Lone Star College-Montgomery students meet World Champion Houston Astros
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- A group of Lone Star College-Montgomery English students were invited to Minute Maid Park to meet World Champion Houston Astros front office personnel as part of their English 1302 course, Writing about the Culture of Baseball.
Students in the course met some of the real-life men and women who work behind-the-scenes to keep a major-league baseball franchise running smoothly.
Astros personnel including the vice president of marketing, analyst of baseball operations, senior director of corporate partnerships, manager of inside sales, and staff from community affairs and the Astros Foundation spoke to students and answered their questions.
“I had no idea that I would get an opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park to interview Astros personnel and watch a game as part of enrolling in this course,” said Talib Sunesara, sophomore at Lone Star College-Montgomery with plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin. “English is not my strongest subject, but when I can relate it to something else like the culture of baseball, I perform much better.”
The course challenges students to write about the connection between baseball and American culture. This trip marks the 18th year that students enrolled in the course were invited to Minute Maid Park to meet Astros personnel and tour the facilities.
Writing About the Culture of Baseball is one of several thematic English 1302 courses that Lone Star College-Montgomery offers. Others include Writing About the Movies, Writing About Science Fiction, Writing About the South, and Writing About Fairytales. Many of these classes are offered in the upcoming fall semester, which begins August 27.
“Each of the thematic courses is a variation on the traditional English 1302 Writing About Literature class,” said Ron Heckelman, English professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery. "These courses satisfy learning outcome requirements for English 1302 and many students do better when they choose a subject they enjoy."
Students in the writing-intensive course keep a reading journal, write a personal memoir about their connection with baseball, review a baseball movie and a book about baseball and will end the course with a research project. A part of the research is the field trip to Minute Maid Park to interview front office personnel and watch the World Champion Houston Astros play a game.
“You don’t have to know anything about baseball to excel in this course since it’s all about the culture of baseball, the core values, and not the rules of the game,” said Sunesara. “All my friends are jealous of me because of the experience I have in this course like this trip to Minute Maid Park and hearing from guest lecturers including Phil Garner (former Astros manager and professional baseball player) and moms of professional baseball players.”
“Some of my classmates and I actually stuck around after the interviews to network with staff and discuss potential internship opportunities,” Sunesara added.
"It is extremely valuable for the students to see how Astros staff got into baseball and to learn the nuances of their jobs," said Heckelman. "The students submitted a paper about their experience, highlighting the most intriguing things they learned."
Registration for fall classes begins April 9 and college faculty and staff recommend students register early to get their desired class schedules.