Mr. Ayers, Recording Artist: 2/3/2010 Update from Mr. LopezIn today's Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez writes about Nathaniel Ayers and his latest project: making a music CD: "Mr. Ayers--recording artist."
CSUN's Common Reading Program profiled by the CSU Chancellor's OfficeThe November-December issue of CSU Impact (published by the CSU Center for Community Engagement) profiles our work with The Soloist (by Steve Lopez), this year's Freshman Common Reading. (Read it online here.)
Learning from The Soloist"From reading this book, I learned to value the small things in life . . . . This book also taught me that we should pay more attention to the people who we come across because we can learn from one another. Steve Lopez as a newspaper columnist surprisingly learned a lot from Nathaniel Ayers. Two people who share almost nothing in common develop such a good bond. One last thing I learned is to never give up on anyone. . . . [W]e must be patient and support one another because at the end of the day, if we have just one person who does not judge us and who believes in us, the possibilities are endless." (CSUN Freshman Alejandra Beltran, English 155)
The Freshman CelebrationFreshman students in 28 different classes displayed their first-semester work as part of the Freshman Celebration on Nov. 23, 2009. Several of the prizewinning projects were created in response to The Soloist. (For more pictures, see http://2009-freshman-celebration.tumblr.com/)
Steve Lopez gave the Freshman Convocation keynote speech on Thursday, September 3, 2009. If you missed, it check out the captioned videotape.
The Common Reading Selection Committee chose The Soloist by Steve Lopez as the Freshman Common Reading for 2009-2010. We invite all members of the campus community to continue working with us to develop additional ways of teaching and learning with the book.
This website offers assignment ideas, links to relevant websites, and suggestions for further reading. Want to add something? Please contact Cheryl Spector.
Nathaniel Ayers and Steve Lopez on 60 Minutes
"How Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ayers Became Friends": 60 Minutes episode (3/22/09; repeated 9/6/09). Morley Safer talks with both men, and Nathaniel plays cello.
Assignments Using The Soloist
This list is a work in progress. Got an idea? Share it: fill out this form (.doc or .pdf) and/or email it to me: Cheryl Spector (firstname.lastname@example.org). For Fall 2009 examples, see the photos from the Freshman Celebration.
- Approaches to University Writing (155) by I. Clark (.docx or .pdf)
- Art: Schizophrenia Myth-Buster Zine (.doc or .pdf) with Myths and Facts List (.doc or .pdf) by H. Boruck
- Debate: Is Medication the Best Treatment? (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- Discussion Questions from B. Boyd(.doc or .pdf); and more questions from Penguin (the publisher) (thanks, B. Boyd!)
- General: Introduction to Stringed Instruments (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- General: Reading and Discussion Questions (.doc or .pdf) by M. Riggs
- General: Reading Questions (and Answers) (.doc or .pdf) by K. Sabbah
- General: Reminiscence Project (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- General: Topics for Writing Assignments (.doc or .pdf) by K. Sabbah
- UNIV 100: "Newspaper Reporting Project" (.doc or .pdf) by F. Ifagboyede
- UNIV 100: "Reflection: On Being Alone" (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- UNIV 100: "Exploring Careers" (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- UNIV 100 HON: "Reflection: Art, Life, You" (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
- UNIV 100 HON: "Reflection: Music Quotes" (.doc or .pdf) by E. Lerner
Nathaniel's Playlist: Music in The Soloist
Live performances: Soloists in Concert at Oviatt Library, Music & Media, 2nd floor, East Wing: performances at noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Sep. 28-Oct. 2, 2009.
You can find a complete list of the "Musical Compositions Appearing in The Soloist" (along with a brief description of each piece) on the City of Thousand Oaks One City, One Book website, along with their thanks to the list compilers:
Campus Events: Some Other Possibilities
- "The Year of the Solo": recitals offered by students and faculty in the Music Department
- Staged solos by music students
- Writing as a process: the example of Steve Lopez
- A "Blue Bongo" Drum Circle public event? (The real Blue Bongo is no longer in business.)
- Lectures, workshops, and classes on relevant topics of interest to students in disciplines including Urban Studies, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Psychology, Recreation and Tourism Management, Pan African Studies, Journalism, Health & Human Development, Health Education, Health Administration, Health Sciences, Linguistics, Journalism, Music, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, English, and Theatre....
Who Else was Reading The Soloist in 2009-10?
- Bozeman, Montana: One Book, One Bozeman and Montana State University
- California State University, Chico
- California State University, Long Beach
- Chapman University
- The City of East Lansing and Michigan State University
- Gwynedd-Mercy College
- One Book, One Community: Montana State University
- One Campus One Book: Moorpark College
- On the Same Page: Cincinnati and U. of Cincinnati
- One Book, One Philadelphia: the city of Philadelphia
- One Book, One Springfield (Pennsylvania)
- Thousand Oaks, CA: One City, One Book
- Early spring 2009 faculty/staff book groups: an opportunity to discuss The Soloist with colleagues across disciplines and divisions.
- Ideas for Teaching The Soloist by Steve Lopez. April 21 and 22, 2009.
Books and Movies
- A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey through Madness by Elyn R. Saks
- The "hand of Nathaniel Ayers": actor and designer Sean Daly
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
- Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Wincent
- The movie version of The Soloist
- "Teen tries to quiet the voices caused by schizophrenia." CNNhealth.com. 4/24/09. [Consider the source, please.]
- "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Another soloist: Joshua Bell, incognito, in the Washington, D.C., metro (April 2007)
- Penguin Book Group Reading Guide