New Student Reader - Information for Students
Information For Students
Purpose of the NSR
Art/Essay Contest Info
from the Land of No
Thursday, August 27th
5:30 - 6:30 PM Dinner for Essay &
Art contest winners and their families with the President and
other University Officials. Held in the Worchester Room
of the Commons.
7:00 - 8:00 PM Author, Roya
Hakakian speaks to the Community. Held in the Great
Hall and Social Room, Holloway Hall.
Friday, August 28th
9:00 - 10:00 AM Convocation.
Held in Red Square.
10:15 - 11:15 AM Small group
discussions led by Faculty & Staff. Held in various
classrooms on the SU campus.
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Academic Open
Held in respective Academic Schools.
12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch on lawn (New
Students & Faculty) and Campus book signing by Author, Roya
Hakakian. Held on the lawn of Devilbiss Mall.
1:00 - 2:00 PM New Student Reader
book signing by Author, Roya Hakakian. Held on the lawn
of Devilbiss Mall.
of the New Student Reader Program
The purpose of the New Student Reader
Program is to orient new students to our academic community
at Salisbury University by having a common reading
experience with fellow classmates, faculty, staff, and
upper-class students who serve as orientation team peer
The goal of the New Student Reader
Program is to engage students in discussions, projects,
curricular and co-curricular opportunities generated by a
common reading experience.
Fall Convocation is a ceremony that is
the formal start of the academic year. The experiences
in the New Student Reader Program are also intended to
foster a connection between the Fall Convocation speakers
and events in the formal ceremony with the discussions and
activities outside the ceremony.
Goals and Objectives:
- To introduce new students to the mind shift that
must occur from high school to college.
- To introduce new students to academic life at
- To emphasize the idea that new students must
take responsibility for their own learning and long
term academic assignments.
- To stimulate discussion, debate, and critical
thinking around a common book’s theme.
- To enhance a sense of community between
students, faculty, and staff.
- To provide a common intellectual experience for
Journey from the Land of No:
A Girlhood in
1. To what does the title, Journey from
the Land of No, refer? Does the title aptly describe
2. Hakakian has multiple identities that
simultaneously work together and conflict with one another. She
is a woman in a country where the rights and freedoms of women
are dissipating; she is a daughter, a Jew, an Iranian, a
writer. Can you relate to any of the multiple identities
characterized in Hakakian’s memoir? In what ways has your
identity and life been constructed by your many identities?
3. Much of Roya’s girlhood is spent in the
company of women who define and shape her future. She writes:
“The women before us were Grandmother, Aunt Zarrin, and Mother,
and where were they now? At motherhood. . . .They served the
family freshly cooked meals while they stayed in the kitchen and
ate yesterday’s leftovers. After meals, the men slipped in to
their pajamas and napped. The women cleared plates and swept
around bodies like nurses in an infirmary tending to comatose
patients. Pain was their closest companion… “ (74 -75). In what
ways did Roya conform to and or defy this destiny? How did her
environment, her family, and her goals compete with the
traditional roles of women?
4. Roya describes herself as having a love
affair with the Revolution. To what extent is she a reliable
narrator as she describes this love affair? Are there any points
in the text where she is not believable? Why or why not?
5. When Roya’s father reacts to the
swastika and anti-Semitic writing outside of their home (134), Roya
turns to writing. In what ways does writing become a vehicle
for expression of Roya’s story, perspective, and historical
context of Pre and Post Revolutionary Iran? Is it an effective
vehicle? How so?
6. In what ways does Hakakian’s memoir, her
characterization of living in a Muslim land, challenge and
complicate your preconceived ideas about the Muslim world?
7. How does Hakakian’s memoir reflect how
America is perceived by the Muslim world?
Journey from the Land of No Essay and
Deadline: August 7th,
Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian
Essay and Art Contest
Attention incoming students to Salisbury University! Here’s your
chance to win a $300 gift certificate to the Salisbury
University Book Store. You can use the gift certificate for
anything the book store sells, including all those textbooks
you’ll have to buy. All you have to do is submit the winning
essay or the winning art project related to the New Student
Reader, Journey from the Land of No.
All entries for the essay and art contests must be mailed to:
Guerrieri University Center, Attention: Lawanda Dockins-Gordy,
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801
and postmarked no
later than August 7, 2009. Winners will be notified the week
of August 17th. Entries should include a cover letter
with contact information. In addition, students submitting art
projects should include in their cover letter the name of their
project and an artist’s statement or brief description of the
intended meaning of the project.
Guidelines for Essay on Journey from the Land of No by
Write an essay of 500-750 words, which should demonstrate your
own serious reflection on the book. You have two choices. First,
you can choose one of the four discussion questions included
with the book. Don’t feel as if you have to cover every question
in it is entirety; if you want to narrow the scope of your essay
so that you write about one part of a question, that’s fine.
Your other choice of topic is to write an argument in which you
compare your own life journey to that of Roya Hakakian, if you
think there is a comparison worth making.
In addition to your cover letter, you should attach a cover page
to your essay. The cover page should include your name, the
title of the essay, the date of submission, your email address,
and your cell phone number (if you have one). Be sure to create
your own title for the essay; the book’s title is not an
acceptable title for the essay.
This essay will be judged on its effectiveness as an argument,
its creativity and originality, and its overall readability. It
should be focused, well-reasoned, and written clearly, with
correct grammar and spelling. If you quote or paraphrase
passages from the book, you should include a parenthetical
citation (following MLA style). Lastly, the essay should be
typed, double-spaced, stapled, and submitted by the deadline to
the address above. Please note that the winning essay will be
published on Salisbury University’s website; therefore, in the
first few days of the semester, the winner of the essay contest
must meet with Dr. Nicole Munday, director of the University
Writing Center, to discuss any necessary revisions.
Guidelines for Art on Journey from the Land of No by Roya
The art work must reflect the meaning of the author and must be
your original work. Please take the opportunity in the cover
letter to address this for the judges. The art will be judged
based on the following elements of artistic expression:
Creativity, newness, and
originality of the design.
Visual balance of the
Clarity of the theme to the
viewer. The artist’s statement will be considered in making
Expression of emotion and
the extent to which the project can be expected to evoke an
emotional response in the viewer.
Finish or completion of the
project and attention to quality.
Overall impression. The
effect of the project as a whole, often based on the first
glimpse of the finished piece will be judged. Without regard
to the other criterion, does it stand on
its own as a good and complete work of art?
2008-2009 Book - Into the Wild
2007-2008 Book - The Glass Castle
2006 - 2007 Book - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
2005-2006 Book - Funny in Farsi