Among the changes to the Cornerstone course this year has been its consolidation with the Freshman Common Reading, which new students now will read as part of the first-year course. This year students will read Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas.
In the past, incoming freshmen would receive a free copy of the Common Reading book to read before school began,Â said Gregory Straughn, assistant provost for general education.Â Now the reading will be course work for the Cornerstone class.
Funny in Farsi chronicles the author’s life after she and her family move to America from Iran with little understanding of American culture.
The book was selected because it provides insightÂ into the life of a family thrown into culture-shock. Straughn said the story displays American culture in a way that might be new to many students who have spent their whole lives in the U.S.
“It helps provide a picture of America from an outside perspective,” he said.
One of the goals of the Cornerstone course is to challenge students to see the world from different perspectives, said Straughn,Â which is precisely whatÂ Funny in Farsi accomplishes.