when I know intuitively what would be better for me personally. Yet, I still can and do succumb to being pulled by my own completely irrational thinking, and am sometimes left scratching my head, asking myself “What just happened?” The Brafman brothers have written a very powerful and thought-provoking book that very convincingly reveals how easy it is for some of us to sell ourselves and others short, when doing so is the very last thing we would ever want to do. They offer great examples of how even highly trained and experienced pilots and other skilled professionals have been known to do unthinkable things when perceived to be under a certain kind of pressure. This is an easy and fun read full of many useful insights.

Here are my three favorite quotes:

“Our natural tendency to avoid the pain of loss is most likely to distort our thinking when we place too much importance on short-term goals. When we adopt the long view, on the other hand, immediate potential losses don’t seem as menacing.”

“If looking far into the future is the way to avoid faulty decision making that can result from loss aversion, the antidote to getting swept up in commitment—the force that keeps us from giving up on a project even though it’s clearly failing—is to don the Zen Buddhist glasses and learn to let go of the past. There’s a point where we have to accept that what’s done is done, and it’s better to shift direction than to dig ourselves deeper into a hole.”

“Whether we’re shopping at a clearance outlet or a chic boutique, we sometimes need to fight our tendency to consciously dismiss an item because of its price. Instead, we should ask ourselves, ‘If I got this item as a gift, would I like it? If it cost $1—or $1,000—how would my perception of it shift?’ The more we become aware of the factors affecting the perceived value of a person or object, the less likely we are to be swayed by value attribution.”
Irrationality, Wikipedia
“‘Click’: That Magical Instant Connection Explained,” Talk of the Nation, NPR
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Wikipedia

John by Cynthia Lennon

Chris Freeman
Director of Financial Aid

I was 9 when the Beatles broke up so to say that they were the soundtrack to my childhood is an understatement. For me, the Beatles were everything. For years I have devoured any (auto)biography about my favorite band and recently found this one, written by the ex-wife of John Lennon. Wow. I’ve always had a black spot in my heart for Yoko Ono, who I believe was the final straw in breaking up the band. And while the ex-Mrs. Lennon is careful in her choice of words, her perspective on the subject, after years of being with John from high school on through their rocky marriage, leaves no mistake that Yoko was a huge influence on their final demise. Cynthia met John in high school and was taken with the bad boy musician. They were inseparable and married very early, before the Beatles had any idea how huge they would be. She stayed with him through all the temper tantrums and drug experiences, intense public scrutiny and growing up in public, until he met Yoko, his ultimate enabler. Once she entered his life he indulged in some of the worst behavior a father, husband or band mate could ever conceive of. From there, he left Cynthia with nearly nothing, moved in with Yoko and proceeded to wreck everything that was good in his life, leaving his son, Julian brokenhearted and miserable watching his father build a new life with Yoko, singing songs about his new half-brother, Sean. For all the amazingly inspirational work that John Lennon left, both in the Beatles and on his solo albums, this book proves that he was a flawed human being after all, capable of hurting the ones he loved, and damaging his most precious relationships.
John Lennon’s Final Interview, Rolling Stone magazine
The Beatles, Wikipedia

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Leslie Mylius
Student, BA

In this book Lamott exposes her vulnerability while demonstrating her inner strength and resilience as she develops her spirituality during her recovery from alcoholism; all the while finding ways to raise her son as a single mother, to love and care for her elderly parents, and to create a strong community of friends, neighbors and family.

Lamott’s writing is inspiring. She lets us witness her doubts and insecurities, and eventual return to grace after taking on each of life’s challenges with cutting wit, humility, and a strong sense of faith.
Profile: Anne Lamott, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, PBS
Conversation with Anne Lamott, Studie 360
“Why Progessives Can’t Ignore Religion,” Mike Lux, AlterNet