Gator Reading

Growing Acceptance Through Organized Reading

GATOR (Growing Acceptance Through Organized Reading) is a campus-wide program engaging students, faculty and staff in small group introspective conversations about equity. Participants identify and discuss unintended barriers and formulate actionable strategies to reduce obstacles and bolster student success.

Each semester, we gather in Gator Hall for three sessions to discuss equity and a common reading.

For more information, contact either Co-Chairs of the GATOR Committee, Alicia Hodge (Alicia.hodge@brazosport.edu)  or Kimberly Milligan (Kimberly.milligan@brazosport.edu).

Spring 2017

Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you want to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again. (Amazon.com review)

Nickel and Dimed

Spring 2017 Sessions

Length

Tuesday

Wednesday

Times

Discuss Equity & Class

90 min

Feb 14

Feb 15

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

Nickle & Dimed               
Parts I & II

60 min

Mar 28

Mar 29

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

Nickle & Dimed                 
Parts III & IV

60 min

Apr 18

Apr 19

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

All sessions meet in Gator Hall.

If you would like to share the presentation from Spring 2017 Convocation or our Spring 2017 student flyer, please find those documents here:

Fall 2017

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

Cover of the book THE REASON I JUMP with a flower and surrounded by butterflies

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Fall 2017 Sessions

Length

Tuesday

Wednesday

Times

Discuss Equity & Disability

60 min

Oct 17

Oct 18

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

The Reason I Jump             
Introduction - p. 158

60 min

Nov 14

Nov 15

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

Spring 2018

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon

Cover of the book STICKS AND STONES with an image of four small lockers and six combindation locks.Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.
 
No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.
 
Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first understand it.
 
Blending keen journalistic and narrative skills, Bazelon explores different facets of bullying through the stories of three young people who found themselves caught in the thick of it. Thirteen-year-old Monique endured months of harassment and exclusion before her mother finally pulled her out of school. Jacob was threatened and physically attacked over his sexuality in eighth grade—and then sued to protect himself and change the culture of his school. Flannery was one of six teens who faced criminal charges after a fellow student’s suicide was blamed on bullying and made international headlines. With grace and authority, Bazelon chronicles how these kids’ predicaments escalated, to no one’s benefit, into community-wide wars. Cutting through the noise, misinformation, and sensationalism, she takes us into schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and examines their successful strategies. The result is a groundbreaking book that will help parents, educators, and teens themselves better understand what kids are going through today and what can be done to help them through it.

Spring 2018 Sessions

Length

Tuesday

Wednesday

Times

Discuss Equity & Bullying

90 min

Feb. 6th

Feb. 7th

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

Sticks & Stones
Part I & II

60 min

March 6th

March 7th

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7

Sticks & Stones              
Part III & IV

60 min

April 3rd

April 4th

9:30, 11, 12:30, 4, 7