Last year First Year Experience (FYE) students read “No Impact Man,” a story with an environmental theme; this year they read “Enrique’s Journey,” which follows a young man on a harrowing trip from Honduras to the United States, in search of his mother. For next year, FYE students will read “Outcast United” by Warren St. John.
The story begins with Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who moves to Atlanta, Georgia and starts her new life. Despite her perfect “Midwestern” English, Mufleh struggles to be connected in the community. She becomes a soccer coach and meets soccer players who come from backgrounds, all united through their refugee status. Luma attempts to make a difference through the daunting challenge of creating community in a place where a very diverse group of people call home.
As Marrisa King, education and English faculty, and Karen LeVan, English faculty wrote in a message to the campus, “Cultural and personal conflicts encountered through the lives of long-time and new Clarkson residents expand students’ understanding of what it means to live as community in the midst of ongoing change.”
The instructors also suggest that the text helps teach students “how communities and individuals respond to displacement and resettlement, at times as opportunity, other times as threat or overwhelming loss.”