Books Help Students Be Present | Crystal O. Wong Explains How She Does It

Wednesday, February 03, 2021
FACULTY FOCUS -- With our online education locked in Zoom boxes, having conversations in book groups can serve as an outlet for pandemic isolation. When students draw from their experiences and backgrounds to engage in conversations about a shared book, the outcome is self-reflection and discovery. For example, in my first-year writing class, one of my book groups chose to read “Dear America” by Jose Vargas, a graduate of San Francisco State University, where I teach. While this book is a personal story of how the author kept his immigration status hidden, it also examines racial issues in the U.S. immigration policy: who gets in, who’s barred and who gets to be a citizen. But what unfolds is how so many students in my class critiqued the author through a personal, human lens.