Faculty Contributions


Mitchell College Library and Information Services is celebrating the First Year College Common Read, This I Believe.  This special edition BOOKlights and the accompanying display on the upper level of the Library features a collection of personal essays and memoires including contributions from the Mitchell Community.  If you would like to submit your own personal essay to be added to this blog, please email it to askLIS@mitchell.edu.

Advertisements

First Year College Common Reading 2012

The This I Believe Official Website

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Some 100,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Listen to Featured Essays

This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Format available: print

Description from Macmillan
This collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventy-five essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. With contributors who run the gamut from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, to professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, to ordinary folks like a diner waitress, an Iraq War veteran, a farmer, a new husband, and many others… read more…

.
.

This I Believe: On Fatherhood

Format available: print

One True Thing, A Discussion with Dan Gedimen in Psychology Today

Description from Wiley
The stories in this collection are engaging and meaningful. Some are reverential and loving; some are sad and clouded by yearning, loss, and regret: You’ll read reflections from expectant and new dads, full of optimism, as well as from longtime parents who, through the distance of time, are able to reflect on their successes and failures as fathers. We also hear from children… read more…

.
.

This I Believe: On Love

Format available: print

Radio discussion from Tom Ashbrook’s On Point

Description from Wiley
This book brings together essays on love from ordinary people far and wide whose sentiments and stories will surprise, inspire, and move you… read more…
.
.
.
.
.

This I Believe: On Motherhood

Format available: print

Publisher description from Wiley
This touching, thought-provoking book includes pieces on motherhood in its many manifestations written by more than sixty remarkable men  and women from ordinary life, whose reflections and sentiments will resonate with readers far and wide. Among the… read more…
.
.
.
.
.

This I Believe: Life Lessons

Format available: downloadable ebook

Description from Wiley
This book brings together treasured life lessons of people from all walks of life. Whether it’s learning the power of saying hello or how courage comes with practice, their intimate reflections will inspire, move, and encourage you… read more…

All my life I’ve seen the world through fiction. Telling a good story is my expression, my faith, and my craft. Ever since I can remember – writing has been my connection to the world. I’ve spent my life sending messages out to the world through stories, novels, and reading them back into my subconscious. Being dyslexic, I have always struggled with the mechanics but not the creativity of my personal expression. Creativity has always been my proving ground, my refuge, and the place where I am useful. In lieu of a higher power, I believe in the compassion of people, the connections they make, and the struggles we all face. I didn’t learn this from the so called “good book,” but from hundreds of great novels, stories, and ideas.

My family has given me many gifts, but none so important as the gift of conversation. Not casual conversations, but sitting around talking about ideas, art, books, politics, and how it becomes art. These conversations allow me to think, compare, read, and write. It also inspires my teaching practices and philosophies.  Being an atheist, I feel that faith isn’t a terrible monster, but something that doesn’t connect directly in my life. Passion, conflict, truth, confusion, and belief don’t have to revolve around a holy spirit or one great book. My life doesn’t revolve around a heaven and church. My life revolves around ideas, work, and vivid creative expressions. The powerful lesson that creativity teaches us, is that the more we learn how to write a convincing short story or essay, the more we realize we can do it better. The more we write novels, the more we want to write better novels. In music, the more proficient you become at playing an instrument, the more the world catalog opens to you. This is an exciting and expanding way of engaging life. I don’t need national arts funding to live a creative and expanding life; I just need to find creativity in my every day.

I fear death and what happens when we are gone, and a lot of people look to faith for answers. There isn’t an answer. No one knows. So, we deserve to give ourselves that best life, creatively and compassionately. As E. E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” My place of worship has been libraries, books, and ideas. Coleridge, Emerson, Tolstoy, Cather, Orwell, and Virginia Woolf have been my creative mentors and guides along with a thousand others. Their voices resonate in the pages of books, across the silver screen, and now into the digital age. And they have raised me to be a good, conscientious, creative, and compassionate man. My family gave me a great home life, with support, and the disposition to be creative. Novels, essays, poetry, movies, and plays have been my guide through a creative awakening. Every work of fiction reveals the truth in humanity. I hope to haunt those convergent halls, flipping through the pages of my everything.

Ron Samul is a writing instructor for Mitchell College and Thames Academy, a journalist, book reviewer, editor, and graduate mentor. He holds an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from WCSU and lives in New London, Connecticut. In 2006, he was the winner of the Connecticut AWP Fiction Award for the story Paper Thin.

Next Page »