Sarcastic readings of the NAS report, life lessons from Calvin and Hobbs, and Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols’ rendition of “Oh The Places You’ll Go” were just a few of the selections read aloud at this year’s Loose(r) Leaves event.

Students and faculty read passages from published literature at the annual event, hosted in Burnett House on Wednesday.

Associate Professor of Film Studies Tricia Welsch started the communal readings 12 years ago. The meetings were initially held monthly in Baxter House, where Welsch once served as faculty advisor.

For the past five years, however, Loose Leaves has transformed into “Loose(r) Leaves” and been hosted by multiple college houses.

Despite the change in location, the format of the event remains largely the same. 

“Everyone brings a piece of published writing that isn’t their own and reads from it for about five minutes,” said Karl Reinhardt ’15, programming director of Burnett House. “What makes the event really fun is when we have campus celebrities or faculty members that are reading.”

Among this year’s speakers were Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies Henry Laurence, Nichols, and Tim Ryan,  director of athletics. 

“‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ reminds me of Bowdoin students,” said Nichols of the Dr. Seuss book he chose to read. “Bowdoin students go to great places and they have amazing opportunities. There are pitfalls along the way in life, and, to me, it’s just a very poignant book. I read it to my own children and I have good memories about it.”

Laurence, who has participated in the event for the past five years, read a short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami titled “On Meeting My 100 Percent Woman One Fine April Morning.”

“I remember Laurence’s piece from my freshman year at Loose(r) Leaves,” said Emmy Danforth ’14. “I looked it up immediately after because it made an impression on me. It was nice hearing it again, especially narrated by Professor Laurence.”

Several students also read at the event. Ben Haile ’15 read a selection from “To a Young Jazz Musician” by Wynton Marsalis and Selwyn Hinds that discusses the importance of enjoying one’s craft without feeling the need to change the world with it. 

“My favorite part of this event is that it gives you a glimpse into what people think is important, why they think it’s important, and in some ways, how they’re willing to interpret it” said Haile. “How you read a text also says a lot about what you think of it and that shows here.”

After going through the process of organizing Loose(r) Leaves, Reinhardt gained a new perspective on its importance.

“I think that these kinds of events are important on campus because presenting a piece of your favorite writing gives you a chance to individualize yourself and give people a sense of who you are, even if they’re perfect strangers,” he said.