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2020 Summer Reading

Regardless of where we are, 2020 will inevitably Be an inflection point in our lives. From the quarantine this spring to the protests over racial injustice this summer to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the events we have lived through in the last few months have and will continue to impact each of us in lasting ways.

The idea behind summer reading at University High School is to give us a common place from which to start the school year. There is no better place for us to start 2020-21 than by leaning into where we are and what has shaped us in recent weeks.

University High School has compiled a list of articles that collectively serve as our summer reading assignment for 2020-21. These articles come from a wide variety of media but were all published between April and mid-June 2020. This is not an exhaustive list, but in here you’ll find a range of perspectives on what living in our world has been like these past few months.

Summer Reading Tips

This mini-anthology is composed of three sections – one on the pandemic, one on racism and injustice, and one on living through quarantine and chaos.

While you should try to read every article, start with the section or topics that interest you the most. Spend more time with some ideas, and less with others, but always read actively. Jot down questions or note your responses in the margins of these pages. Maybe do some writing of your own. We will be coming back to these topics throughout the school year.

In addition to the text of the articles, we’ve tried to provide information about all of the authors included here. Many of them are active on Twitter and Instagram. If you like what they’ve said or how they’ve said it, consider following them. If you disagree with some of them, challenge yourself as to why you do, and seek out some other reputable articles that voice those concerns. 

Most importantly, spend some time with these thoughts. We have always lived in a highly complex world, and it grows increasingly more so every day. But, as citizens, we have a duty to participate in it. This is one tiny but important way of doing so.

Summer Discussion Sessions (Dates & Times)

Head of School Alicia LaMagdeleine will host optional discussion sessions throughout the summer for students who wish to work through the summer reading together. These sessions will be held on Zoom and will focus on one section of the summer reading each. 

Check the Blazer Blast for details and Zoom links for these sessions. 

  • Section I — The Virus, The Pandemic, & The Economic Collapse — Tuesday, July 14 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Section II — Racism, Injustice, & Protest — Tuesday, July 28 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Section III — Life & School in Quarantine & Chaos — Tuesday, August 11 from 4-5 p.m.