A small group of WSU students, faculty and staff met together to share stories about life experiences on Wednesday in the Stewart Library. The excerpts ranged from the words of Greta Thunberg to Robert Frost.

Each academic year The Engaged Learning Series chooses a different theme, and In My Shoes has been the theme for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.

Teresa Martinez, Student Engagement Coordinator, worked with the Dean of the Steward Library, Wendy Holliday, to host the In My Shoes, Stories from the Stewart Library reading event.

“It’s fitting, because the library is a warehouse of stories, it made sense to explore the stories that we could expose people to,” Martinez said.

Last fall, The Engaged Learning Series held an In My Shoes-themed reading event, which allowed students, faculty and staff the opportunity to read their own writings, some read poetry and others read books in foreign languages.

Martinez stated the importance of showing up actively while at events and engaging in the event itself helps ensure people are using the engagement aspect of the Engaged Learning Series to their fullest potential.

“We want to ensure that people are having conversations, creating dialogue, making change, and doing something with that change, that you are intentionally taking action and doing something,” Martinez said.

Natania Kapoor, a senior at WSU, was one of the students who volunteered to read by getting in touch with Teresa Martinez.

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg addresses climate strikers at Civic Center Park in Denver. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog Denver Photo credit: Flickr

Kapoor chose to share a selection entitled, “You’re acting like spoiled irresponsible children,” from Greta Thunberg’s biography, “No One Is Too Small.”

Originally the book was a reading assignment for Kapoor. While reading Thunberg’s story, Kapoor began to understand, appreciate and empathize with her. Kapoor found herself relating to, and inspired by, the brave, strong and courageous path Thunberg took to make her voice heard and raise awareness globally for the current climate crisis.

“Don’t be scared, whether you feel like you’ll be heard or not, don’t be scared to have an opinion and share it with others,” Kapoor said.

Gabe Taylor, also a senior at WSU, was another student who took action and read from Jon Krakauer’s book, “Into The Wild.”

“I volunteered to come read this book today because it’s been helpful for me in making some difficult decisions in my personal life,” Taylor said.

Taylor explained how reading “Into the Wild” helped him relate with his own life decisions. After reading “Into the Wild,” Taylor felt more confident in making decisions, and made the jump into changing his major and career path.

It was the “breakthrough,” Taylor said, that he needed at that time in his life. Taylor often refers back to “Into the Wild,” and reading in general, for seeing things through different perspectives and different people’s lenses.

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