Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From Athlete to Scholar Part II

I've been talking about the slow transition from athlete to scholar that I experienced. In reflection I realized that in 1991 I started acculturating into academia similarly to how I had to acculturate into the lacrosse world back in the late 1970s. Like the lacrosse world, academia as it on culture including, language, dress, shared values, lifestyle, and hierarchies that I had to learn how to negotiate. The process started during my first year of graduate school when I was doing my course work—that lasted about a year in a half. During that time I learned how to do scholarly research and how to quickly read and analyze entire books and summarize them into a paragraph. I had to also learn seminar and how to present a paper in an academic setting. But again it was no different in lacrosse. When I first started playing back in the late 1970s, I was clueless. I had to learn everything: how to hold a stick, the names of the different parts of the stick, and the rules of the game. Also noticed as a youth lacrosse coach that one of the hardest things to teach young players particularly those in first and second grade like the ones I work with is how to communicate on the field. The best players in my opinion in lacrosse or those who communicate both on offense and defense but if you didn't know the game would not understand what they're talking about because it sounds like banter. Well the academic world is no different and the language sounds like banter to those who do not know it. It took a while but I learned become fluent in both lacrosse and academia. More tomorrow.

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