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Common Read

Applause, Tears As Trans Activist Janet Mock Speaks At SUNY

Applause, Tears As Activist

Janet Mock Speaks At SUNY

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski chats with transgender activist Janet Mock, author of this year's Common Read, "Redefining Realness" as part of the Mills Distinguished Lecture. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski shares a laugh with transgender activist Janet Mock, author of this year’s Common Read, “Redefining Realness.”  Mock delivered the annual Mills Distinguished Lecture this evening. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Dr. Nancy Kleniewski choked back tears as she described Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author, TV host and transgender rights activist, as a role model.

“With your social media presence, #GirlsLikeUs, you’ve done so much to help transwomen,” said the SUNY Oneonta president.  “It’s very emotional.  You may have had your legends, but you’re the legend now.”

Mock, author of this year’s Common Read, “Redefining Realness,” was on hand to deliver the annual Mills Distinguished Lecture in a question-and-answer format with Kleniewski.  “I really appreciate you all dealing with having to read my book,” she said.  “Thank you all for coming out.”

Hartwick College Welcomes Doc Hendley Back for Common Read

Hartwick College Welcomes Author,

Doc Hendley, Back for Common Read

Peer leaders for Wick 101 pose with author Doc Hendley, whose book " Wine to Water", was this year's common read book. Hendley spoke to gathered students about the drilling of wells in third world nations and its impact on hundreds of thousands of people. The movement has spawned 11 chapters nationally, the largest being at Hartwick with 80 members. Front row: Paola Espinoza, Ann Cannon, Cosima Compton, Rachael Stethers, Cady Kuebler, Gina DeVoto, Krystina Rivera. Middle Row: Emily Weite, Alicia Clapper, Kara Connelly, Becca Krowitz, Doc Hendley, Sarah Fairbairn, Amanda Robinson, Shayanne DeBaker. Top row: John Talbot, Jacob Sinicki, James Canal, Kiana Bringham, Allie Ricci, Melijah Purvis, Maddy Paul, Justin Hoskins, Nicholas Celestino.
Peer leaders for the Wick 101 class pose with author Doc Hendley, whose book “Wine to Water,” is once again the Hartwick Common Read.  Hendley spoke this evening to students at the Lambros Arena about the positive impact of drilling of water wells in Third World nations. His Wine to Water movement has spawned 11 chapters nationally, with Hartwick’s 80-member club being the largest.  In the front, from left, Paola Espinoza, Ann Cannon, Cosima Compton, Rachael Stethers, Cady Kuebler, Gina DeVoto, Krystina Rivera. Middle Row: Emily Weite, Alicia Clapper, Kara Connelly, Becca Krowitz, Doc Hendley, Sarah Fairbairn, Amanda Robinson, Shayanne DeBaker. Top row: John Talbot, Jacob Sinicki, James Canal, Kiana Bringham, Allie Ricci, Melijah Purvis, Maddy Paul, Justin Hoskins, Nicholas Celestino. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

 

SUNY Shares Ishmael Beah’s Story With High School Students

SUNY Shares Ishmael Beah’s

Story With High School Students

1,200 high school students from Otsego, Schoharie and Delaware counties were at the SUNY Alumni field house this morning to hear author and human rights activist Ishmael Beah speak about his book "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," this year's Common Read selection. Beah gave the Mills Distinguished lecture last night. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
1,200 high school students from Otsego, Schoharie and Delaware counties were at the SUNY Alumni field house this morning to hear author and human rights activist Ishmael Beah speak about his book “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” this year’s Common Read selection. Beah gave the Mills Distinguished lecture last night. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
At Mills Lecture, Ishmael Baeh Inspires Students to Do For Others

SUNY’s ‘Common Read’ Author

Urges Students To Help Others

Ishmael Baeh signs a copy of his memoir "A Long Way Gone" for Susan Ryder at the end of the annual Mills Lecture, held earlier this evening at SUNY Oneonta.
Ishmael Baeh signs a copy of his memoir, “A Long Way Gone,” for Susan Ryder at the end of this evening’s “Common Read” Mills Lecture in SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena.   The book tells the story of Baeh’s time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.COM)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Before he even knew he wanted to be a writer, Ishmael Baeh was learning the fundamentals of storytelling.

“My father and I would play a game where he would put me on his shoulders and he would play he was blind,” he said.  “I had to tell him the world.  He would pretend to walk into the wall, into the fire, and I would have to explain those things to him.”

Such play – and books like “Treasure Island,” his favorite growing up – gave him the tools to write his memoir, “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs a Boy Soldier,” this year’s SUNY Oneonta “Common Read.”

Baeh gave the Mills Distinguished Lecture this evening before a full house of students and community members, taking the stage with a smile.  “I’m always smiling,” he said.  “I wake up and I’m smiling because I am alive, so I’ve already won that day.”

Baeh was just 11 when the Sierra Leone Civil War started in 1991.  After his village Mogbwemo was attacked, he fled, wandering with other boys until he was taken in by the military, who used him as a child soldier.  He rose to the rank of lieutenant, with 30 boys at his command.

‘Persepolis’ Author Satrapi Delivers Mills Lecture at SUNY

Author Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’  Pierces

Censorship, She Tells SUNY Audience

Marjane Satrapi, author of this year's SUNY Oneonta Common Read "Persepolis" answers an question posed by interviewer Dr. Susan Bernardin.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Marjane Satrapi, author of this year’s SUNY Oneonta Common Read “Persepolis” answers an question posed by interviewer Dr. Susan Bernardin.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • allotsego.com

ONEONTA

SUNY freshman Anastasia Rubertone was one of the first students to get her copy of Persepolis signed by Marjane Satrapi. Behind them, a line of faculty and students stretches across the alumni field house.
SUNY freshman Anastasia Rubertone was one of the first students to get her copy of Persepolis signed by Marjane Satrapi. Behind them, a line of faculty and students stretches across the alumni field house.

Seated comfortably between ferns and a slate-blue backdrop, Marjane Satrapi very quickly made herself at home chatting with Dr. Susan Bernardin. “English is not even my third language,” she said in a thick French accent by way of introduction.  “When I come to American for the first time, I learned English by watching a lot of movies, so I was saying the f-word a lot.  I will not say it again here.”

Satrapi, author of SUNY Oneonta’s 2014 Common Read “Persepolis”, was on hand this evening to give the Mills Distinguished Lectureship to a full Alumni Field House.  “When I was young, I thought I had to write like Dostoevsky, but I couldn’t, because he was a genius,” she said.  “If I was Dostoevsky, you would know it.”

“Persepolis” deals with Satrapi’s childhood during the Islamic Revolution, during which she rebelled by declaring herself a prophet, wearing high-top Nikes and buying illegal tapes of AC/DC and Kim Wilde. “I was a teenager, all teenagers have bad taste in music,” she joked with the crowd.

She read Batman comics when she was a kid, but it wasn’t until she met French comics artist David Beauchard, who mentored her and introduced her to comic writers like Art Speigelman, author of “Maus.”

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