by Fiona Scruggs
Writing & Thinking Workshop and the Book One Lecture series are hallmarks of orientation and the first week of classes at Simon’s Rock. Each year in Writing & Thinking Workshop, students are guided to observe, reflect, and explore different ways of approaching various types of written text, media (films, images, music), and nature. Students also have the opportunity to build their first connections with their new peers in an environment focused on creative and critical-thinking and interdisciplinary practices.
This year’s Book One was The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded by alumna Molly McCully Brown and was incorporated into the curriculum for the Writing & Thinking Workshop for incoming first year College and Academy students. Writing & Thinking faculty selected poems from Brown’s book to include as writing prompts in the workshop. This provided the opportunity for all first year College and Academy students to interact with the same book and build a common foundation together before beginning their fall semester courses at Simon’s Rock.
On August 29, the Book One lecture was presented by Molly McCully Brown in the McConnell Theater in the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock. The lecture was in-person and open to the public. The full lecture is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTHx-SGpb0w
After the lecture, excerpts of poems from The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded were painted by staff and faculty on sidewalks around campus so that students can continue engaging with Book One in a variety of ways during their first weeks of classes.