As many of you may remember, if you grew up watching Indiana Jones movies like I did, Dr. Henry Wilson Jones Jr. or more famously known as Indiana (Indy) Jones was a professor of archaeology. The wise and well versed college professor lectured on ancient civilizations before opportunity arose in each movie for him to transform into a snake fearing, relic chasing, danger-dodging superhero better known as Indy. But when I was younger and watched these movies, I never thought I would apply what I learned in my current profession. Here is what Indiana Jones taught me about being a college professor.
1. Be An Expert
Countless times throughout the Indiana Jones series Indy has to use his vast knowledge to save his life and the lives of the people with him. He is an expert in his field. As a professor, you need to know your subject, and you should be able to apply that knowledge across a variety of contexts to solve problems.
2. Stay Curious and Passionate
Indiana Jones is passionate and excited about his field. In fact, any time there is a chance to explore an ancient culture or find a new relic, Dr. Jones quickly leaves on an adventure. Now, I am not suggesting that you take off on adventures anytime you feel the urge….you may find yourself unemployed! But do stay curious about the latest developments in your field, search for new developments and research your subject passionately to uncover new relics.
3. Imperfect Superhero
Spielberg describes Indiana Jones as the imperfect superhero, and I agree! Indiana Jones can be the butt of the joke, he gets hurt, express pain and is open about his dislike of snakes. Indiana represents the average professor who can transform into a superhero. Furthermore, he teaches us the humility we all need to have in the classroom. No matter how epic you are, being human makes us more relatable and likable to students.
4. Research Is Exciting
Dr. Jones is a Ph.D. teaching archaeology at a university, but his research and dedication to exploration make him dangerous and ostentatious. I realize that not all of our research takes us around the world exploring ancient indigenous cultures, but discovery is exciting! Looking at new trends and adding to the field of research is exciting, because you’re helping to find the answers to tomorrow’s questions!
5. Adventure Is Always Worth It
Explore. Uncover. Discover. Get out out of your comfort zone. Try something new! Indy always finds the relic he is in search of because he is determined and never gives up. This motivates him to seek the next adventure. While adventure means something different for each of us, I encourage you to determine what it means for you. The lessons learned on adventures you take can be applied to your professional and personal life; in the classroom or just to help establish self-care by taking time to do things you enjoy.
I am anxiously awaiting the new Indiana Jones film set to be released in 2020. If you haven’t seen these films, the summer is a perfect time to check them out. I grew up watching the Indian Jones series with my parents! I never dreamed I would grow up and work in higher education; however, I would like to think I am a little bit cooler in my role as a professor, because of the lessons I learned from Indian Jones!