Response Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect more fully on the meaning of the GIC or the summer reading book and convocation speech, so choose one of those two topics.


The GIC has become a tried and true part of Freshman Seminar. Many students report the GIC as being one of the most powerful experiences in Freshman Seminar. The impact of this experience reaches far beyond the group challenges, class fun, and individual self-discovery that occur and raises questions about what college is all about. This all happens outside of the classroom, away from campus, in the beauty of the Broyhill woods. The GIC raises a wide range of important questions tht center on issues like the following:
Building community
Dealing with criticism and failure
Developing relationships
Valuing differences
Focusing attention
Seeking assistance
Understanding teamwork
Following instructions
Knowing when to ask questions
Communicating effectively
Recognizing the environment
Learning can be fun
Recognizing and creating opportunities
Managing time
Problem solving

Convocation and the Summer Reading Book

Convocation is a day of celebration for the academy - it is the official opening of the school year. This is a moment when the entire campus and larger Boone community come together to reflect on the purpose and goals of Appalachian State University. This occasion recognizes outstanding achievement and focuses on ideas important to our entire community. The Convocation speaker is usually the author of the Summer Reading novel. Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, new students will enter Appalachian with at least one intellectual experience in common. Comparing ideas about the book will be one way for new students to begin conversations with other new students and to establish a common academic community. The reading and discussions will actively engage students in their first academic activity of their university career. In addition, this experience will reinforce communication skills and serve to remind students of how strongly Appalachian values the intellectual and academic development of its students. By completing the reading, students will be prepared for assignments they may have in one or more of their fall classes. The novel is chosen as a book that students will read without direction and guidance, a good book for multi-disciplinary discussion, a well-written book with important themes and issues that is approximately 300 pages, and an author that will capture students' attention and is available to come to campus and engage with readers at several events, including convocation.


Choose one of the above. How can this experience and the lessons learned be useful to us in trying to succeed in college? You can use the issues above as well as our class discussions about connections to science and mathematics to help focus your ideas or you may think of your own benefits and applications. Do not simply summarize what happened at the GIC or in the book and at convocation. Instead, apply the lessons learned to your success in college.