Since we have heard the first wave of presenters, I want to reflect on last week and this one. First, thank you to the brave men and women who went first; you paved the way for us. You cut through the thicket of uncertainty and anxiousness by stepping forward with your sharp insights and the strong arm of commitment.
To borrow from Charles Dickens, greater expectations accompany this week’s wave. From my perspective the strongest presentations have forged beyond simple summary of the book’s contents by making visible the presenter’s personal connections. I have left these presentations with a clear sense of why the person chose this book, and what significant insights the text generated.
What matters most to me–I can only truly speak for myself–is what matters most to you, the presenter. The essays people wrote near the start of this project–about exercised and neglected skills–made clear to me that most people wanted to pursue a meaningful book and communicate its personal meaning to their classmates. I am listening for this kind of communication because that’s what matters.