Mar 20, 2009 - Jarad Petroske
Arcata – Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods have chosen as 2009 Book of the Year Three Cups of Tea, the best-selling account of new schools established in the remotest areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly for girls.
Co-authored by mountain climber Greg Mortenson and journalist David Oliver Relin, Three Cups is the fourth annual selection of the HSU/CR partnership, which provides a forum to promote literacy and the free exchange of ideas. The forum’s precept is, “A community that reads together shares a uniquely human experience.”
Both the HSU and CR campuses will host group sessions in Fall 2009 to examine the book’s themes. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the book of the year in their classes.
A fall one-unit book club class at HSU will be open to the general public as well as students. It is titled English 480 and sign-up is available on WebReg, Open University and Extended Education. Small discussion groups meet evenings four to five times during the semester.
The New York Times number one best-seller chronicles Mortenson’s failed attempt to scale the world’s second highest mountain, K2. Exhausted afterward, he wound up separated from his party in a desperately poor Pakistani hamlet. He was nursed back to health there and he learned that the community could not pay a dollar a day to hire a teacher.
Moved by this, Mortenson launched a humanitarian campaign, laboriously collected funds in small amounts—right down to pennies—from the grassroots and went on to establish 78 schools. He emphasizes community-based education and literacy programs that cater to girls.
Tom Brokaw, the first and initially only donor, commented, “Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it’s proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world.”
The highly regarded Pakistani journalist, Ahmed Rashid, best-selling author of Descent into Chaos, said, “Pakistan and Afghanistan are both failing their students on a massive scale. The work Mortenson is doing, providing the poorest students with a balanced education, is making them much more difficult for the extremist madrassas to recruit.”
Mortenson is slated to make an appearance on the Redwood Coast at a date to be announced.
Further information about Humboldt State’s one-unit book club class this fall is available from Erin Sullivan in the English Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 826-3128.
Paul Mann, News & Information, email@example.com