Forsthoefel’s invitation is simple: Listen. Yet this is a complex and timely challenge in a world saturated with talk. The power of the book for our community lies in its surprise: one might assume a tale about a man spending time outside, in nature, away from social politics. Yet Forsthoefel’s wanderings remind us how intricately the American landscape and the human experience in it compel us to grapple with and confront issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and privilege. If we take the steps to listen. - Director of Teaching and LearningHolderness School used Walking to Listen for the all-school read in the summer of 2017, then had Andrew Forsthoefel speak to our community, visit classes, and connect with faculty. Simply put, it was as useful and meaningful an all-school read/all-school talk as I’ve seen in over 20 years of being about this life. - Head of School
We chose Walking to Listen as our 2017 all-school read for its authenticity of voice and experience that embody our school’s core values of curiosity, inclusion, integrity, perseverance, resilience, and respect. Beyond Andrew’s search for identity, readers experience the wildly different points of view of people from across our country. In creating space for all perspectives, Andrew conveys the critical importance of hearing one another and how that process can be transformational. Aside from being a skillful writer, Andrew is also a truly magnetic speaker. He visited Berkshire to announce the selection to our school community, and not only did we sell out of copies of his book, he drew a crowd that didn’t disperse for nearly two hours after his talk. Walking to Listen is an incredible story written by a thoughtful, engaging, and generous soul.
Walking to Listen is a perfect compliment to any program that hopes to improve a student’s ability to listen, to be intentional, and to empathize. The book stresses the importance of participation in local and intercultural conversations in order for students to become sophisticated, life-long learners. The theme is interdisciplinary and can be used in a variety of contexts, but perhaps most importantly, it proves that the best educations require learning both inside and outside of the traditional classroom.
Dublin School was thrilled to have Andrew Forsthoefel deliver our 2017 Commencement Address. Trustees, parents, faculty, alumni and students all remarked that it was the most personal, powerful, and meaningful address that they had ever heard. Andrew brought the stories from his wonderful book Walking to Listen to life by connecting his journey to the unique journeys of our students. We look forward to continued conversations with Andrew as we work to bring the lessons of his book to our community. I highly recommend Walking to Listen as a community book and would encourage any school to bring Andrew to their campus to speak with their students!
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