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Common Read -- Until I Say Good-bye: Common Read

Common Read The Common Read is a Common Intellectual Experience that promotes integrative learning across the curriculum. This is accomplished through voluntary participation of faculty, both on campus and in local high schools, who introduce the text to

Introduction

Queensborough faculty members and their students will read Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy in classes in the spring 2015 semester. They will be joined by classes from Bayside High School, Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School and the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). All students will participate in co-curricular activities.

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by Susan Spencer-Wendel. She was a vibrant forty-four year old journalist, wife and mother of three young children who learned that she had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles, in June of 2011. Despite her diagnosis, this woman of immense strength and spirit decided to make every day count. Her memoir invites readers to join her on her journey, sharing her guiding desire to “dwell on how wonderful it is to be alive.” Her remarkable story has spread across the world even though the author died in June of 2014, at the age of forty-seven.Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by Susan Spencer-Wendel. She was a vibrant forty-four year old journalist, wife and mother of three young children who learned that she had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles, in June of 2011. Despite her diagnosis, this woman of immense strength and spirit decided to make every day count. Her memoir invites readers to join her on her journey, sharing her guiding desire to “dwell on how wonderful it is to be alive.” Her remarkable story has spread across the world even though the author died in June of 2014, at the age of forty-seven.Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by Susan Spencer-Wendel. She was a vibrant forty-four year old journalist, wife and mother of three young children who learned that she had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles, in June of 2011. Despite her diagnosis, this woman of immense strength and spirit decided to make every day count. Her memoir invites readers to join her on her journey, sharing her guiding desire to “dwell on how wonderful it is to be alive.” Her remarkable story has spread across the world even though the author died in June of 2014, at the age of forty-seven. -- Susan Madera

Untl I Say Goodbye

Theme

The theme of this year’s Common Read initiative is “empathy”   We hope not only to share the author’s story, but to prompt the campus community to think outside of themselves, to imagine living in a situation different from their own, promoting an increased awareness and willingness to aid others.

For additional information regarding this initiative please contact Ms. Susan Madera, Academic Program Manager for High Impact Practices and Common Read Coordinator at smadera@qcc.cuny.edu  or Dr. Beth Counihan, Associate Professor, English, and Common Read Book Club Coordinator, at bcounihan@qcc.cuny.edu.

Adoption

Adoption Issues

Examples of Empathy

Empathy Activities

Activities:

Do something that reflects a feeling of empathy, and give out a "Pay it Forward Card."

Write a poem reflecting how you felt when you felt with someone else or someone felt with you..

Attend some of the college programs  on this topic.

Pay it Forward

Welcome

Hi,

Welcome to the Common Read Libguide, focusing on Until I Say Good-bye : My Year of Living with Joy  by Susan Spencer-Wendel

      We invite you to view the available resources at this site. This Guide will help you to find books to check out, licensed articles and online resources. It will also provide information about our Library, as well as upcoming events and activities. We are here to help you and are always ready to provide assistance online, by telephone or in person at the Reference Desk. You may contact me for help via the email or phone number on the right of the page.

Click on the tabs at the top of the page for more help. 

Review

KIRKUS REVIEW

             With the assistance of Witter (Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him, 2011, etc.), crime reporter Spencer-Wendel chronicles her life and the decisions she has made since being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a wasting disease that progressively causes loss of control of voluntary muscle movement. In her mid-40s and a happily married mother of three with a thriving career, the author rejected the option of assisted suicide in favor of making her last years memorable despite the inevitability of increasing disability. Although not believing that her death would ruin the lives of her husband and children, she understood that it might “affect their ability to live with delight. To live with joy.” Spencer-Wendel was determined to overcome her dread of losing mobility and to live her life to the fullest even as the disease progressed. As inspiration, the author found solace in Lou Gehrig's 1939 farewell speech, in which he described himself as “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth, even after 'catching a bad break.’ ” The author decided to spend her remaining time traveling to places she longed to see, taking friends and family with her. In this way, she left them a legacy of joyfully shared memories. One of the more difficult decisions she made was not to hoard her remaining good health. She determined that she would not search out experimental programs, nor even spare herself physical strain, even though traveling took a further toll on her mobility. Each of the trips more than met the author's expectations: a visit with her son to swim with dolphins, shopping in New York with her daughter and a journey with her husband to Romania, where they lived for the first two years of their marriage.

A poignant, wise love story.

Susan Spences-Wendel Interview

About Empathy

Pay it Forward

As part of the theme of empathy, students are being given the opportunity of giving a "Pay it Forward" card to the recipient of an act of kindness.  Extra cards are available at the Circulation Desk of the Library. 

ALS __ Lou Gehrig

Oscar Dedicated to ALS Sufferers

Autism Issues

Pay it Forward