The student union at Concordia College is called Knutson. It contains the campus dining room, the campus grill (Maize), mail boxes, a few conference rooms, and the large all purpose room where many students hang out. The large room is next to the Maize, and is also called the Maize.
How do people distinguish one Maize from the other? They do so by the context of its use. “I’m going to the Maize to eat,” signals quite a different experience than, “I’m going to the Maize to hang out.”
At noontime, I head to the Maize to get lunch. Today I knew that Lisa had made egg salad for me and I was in for a treat.
But I also head to the Maize to see my students for a few minutes. I’ve been able to expand my circles to include the friends of the students.
This semester on Tuesday and Thursday I am sure to see a group of 10+ in the center of the room, four of whom will be sitting in my statistics classes later in the afternoon. Today, one my four asked, “Professor Albrecht, can I skip your class today?” He has a management team project he needs to work on.
Knowing how crunched for time he is (he had previously talked to me about it), I told him to work on the project. But as I got through the group and was passing next to him, I said, “You can skip class but you gotta give me 25 push ups.” He immediately understood, and readily agreed. You see, he’s an athlete and he understands the role of push ups, sit ups and/or laps to drive home a point.
In sports, if you make a mistake, a coach will get on you. For something to serve as a reminder not to do it again, you have to drop and give the coach 5, 10 or whatever. It’s also a bit of punishment for making the mistake. After doing the push ups, the mistake is forgiven and everyone moves on.
I could never use push ups in my classes, there are non-athletes and they just wouldn’t understand. But sometimes I wish I could be more like a coach.
By David Albrecht