The binder sits two inches high on Paul Solomon’s desk. Each page a profile and each page a picture, which gives an old-fashioned meaning to the word “Facebook.” He requires every student, all 400 of them, to submit a one-page summary of themselves for his binder collage.
Solomon is an associate professor of art at Western Michigan University. He is the director of the Direct Encounter with the Arts Program, also known as DEARTS.
“I ask the teaching assistants to go through them; categorize them by people who are interested in certain topics or who are military veterans and that way, it’s just another trick of giving students a feeling that they have a personal connection with their professor,” he said.
For a class that teaches music, painting, dance, theater, poetry and even architecture, Solomon meets a variety of different personalities and opinions.
“I enjoy getting to know my students,” he said. “I pretend it’s only a class of 20. I do my best to be talking to them as though it’s a small group.”
- Erin Gignac