Charlie Krebs challenged his students, and many of them rose to the occasion.
Krebs, Lakeland’s associate professor of theatre and speech, recently offered students in his public speaking class extra credit. All they had to do was approach a table of students they didn’t regularly interact with at lunch and ask to join them.
Eight students accepted the challenge, and sent Krebs selfies to prove it.
The exercise was a way to nudge students out of their comfort zone, and Krebs said “I’m so proud of them, because I’m sure it was difficult.”
“When we talked about it later, I asked the students if it was hard, and they said it was a little awkward at first, but when they left the table, people said things like, ‘It was really nice having lunch with you,’” Krebs said.
“My feeling is now, when those students see the students they ate lunch with on campus, they’ll say, ‘Hey, how are you doing? We ate lunch together!’ This is just one way to break down that fear of interacting with people we don’t know.”
Krebs said this experiment went so well, he plans to regularly incorporate it into his classes moving forward.