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By Bryan Hay

What does a delight mean to you?

A decadent dessert, uncontrollable laughter, the mercurial squirrels on Lafayette’s campus?

Prof. John Shaw didn’t waste any time priming his community reading class for First-Year Seminar students with some probing questions about how people describe a delight. It was a perfect primer to open conversations about this year’s summer reading, The Book of Delights, a collection of short essays by award-winning poet Ross Gay ’96

In each of his more than 100 essays, Gay chronicles his own delights from seemingly routine encounters and beautiful and not-so-beautiful moments.  

“I really like that the group discussion of the community reading occurs within the first few hours of orientation, immediately preceding Convocation, because it sends a message to incoming students about the central importance of their academic work during their four years at Lafayette,” said Shaw, associate professor of psychology and head of the Department of Psychology.

For the Class of 2023, this unofficial first class on Aug. 23 to discuss the summer reading provided a foretaste of academic life at Lafayette.

Here are images from the class taken by Clay Wegrzynowicz.

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