The required reading selections for this year are Hard Times by Charles Dickens and the short story “The Lame Shall Enter First” by Flannery O’Connor.

There will be a school-wide reading test in September which will focus on your basic comprehension of the texts. Not only is passing the test a requirement for graduation, but the test averages for each house comprise 10% of each house’s final Interregnum score. This 2017-2018 school year, first year students are not required to take the reading test.

These readings help to provide a foundation for our discussions and exploration into the theme of compassion this year. As a Committee, our aim is to create a worthwhile conversation around a relevant and engaging topic. In doing so, we urge you to consider the following questions while reading and exploring this year’s Interregnum theme: What is compassion? How can compassion be differentiated from empathy, sympathy, and mercy? What does Christian compassion look like? Is compassion always good/valuable? Is compassion ever harmful? Are there limits to proper/appropriate compassion? Is compassion a mean (in Aristotle’s sense) between two extremes, or can there be no excess of compassion?

Here are the book and the short story in PDF format:

Interregnum XIV Readings