KSBN #GetCurious event discusses elements, themes in this year’s common read


The Kansas State Book Network hosted an event Thursday evening centered on this year’s selection for the common reading book.

Mark Haddon, author of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” provided KSBN with the theme of the event. The book follows the account of Christopher John Boone, a 15-year-old with autism determined to solve the mystery of the death of a neighborhood dog. A variety of topics are covered from Christopher’s viewpoint, but the book primarily reveals psychological truths prevalent in campus life.

Briana Nelson Goff, professor of family studies, opened the event Thursday night. Goff referenced her experience as a student at K-State nearly 30 years ago to relate the wisdom she has built through her life.

As a freshman, like most of the audience in attendance, Goff said she failed her very first exam in sociology.

“I needed to do it different,” Goff said.

And so she did, Goff said. Though the journey did not come easy, she illustrated further examples in her life, building towards her message.

“Success is a journey, and not a destination,” Goff said. “Stop running and enjoy the ride.”

Kobe Cafe, freshman in marketing, said he was not entirely sure what he would get out of the #GetCurious event.

“I feel like the book they gave us as freshmen actually did spark my curiosity a bit,” Cafe said.

Cafe said everything came together after hearing the professors’ experiences.

“Listening to their advice side-by-side with the reading of the novel by students really did it for me,” Cafe said.

Brooke Jalbert, freshman in open option, said she attended the event as part of a class.

“While I had to attend this event for a class, I’m actually really excited about what I might be able to get out of it,” Jalbert said. “I’m an undecided major, so I’m still trying to decide what I want to do, but I think this event might give good guidance.”

Tara Coleman, KSBN chair and associate professor at Hale Library, said she saw the event as an opportunity for professors to reach out to students.

“We wanted to share a variety of expertise from campus,” Coleman said. “I think a lot of time students think about their professor as the teacher and nothing more. Most students don’t realize that their professors have a lot of expertise outside of the classroom experience. You can connect all of that to something outside, so you can talk about psychology in connection to a book, a TV show or sports.”

Though the K-State experts and professors were the main speakers at the event, Coleman said she gives credit to the student performers who did readings from Haddon’s book.

“We wanted to have students do readings, and they did a really great job at communicating the message of the book,” Coleman said. “I’m so excited about the effort they put in and how well they portrayed Mark Haddon’s work.”