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FYE Book

Fall 2015

Into the Wild Book Cover
Hello Saints!
Our first-year book for Fall 2015, Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, investigates the powerful story of Chris McCandless who, shortly after college graduation, abandons all of his possessions and savings to set out into the wilds of Alaska.  His journey and his fateful death have captured tabloid headlines and become the subject of a major motion picture.  As importantly, Krakauer’s beautiful interrogation of Chris’ life in the book has provoked conversation about the kind of deeply reflective philosophical and human questions that are the goals of a meaningful college education: what is (or ought to be) the relationship between an individual and society, other individuals, or their community?  Man and nature?  Us, in our 20s, and the families that raised us?  What does our sense of self have to do with our class, our wealth, or the things that we own?  If we reject those things (as McCandless does) for a more "authentic" life, what makes that life meaningful?  How does one find authentic experience? 
We hope you’ve started the reading and are enjoying it! 

Essay Contest

This Fall we all will have a very special opportunity to engage the novel in a powerfully real way: 
In conjunction with our reading Into the Wild over the summer, and discussion during Freshman Orientation and throughout the Fall semester, we will be visited during orientation by Carine McCandless, sister of the subject of the book, Chris.  Carine will be coming to speak at Flagler for your Convocation ceremony and a variety of related events.  She is the author of The Wild Truth — her own harrowing account, written some 20 years later, of the troubled and violent family environment that she and Chris grew up in, as well as the story of how she learned to find her own voice growing up as “the sister of Chris McCandless” and share her powerful story.
Carine has graciously agreed to meet with a small group of incoming Flagler students for a special lunch when she is on campus.  At this intimate gathering, you will enjoy the opportunity to discuss the book and your reflections with Carine and a select group of Flagler faculty in the historic Markland House. You will also be provided with a copy of Carine’s book, The Wild Truth, and the opportunity for her to sign the text as well as a photo with Carine. 
We are having an essay contest to determine who will get to attend the lunch with Carine. 

Contest Rules:

  1. Write a 750 word or less essay- What questions does the story provike in your mind- about Chris' life, about the lives of those he interacted with, or about your own life?  Where do these questions come from in the novel, and how do you think about your upcoming college experience as a chance to explore, and perhaps begin to form your own answers to, those questions?

    For many readers, Krakauer’s investigation of Chris’ life and death provokes more questions than it provides answers for.  There are practical questions, of course — about how exactly Chris died, for example — but we’re talking more about philosophical questions here. Explain your answer with reference to the book itself, and what in it has prompted your response.

    Essay guide

    • Your essay should have your name and Flagler email address in the top left corner
    • Essays must be submitted in .doc or .pdf format
    • When citing the book, please note the page number referenced


  2. Submit your essay by August 10th to the Director of First Year Experience, Jill Miller, at A panel of Flagler faculty will read the essays, select the winners, and send out invitations to students before Orientation begins.

The Wild Truth

* More about Carine’s book and the story of its writing can be found in the links below:

from Newsweek:

What Really Drove Christopher McCandless ‘Into the Wild,’ According to Sister Carine’s Memoir

and, from NPR:

Behind The Famous Story, A Difficult 'Wild Truth'


Important Dates


June 16-19, 2015

Housing Assignments

July 1, 2015

Building Your Legacy Orientation Begins

August 22, 2015
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