On May 11, Berkshire welcomed author Andrew Forsthoefel to campus to introduce the 2017 All-School Read, Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time.
Just published in March of this year, the book tells the story of the young author's journey walking across the United States and the many people he met along the way. After graduating from Middlebury a few months prior, Forsthoefel was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't quite know how. So he decided he'd take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide.
In his talk, Forsthoefel emphasized the importance of really listening in our everyday lives and told tales of becoming vulnerable to others, all in an effort to hear their own truth.
"[Walking across country] is like an endangered experience in today's world. Stuff like that doesn't happen that much anymore. The troubadour walking through town; the pilgrim walking through town. It just doesn't happen," Forsthoefel said. "And I found that Americans were hungry, in the same way that I was, for that kind of experience. To connect with a complete stranger, face to face, in the living room, on the front lawn. Each day was different. Each day was a new story."
After his talk, he answered questions from the crowd, signed copies of his book, and spent nearly two hours talking about his journey and what he learned from it with students one-on-one.
Forsthoefel will return on September 18th for the All-School Read kick-off event, when he will again address the community, lead workshops and work with students. All are welcome to join in the conversation via webstream at the time of the event.
You can learn more about Forsthoefel and Walking to Listen, and also see a video of his talk, on Berkshire's 2017 ASR Reading Guide.