Going to College in the Fifth Grade

Every year, the SPU campus and library host fifth graders from Dearborn Park Elementary school. The objective of this annual event is to introduce the students to a college environment early so they can begin thinking, planning, and preparing for their own academic possibilities and subsequent journey. The students participate in programs in the Physics and Physical Education department on campus, eat at our cafeteria, and hunt for information at the library to find resources for their State Report projects, in conjunction with their Social Studies class. Cindy Strong, the Education and Business Librarian, organizes the library portion of the event.

Today, fifty Dearborn Park fifth graders participated in the event with twenty-five SPU students assisting them. Many of our library staff also contributed their time and efforts to help make this event a success. It has been a highlight of our academic year for the past nine years, and this fall, a student who attended a past Going to College in the fifth grade day enrolled as a freshman at SPU.

To the fifth graders at Dearborn Park Elementary School – we hope you had a blast today, and will seriously consider Going to College in the “thirteenth” grade as well.

Thursday Food For Thought Recap

This quarter’s lineup of TFFT topics ranged from theology and pop culture to jazz music, from the creation of a magazine to philosophical and then on to Pacific Northwest regional history. With such a variety of perspectives, each session was filled with unique conversation. Here is a list of the books featured this quarter, complete with a brief bit about what was discussed:

January 24-Priscilla Pope-Levison, professor of theology, and other contributors

Written by professors from disciplines as distinct as health sciences and religion, literature and marriage counseling, Sex, Gender, and Christianity provided perfect jumping-off points for rich discussions.

January 31-Paul de Barros, instructor of music

Longtime Seattle Times jazz and world music critic Paul de Barros, instructor of music at SPU, read his biography of the incomparable jazz pianist Marian McPartland, Shall We Play That One Together?: The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland.

February 7-Hannah Notess, editor of Response

Managing editor Hannah Notess read from articles inside SPU’s award-winning magazine, discussed telling stories through words and images, and talked about the role of print magazines in our digital culture.















February 14-Tom Trzyna, professor of English

Professor Tom Trzyna read from his new book Le Clézio’s Spiritual Quest, which examines the Nobel Prize-winning author’s attempt to create a new philosophy and a new spirituality from three marginal world traditions: Islamic Sufism, the pre-Socratic philosophy of Parmenides, and Aztec religion.

February 21-Bill Woodward, professor of history

Before 21st century American leaders created the Department of Homeland Security to prevent another 9/11, 19th century leaders installed a system of shore guns to prevent another 8/14. Now quaint state parks, these artifacts of a past obsession with “Never again!” raise questions about threats both imagined and real. Bill Woodward read excerpts from a manuscript in preparation.

Almost there!

The library’s last day of extended hours is tonight. We’re open until midnight, so if you need to take advantage of the extra study time, feel free to drop by and instantly reserve a room for study time or to work on a project. If you’re looking for help finding resources, our librarians are at the reference desk until 8 p.m. In celebration of Advent and Christmas, come see our Christmas tree in the reading room and browse our Advent book display on the main floor.

The SPU Library blog will be on a brief hiatus during winter break and Christmas, but check back on the first Tuesday of the new quarter for more posts.

Work hard on your finals, and enjoy the break ahead!


Thursday Food for Thought recap

Last week was our wrap up for our autumn quarter library Thursday Food for Thought sessions. We’ve had a great run, with subjects ranging from movies to theology, from essays to visual literacy. Here’s some of what the final three speakers shared:

  • October 18: Daniel Castelo and Michael Langford, faculty from the School of Theology, read from the book Holiness as a Liberal Art, edited by Castelo with essay contributions from additional School of Theology faculty. Conversation revolved around the implications of holiness infusing all aspects of education. The book is available at the SPU library with the call number BX8331.3 H64 2012.
  • November 1: Julia Siemens, editor of etc magazine, read from multiple articles, discussed the process of writing true stories about SPU alum, and invited comments from current students who had pieces written about them in the magazine. Staff from University Communications also shared their perspectives on the production aspects of etc. To access the magazine, subscribe or view the current issue online.
  • November 8: Karen Gutowsky-Zimmerman, associate professor of Art, read from the book A Primer of Visual Literacy, by Donis A. Dondis, and spoke about the messaging and impact of visual literacy. You can access the featured book through our catalog. Other books highlighted by the speaker are Principles of Form and Design by Wucius Wong (call number TA345 .W66 1993), Visual Literacy by James Elkin (call number LB1068 .V567 2008), and Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde (call number NC845 .W55 1991).

We hope you enjoyed our lineup this quarter! Visit our Thursday Food for Thought website for updates and to view the list of speakers for next quarter.