Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Five Minutes With ...

Throughout the 2010-11 academic year, the North Coast Athletic Conference will give you an in-depth look into the lives of the student-athletes, administrators and faculty members of the conference who epitomize what it means to compete, study and educate at the NCAA Div. III level. We hope that this feature will help people gain a better understanding of why individuals have decided to make NCAA Div. III a cornerstone of their life.


Name: Kenneth James Farris

Hometown/High School: Indianapolis, IN/Cardinal Ritter

Institution: Wabash College

Major (s): Rhetoric/English

Sport (s): Cross Country and Track & Field

• Why did you choose to attend a NCAA Division III institution?

KJF: I chose to attend an NCAA Division III institution because of the personalized focus in all aspects of life. Academically, socially and athletically, Wabash College has given me the opportunity to be challenged, to succeed and to grow as a person. I love knowing right now that I am still growing with the help of many people around me. I don’t think I could have received that sort of care at many other places besides Wabash College.

• If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

KJF: I’d like to trade places with a lot of people. There’s so much that I still want to experience and understand that it’s hard to single out one person. I am really looking forward to spending 8 weeks in Kenya performing service at a Franciscan friary and the experiences I will gain and learn from there, whatever those may be.

• How would you most accurately describe or define the ideals on which the NCAA Div. III was founded?

KJF: I always have considered NCAA Division III’s ideals to be a focus on the complete student-athlete. Academics come first at Wabash College, and I fervently believe it should be that way at all NCAA institutions. What NCAA Division III athletics has allowed me to do is allow me to apply what I have learned or am learning into my athletic endeavors, whether that is practices or races.

• People may be surprised to know that ……

KJF: I attend an all-male college. Not many people have the courage to knowingly accept spending five out of every seven days for four years without girls; that is evidenced by the fact that there are only three all-male, non-religious colleges in America.

• How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at your institution?

KJF: In choosing to participate in a Division III sport at Wabash, balancing athletics and academics is expected. Coaches, faculty and student-athletes expect each of us to develop the skills to do this well. I take great pride in the 2009 Wabash College Cross Country team’s average GPA of 3.58, which ranked us 4th nationally. Knowing that this balanced is expected keeps my focus where it should be and pushes me to expect more out of my fellow Wabash student-athletes and myself.

• If you are stranded on an island, you would like to be with ……

KJF: I haven’t seen Cast Away all the way through, so I haven’t really given much thought to a question like this. Right now, I would want a notebook, a pen and a Harry Potter-typed owl that will deliver letters and return with peanut butter, at least.

• What is the life of a student-athlete studying Rhetoric & English like at Wabash College?

KJF: Studying Rhetoric and English, among all other disciplines a student at this liberal arts school immerses into, is very rewarding. This past summer, I lived on campus interning for the Rhetoric Department, and my main job was to help them finish writing a public speaking course. I really enjoyed spending quality time developing strong relationships with the Rhetoric Department faculty and engrossing myself in concepts that could help inspire other students to become a Rhetoric major. The English Department is just as rewarding. This coming semester I am taking advantage of the chance to study British Literature in England. I am both nervous and excited, and the professors within the Department have helped me focus on what I should do there that would help enhance my major, including certain books to read, places to visit and events/time periods to research.

• Do you have any hidden talents that very few people know about?

KJF: I am a really good moocher, and I have a very large appetite. When those two things are put together, there is rarely any food left on the table wherever I am eating.

• What aspect of being a student-athlete at the Div. III level, do you hope to take with you into your professional life?

KJF: All of it. The determination, the drive, the motivation, being well rounded, the work ethic, none of those should be sold short once I graduate.

• What has been your most memorable moment in athletics during your collegiate career?

KJF: Competing in the Division III National Cross Country Meet this past fall stands out in my mind above all else. That race really exposed me to great competition, the high character of my teammates and program, and the honors and level of athletic achievement that can be shown. This race showed exactly who I am physically, mentally and emotionally in an environment full of pomp and circumstance.

• What would you like to accomplish, both in academics and athletics, before you graduate?

KJF: I would like to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Wabash and earn distinction on my Senior Comprehensive Exams, a rigorous Wabash practice dating back past the 1920s. Athletically, I want to greatly improve on my National meet performance and run a sub-15 minute 5k.

• What’s currently playing on your I-Pod?

KJF: Coldplay and Taylor Swift. Say what you want.

• Do you have one coach and or professor in mind that has impacted your career the most at Wabash College?

KJF: Not yet. Many people have made a substantial impact on my time at Wabash College, and without each of them my experience at this institution would be far different and less rewarding.

• In your opinion, what is the most important life lesson you learned while competing at the NCAA Div. III level?

KJF: I’ve learned the role that athletics can play in revealing your character and current state as a person. My teammates and I talk about how a sport like cross country is honest in that the sport constantly pushes you to the edge, revealing how you react in tough times and in easier times. As I’ve reflected on that more, all sports allow you to reach this point of self-revelation, especially when combined with a 100% effort towards the rest of your life. Through the help of my teammates, coaches, parents and faculty, I’m learning how to apply those lessons in ways that better my personal self and the world around me.

• How many hours a week do you spend on Facebook?

KJF: Probably 3-4.

• What would be your advice for someone that is considering enrolling as a student-athlete at a NCAA Div. III institution?

KJF: Do it.

• How would you best describe your normal day as a student-athlete at the NCAA Div. III level?

KJF: In a nut-shell, I would describe it as “early to bed, early to rise”. I wake up around 7, eat breakfast, and am off to my campus job, class or other academic work. Some days begin earlier with a run or other workout; I enjoy those days the most. I try to keep busy throughout the day through club involvement and studying, but most days I have just under an hour of free time before practice to read, talk on the phone, or check up on Facebook or Practice is at 4:20 Monday-Friday and lasts until 630 or so. At my fraternity, dinner is served at 6:30, then it’s an evening of homework, studying, or flurrying around doing club stuff or the fraternity seeing what’s going on. I’m usually in bed by 11:30, and I am normally first to bed in the entire fraternity.

No comments: