Introduction to the Summer Reading Program

In a Sense All Things: A CUA Primer is the book for a summer reading program that serves as a gradual introduction to what you’ll be doing as a student at CUA. By the way, one definition of the word primer  (pronounced like “PRIM-er”) is “any book of elementary principles,” according to In that spirit, we’ve chosen a wide range of authors, genres, time periods, and media to exemplify some of the questions, themes, and ideas you’ll be presented with in your courses. We’ve also done it as a “sampler,” excerpting longer works and choosing short poems or photographs so that, starting on Wednesday, June 21 with “My Expectation” (pages 3–4 in the CUA Primer), you can easily stay up with the readings and without feeling like you’re missing your summer before college. We’ve made the readings short — not to be easy, but to give you time to think about them, and maybe ask a few questions yourself. (Here’s a link to the full schedule.)

And while these pieces are substantive enough on their own, we also want you to get to know us at the University and how we think; so, for each reading, we’ll post a response piece right here on CUA’s Summer Reading Site ( that will give you someone’s thoughts and insights on that day’s reading. You’ll hear from students, staff members, professors, graduate students, and more throughout the summer — that way, we won’t be strangers when you come to campus in August. Some of the readings in this Primer are taken from full texts you’ll be reading in the first year; others relate directly to some coursework you might take, depending on your course selections; still others are simply opportunities to think about something you might not have thought about on your own. But we know you’ll find yourself referring to the Primer and various works throughout your first year, both in and out of class.

If you would like an electronic copy of the Primer, you can download one by following this link.

Photo: Composed from “The world is wrong side up.” by Eric May, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, and “Summer reading” by John Carleton, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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