Kresge 1 Summer Assignment 2020


KRESGE 1: Power and Representation — Summer “Active Reading and Reflection" Assignment

                  Part I: Reflections on Reading
                  Part II: Reflections on Power


Welcome to Kresge 1: Power and Representation. You’ll hear more about this course later, but for now, here are the basics: 

  1. Kresge 1 is Kresge’s core course, taken by all first-year students—the starting point of a liberal arts education. 
  2. In it, you explore the world of university learning by practicing advanced styles of reading, interpreting, and questioning.
  3. We also establish a unique “core” of ideas, questions, and literature. You’ll have this “core” in common with the rest of the Kresge community; it will help us unite in dialogue, and across diverse educational pathways through the coming years, as you pursue your degree.

This summer assignment is designed to prepare you for Kresge 1. Your work will include approximately 90 pages of reading and 1,000-1,500 words of informal reflection; your reflection work is due prior to our first meeting, at 5:00 PM on September 30. (Instructions for submission are below.) You should also be prepared to discuss your work during opening week and in your first seminar meeting in the first week of class. You will receive more information about your seminar instructor, and your seminar meeting times, later this summer.



Your summer assignment is in two parts. Plan to spend several days on each of them. The first part addresses strategies for academic reading; in the second, you will apply those strategies to two essays that introduce themes of power and representation. In both parts, you will take notes on materials that you read and view, and write informal reflections on what you learn.

As a rough guideline: you should allow about 50-70 minutes for each of the four steps in Part I (about 4 hours total), and about 6 hours total on Part II. Pace yourself: we recommend that you separate your work in each of the two main parts below by about a week’s time; the second part includes five separate texts, that you should spread out over several days.

These written “reflections” are not essays—they should not include introductions or conclusions. Their main purpose is to develop a reading practice that includes critically reflecting and actively responding.

Part I: Reflections on Reading

  1. Preparation: Freely write 2-3 paragraphs that address your own experiences of reading, and the role of reading in your everyday life 

This part of your summer assignment can be many things, and your grade depends on your thoughtful engagement in it. However, there are no specific requirements about how you should go about answering it. Whatever your approach, the aim is to illuminate what reading is to you, through your consideration of your own reading experiences.

For the first paragraph, you might briefly share one example of a reading experience from either your high-school coursework, your reading for pleasure, or your engagement with news media. Some examples are below—but don’t limit yourself to these:

      • You might reflect on an article that helped you understand something controversial. Perhaps it affected your family’s livelihood, or your neighborhood, or a broader community you belong to. In your reflection, focus on your own connection to the issue, and how the article affected your thinking.
      • You might reflect on a book that you read for pleasure, and you might reflect on one person, character, or event described in the book. In your reflection, you might focus on your own feelings of connection to what you read about, or how it made an impact on you.
      • You might reflect on something you read in one of your high-school classes—how that reading supported your learning, or how that learning led you in new directions, in your life or in an interaction with someone important to you.

As you reflect, do cite the reading (tell us its title, author(s) or editor(s), and its date and place of publication if possible), but avoid making a “report” or detailed summary of what you read. Instead, focus on your experience of reading, in a manner similar to the three examples above, or in some other way.

After reflecting on one specific reading experience, expand on that reflection, to say something about what reading means to you. This is informal—not an essay—so, in approaching this question, do not rely on other sources, and do not feel the need to be philosophical, or make any broad points about what reading is to others. Your task is to contemplate the distinct roles that reading plays in your own everyday life.


2. Reading: The texts below introduce strategies for active reading that many students and researchers find successful at universities. Print these texts, so that you will have hard copies to mark for your own purposes (you will not turn in your markings, but you should have them on hand to discuss in your first fall seminar meetings). As you read, take notes freely, but do not try to write down everything you learn. Instead, try to imagine how and in what situations you would make use of each strategy, and what main points you want to remember about them.

i. Mortimer Adler. “How to Mark a Book.” In Saturday Review of Literature, 6 July 1941. Retrieved December 2017 from Dr. Michael Pinsky <> [~3 pages]. Web. 2 October 2017.

ii. Purdue University Academic Success Center. “Improving note-taking skills.” Retrieved May 2017 from Purdue University Success Programs <> [2 pages]. (Note: Purdue has designated this resource for lecture note-taking, but these three strategies work equally well for reading notes.)

iii. David Bartholomae, Anthony Petrosky, and Stacey Waite. “Introduction: Ways of Reading.” In Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2014 [18 pages].


 3.Reflection: Now that you’ve taken in the texts linked above, freely write 1-2 more paragraphs of   reflection. This is an open-ended reflection, but consider: What kinds of reading to these authors imagine? How do their notions of reading compare to the experiences and practices that you described in step 1? How do you think you will approach reading in college? 


Part II: Reflections on Power

  1. Reading and annotation: In this part of our assignment, you will apply the strategies that you learned in Part I. As with Part I, please print ii, iii, iv, and v below, so that you have hard copies. While reading the texts below, follow one or more of Adler’s ‘devices’ in “How to Mark a Book”—these devices are examples of annotation. Try implement one of the strategies from the Purdue resource (“Improving note-taking strategies”), for each text as well. Feel free to change your mind about reading strategies as you read, if a different approach makes more sense to you. 

For the lecture-video, “Why Ordinary People Need to Understand Power” (i), mark your notes with video timecodes. Just like page numbers, this will help if you want to return later to various points in the video, and add detail to your notes. 

i. Eric Liu, Why Ordinary People Need to Understand Power [~17” video lecture], in TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. [Filmed 20 September 2013 at “TEDCity 2.0”, New York, NY.]

ii. bell hooks,Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education,” in Woking-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993), 100-110 [10 page].

iii. Reyna Grande, excerpts from A Dream Called Home. New York: Atria / Simon & Schuster, 2018. pp. 3-47 [44 pages].

iv. Amna Akbar, “How Defund and Disband Became the Demands,” in New York Review of Books Daily. 15 June 2020 [~8 pages].

v. Nicholas Casey, “College Made Them Feel Equal. The Virus Exposed How Unequal Their Lives Are,” in New York Times 4 April 2020 [Updated 5 May 2020, ~7 pages].

Tip: Do not attempt to write down all that you learn. Instead, with each article or video, begin by focusing on any key ideas and terminology that you learn, making sure to note their meanings and uses. This would be an example of reading “for information or main ideas” (Bartholomae et al, p. 6)—but remember that effective reading is much more than that. How can you connect these texts’ meanings to your own experiences, or aspirations? You might consider questions like “what might this mean to my family or community” or “how does this connect to larger social issues?”


 2. Reflection: Write a 2-3 paragraph reflection on power based on the following prompt: 

These readings all in some way explore what power means: how it operates, how it is built by communities and movements to fight oppression, and how it is wielded to oppress. What overlaps do you find between them? What disagreements? 

Some other questions to consider: What do contemporary inequities in education reveal about power? How might these various writers go about addressing these inequities? How might Eric Liu, or bell hooks, regard movements for social/racial justice that have emerged in 2020? In reading your reflections, we're not looking for a complete argument, or for polished, tightly edited writing. Rather, we're looking for your depth of engagement, both with the texts and with your own responses to them. The reflection writing that you submit should be sincere and vital, but it can be in-progress and uncertain. Please do quote specific language in the essays that you reflect upon, and do think about specifics—what supports your thinking and what detracts from it? Where do you feel confident and what feels less certain? 


Finishing up:

The reflection portions of your work (I-1, I-3, and II-2) should be approximately 1,000-1,500 words in total. In your typed copy of those reflections, state your name, your class number and instructor’s name—you will learn these soon!—in the upper right-hand corner of the first page. Use a header to include your surname/family name on the remaining pages, and make sure that your remaining pages are numbered. The title of each reflection should include the prompt title, e.g., “Part 1: Reflections on Reading”, and “Part 2: Reflections on Power.” 

Your work should be finished before our orientation-week plenary, which is at 5:00 PM on September 30, 2020. [You will find details about how to attend that Plenary in an Orientation-Week schedule to be announced in September.] Your work is complete when you have submitted as a digital copy to the “DropBox” location linked below. You may also receive instructions from your seminar instructor, about how to prepare for your first seminar meeting [also TBA in September]. 

Please look over the following three-part checklist to ensure you have comprehended and completed each step:

I. Reflections on Reading

[Part I,1] Your 2-3-paragraph reflection on a reading experience; what reading means to you 

[Part I,3] Your 1-2-paragraph reflection on texts by Adler and by Bartholomae et al.


II. Reflections on Power

[Part II,2] Your 2-3-paragraph reflection on narrations and discussions of power in texts by Liu, hooks, and Grande.


Submit parts I and II, in a single document, by uploading it in PDF form to the DropBox location Kresge 1 UCSC — Summer AssignmentYou will need to access a DropBox account (optionally via your Google-based "" account), in order to submit to this location. If you have difficulty, please follow instructions at this alternate link:<

Please also stay tuned for any additional instructions from your seminar instructor.


III. Notes and markings (no digital submission required)

Part I, 2, & Part II, 1—instructions refer to texts that you should print, and mark as you read. Please have these completed prior to Wednesday, September 30. You will have them with you as an aid to discussion in your first seminar meeting, TBA.