The campus One Book for 2015 has been selected – it is Positive by Paige Rawl. A powerful, visceral memoir of her life, it chronicles Paige’s life with HIV and her experiences with unreasoning hate and bullying. Students and staff can get their free, IU branded copy in the library, complete with a letter of introduction from Chancellor Cruz-Uribe.
You can get a jump on fall semester and the events surrounding the One Book by reading it now. And it’s perfect summer reading – her prose is lively and quick and powerful. That’s not to say it is light reading, though – parts of it are very hard. When her HIV status is first betrayed by a friend. The relentless bullying of callous kids. Cutting her wrists in the hope of just feeling something different. Sleeping pills. It’s a serious story, with sobering ramifications.
But it’s a story of hope, not of tragedy. Of a young woman who was not conquered by the worst life had to offer. And she’ll be the first to tell you – even though there’s a lot of pain in it, it’s a positive story. Perhaps not in the sense of miscreants coming to justice. But in finding strength. Finding purpose. Living a life defined by compassion. Paige’s story reminds all of us that have struggled with loneliness, with being bullied or being an outcast, that there is light at the other end. To hang in there. That you are assuredly not alone.
The One Book events will culminate in a visit from Paige Rawl on October 27, 2015, but there’s plenty to do before then. There will be programs and lectures here on campus and in the community. You can post your own stories online. And we’ve prepared a guide of helpful resources here.
But perhaps the best way to get involved is through service. You can make a difference and take a stand against bullying. More opportunities will be posted as the year progresses, and you can contact the Center for Service-Learning at email@example.com to volunteer and raise awareness in our community.
Any questions about the One Book for 2015? You can ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.