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K-State Today

August 26, 2016

Michael Wesch's Life101.audio featured in the Chronicle of Higher Ed

Submitted by Jessica Falcone

Michael Wesch, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Ed for his project, Life101.audio, a podcast about life in college. 

Wesch's first episode tells the story of a night in which he asked his students to give him a tour of college nightlife. He ends up climbing buildings, going to a fraternity party and dancing in Aggieville, all while reflecting on big questions like "How do we get our students to ask big questions? How can we get them to open up to other people and experiences? And how can we help them attain the courage and capacity they need for the challenges of their life?"

Throughout the night he discovers that they are wrestling with these same questions, and testing themselves in very real ways.

In the interview with the Chronicle, Wesch notes that the story is trying to represent a different way of thinking about education and learning, not just as the simple acquisition of knowledge but as the transformation of the self. He says when students take the risk of climbing buildings it allows them to test themselves. 

"There are things that are much more dangerous than going out on a ledge of a building on campus. I think almost everybody who really changes, who really becomes a different person in college, will go through a really dark place because they have to confront everything that they thought they were and come out differently on the other side," Wesch said.