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The Glass Castle: ATI Programming Page

Buckeye Book Community  - The Buckeye Book Community (BBC) is Ohio State's common reading experience.  It is intended to help first year students build a srong connection to campus and encourage students to wrestle with new ideas.  This shared-experience is intended to connect first-year students and introduce them to the expectation that Buckeyes cultivate the life of the mind, both in and out of the classroom. 


The 2014-2015 BBC selection is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  We expect all entering students to read The Glass Castle before arriving on campus in August.


1.  How will students be held accountable for their reading?

  • Essays regarding The Glass Castle will be assigned in Orientation class.
  • Professors are encouraged to use it in class however they wish
  • others????


2.  In what optional activities can those who read the book participate?

Ideas so far (not written in stone)

  • book discussion with food  (all faculty/staff who read the book would be encouraged to attend and join in)
  • essay contest/ photography contest
  • September 23 attend the author lecture via webcast  with Columbus campus first year students
  • service project
  • others???

3.  Ohio State University guiding questions

      1. Throughout the book we hear Rose Mary’s complaint: “I’m a grown woman now, why can’t I do what I want to do?” At what stage can adults do whatever they want, if at all? As a new college student, how will you manage your new sense of independence and autonomy?
      2. Rose Mary justifies shoplifting because she has a good reason to do it—to provide clothing for her family. How do you decide if something is right or wrong? In college, you’ll be introduced to many concepts that are complicated and messy and don’t result in a “right” answer. How will you navigate an educational environment often defined by ambiguity?
      3. How do things like family, money, addiction, responsibility, faith, peers or dreams influence the behaviors of different members of the Walls family? Who currently influences you the most? Who will influence you when you get to Ohio State?
      4. In college, Jeannette is singled out by a professor for not understanding the plight of homeless people. Instead of defending herself, Jeannette keeps quiet. Why do you think she does this? How do you anticipate negotiating, meeting, and interacting and living with others who have backgrounds different than yours?
      5. Bob Dylan once wrote, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” Using Dylan’s definition, could we say that Rex and Rose Mary were a success? How do you define success? How will you determine if you are successful in college?
      6. Is there value in nonconformity? Do we live in a society that encourages being different? What are some ways Rex and Rose Mary do the unexpected? Think about a time when you wanted to do something different but decided to conform instead. Why did you make that choice?
      7. Jeannette describes the squalor she and her family lived in: hunger, poverty, garbage, lack of basic necessities. Conversely, she describes the rich intellectual world her parents imparted: discussions of geology, math, literature, art. What do you think is more important to a child’s development: comfortable living conditions or an enriching intellectual environment?

4.  Resources from other colleges and universities


  • Californina State University Northridge                               This guide is loaded with writing ideas.  Many good links.
  • Massasoit Community College                                               Check out the events and contest tabs. 
  • Delaware County Community College                                   Student page/mostly links
  • Appalachain State University
  • San Jose State University                                                          Essay assignment
  • Salisbury University                                                                   This one has an interesting trigger warning and has an art contest.
  • Santa Rosa Junior College                                                       Essay assignment

5.  Other ideas

  • Have studentsconsruct an annotated map on Tripline.