Once he turned 40, Michael Wesch, an anthropology professor at Kansas State, worried that he was losing touch with what his students were going through. So one night he went to a fraternity party with a few of them. Then they went to the bar district to go dancing. They even tried climbing atop a few campus buildings, trailed closely by police.
It was Wesch’s latest social experiment, and the first episode of his new podcast, Life 101. His work was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education under the headline “You Don’t Know Your Students. This Professor Hopes to Change That.”
Like Wesch, it’s entirely possible that you don’t know your athletes either.
Maybe you don’t go dancing at the bars, but you could walk across campus. You could see what classes your athletes are taking, or what they’re studying in the library. You could sit with them in the stands at games and ask how things are going.
Those interactions lose context in your office.
Photo by Ron Szot