Editorials and Opinions

This I Believe II: Promotes a better community at South

By Alexandra Fen
Published: June 2010

This I Believe II has recently been assigned by the English Department as the 2010 summer reading book.  Now come June 21st, don’t all go running out of school to New England Mobile Book Fair to buy the first few copies that hit the shelves.  The bland cover image is equally enthralling as the book’s subtitle: “More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women.  

But what do we all (hopefully) know by now about judging books by their covers? And what’s fun about the burdensome preconceived notions we have about assigned summer reading when we know it’s mandatory anyway?

Plus, word on the street is that this book could change your life!

This I Believe II is the second volume of a collection of essays written by an eclectic group of individuals. These so called “remarkable men and women are Nobel Prize winners and world-renowned musicians, but they also are graduate-school students and diner waitresses.
The authors elaborate on how they came to form their personal beliefs and by doing so, complete the thought that begins the books title.

Although these pieces were written over a 50-year period, the series of essays and the messages they communicate are impressively relevant to what we are going through as a nation today.

But here’s the question that every analytical essay rubric will require you to address: So what? (Cringe)

These personal reflections are not written by the pretentious intelligent folk whom you might have expected. They also dont consist of a stream of incoherent insights into some guys epiphanies. After reading them you will neither feel defeated out of sheer confusion, nor proud of your sophisticated level of understanding.

The essays are meant to engage readers by means of effortless connections.  The reflections, descriptions, and conclusions seek to strike a chord within you: tickle the subconscious, if you will.

Furthermore, each essay compels readers to think about forming their own profound and experience-based opinions. By doing so, you can have faith in your convictions and cultivate a strong sense of identity for yourself.

And I’m sure you are aware of that excessively vocal guy in your class who is always provoking debates with extreme but frustratingly well-supported arguments…you could be THAT GUY!

You can earn a great deal of respect in our society for “going against the grain and second guessing conformity if it forces you to compromise your beliefs. And as contradictory as it sounds, a sense of unity and tolerance emerges from differences of opinion in a community.

One school, one book…Don’t we love it?  Over the summer we’ll all be reading the same words from the same pages of the same book.
But come September, the school will be swarming with zillions of newfound ideas and beliefs, like little molecules of opinions bouncing off the walls ofSouth after being subjected to high temperatures!!

So don’t choose to write off this book just because it is assigned summer reading as it could potentially leave a positive impact on our school.  And pay close attention to the section that tells readers how to write their own “This I Believe essay…One school, one essay?

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