In An Invisible Thread, the author Laura Schroff offers some advice to Maurice about what to do when you are faced with adversity: some person or event in your life that threatens to “pull you off your course and derail your plans.” Schroff writes, “We talked about what it takes to stay on course in the face of adversity: focus, courage, perseverance” (152).

For this writing option, identify a time in your life when someone or something threatened to pull you off your course. What challenge did you face, and how did you overcome it? Did you rely on focus, courage, perseverance, or a combination of all three?

Consider the following when outlining your essay:

  • Identify the specific situation, challenge or event that you faced.
    What was your goal, and what was standing in your way?

  • Think about the resources you called upon to help. Did you
    reach out to others? What did you do to stay “on course”?

Write at least 500 words (two typed double-spaced pages). Provide illustrations or examples from your life to support your work. Since this will be the first example of your writing skills for your instructor for your First-Year Seminar course, you should demonstrate your understanding of appropriate sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and word choice.

Please return your essay by Friday, August 8th to

Dr. Thomas Edwards
Thomas College
180 West River Road
Waterville, ME 04901
Tel (207) 859-1362

If you email your essay, please save it as a
Microsoft Word or "rtf" (rich text format) document.

If you have any questions about the Common Read project, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Edwards or Debbie Cunningham, Dean of Retention Services. Debbie’s telephone number and email address are (207) 859-1297 and She will be happy to help you in any way she can.

We are looking forward to receiving your project, and to welcoming you on campus this fall.

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