2016-2017 Common Read

Featured text:  Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair), by Rosie Perez

Cover image for the Rosie Perez book as the common read for 2016-2017

Queensborough faculty members and their students will read Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair) in classes in the spring 2017 semester. They will be joined by classes from the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) and classes participating in College NOW in several local high schools. All students will participate in co-curricular activities.

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a profoundly moving exploration of human perseverance, the theme for this year’s Common Read. Rosie’s road to fame was paved with personal struggles one could hardly imagine. Her memoir exposes those struggles as well as highlights her tenacity and desire to succeed.   

“I read Rosie Perez’s magnificent, very real, and heart-wrenching book with equal parts joy and horror – horror that the world can and routinely does inflict its terrors on its children, and joy that Rosie made it out to become not only the superior, iconographic artist she is, but the magnificent woman this book reveals her to be.  Her voice is the captivating instrument here: forthright, funny, and utterly her own.”  - Hilton Als, The New Yorker

Through reading Rosie’s book we hope not only to share her story, but to promote a discussion within the campus community on the multiple ways of persevering, and that this will encourage the community, through individual introspection, to set and work towards specific goals, and to celebrate the rewards that are a result of their perseverance.

For additional information regarding this initiative please contact Ms. Susan Madera, Academic Program Manager for High Impact Practices and Director of the Common Read at smadera@qcc.cuny.edu or Dr. Robin Ford, Assistant Professor, English, and Coordinator of the Common Read, at rford@qcc.cuny.edu.

Book Club Calendar

Wednesday, September 21st - H349

12:10 to 1:00 pm Introduction to the Common Read (for faculty participating in this HIP for the first time)
1:10 to 2:00 pm Introduction to this Year’s Common Read (for faculty who have participated in this HIP in the past)


Friday, September 30th - H349

10:10 to 11:00 am Introduction to Blackboard and the Common Read (Presenter: Denis Bejar)
Learn how to access our Blackboard group to view resources, participate in discussion boards, etc.


Wednesday, October 26th - H349

12:10 to 12:45 pm Across HIPs Training: Backward Course Design and Scaffolded Reflections (Presenter: Kathleen Landy)
12:45 to 2:00 pm Incorporating the Common Read Text into Your Class (Presenter: Robin Ford)
November and December meeting dates to be determined.



Special Opportunities

Cultural Centers

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Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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QPAC: Performing Arts Center

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.