UST Shares “The Krohn Experience” with the Houston Community and Beyond
As a Christmas gift to the Houston community and beyond, University of St. Thomas Professor Emeritus and consummate actor Charles Krohn, who experienced viral international celebrity status when he embraced online learning at the young age of 91, reads a Dylan Thomas' story, "A Child's Christmas in Wales” in a special video production.
Professor Krohn has taught English at UST for more than 50 years. “I chose this story to read because his narrative of childhood Christmases spent in Swansea, Wales, (Thomas’ birthplace and where he lived for 23 years), is beautiful, funny, moving, and abounds in vivid descriptions of snow and sea and aunts and uncles and friends and Christmas presents, and yes, even smoke and fire and some firemen! "What's not to like?” Krohn said.
Student Masterminds the Reading and Interview
UST Communication Senior David Ruiz came up with the idea of professor Krohn reading a Christmas story after seeing the original post that made Krohn viral.
“His daughter, Julia Krohn, wrote on her Facebook post "These kids have no idea how lucky they are”
That sentence is what sparked Ruiz into action. “A main purpose behind this [video] project is to share some of that luck with the rest of the world, especially the local community,” Ruiz said. “We will give 'The Krohn Experience' (official title of the clip) as a Christmas gift. These are tough times for everyone, and Krohn story was one of the most heartwarming stories released this year. This gift will give everyone who shared, read, and were inspired by his story the opportunity to be a student of Prof. Krohn's and see him in action,” he said.
Ruiz describes the filming as inspiring. “As a UST student, it immediately made me realize that we are blessed to have Prof. Krohn as part of our community. Before his story broke international boundaries, other local friends shared the post on Facebook. That's when I realized the story was going to become viral. I transferred to the University of St. Thomas last year, therefore, I never took any of Prof. Krohn's classes. Like many of those who engaged with his story, I wanted to experience Prof. Krohn's teachings. This desire is a major reason on why I spearheaded this project for the community,” Ruiz said.
Video Includes Bonus Interview
The focus of the video is Krohn’s passion for teaching, “He teaches like he's acting. It's amazing,” Ruiz said. “His voice and tones immediately grab your attention. We were truly able to capture his great character.”
“There is an interview portion of the filming, which is great too,” Ruiz said. During the interview Prof. Krohn discussed the following questions:
- His reaction/experience becoming an internet sensation
- A message for all who were inspired by his story
- His transition into online learning from the day he was told teaching was going to be all online
- His biggest obstacle in this transition
- His acting & teaching experience
- Whether these two fortes – teaching and acting have influenced each other?
- What led him to focus on teaching instead of acting?
Lastly in the video interview, professor Krohn shares one piece of advice he would give to himself in 1966 when he began teaching at UST. This video production is also the work of Marketing and University Relations sturdent worker Cainan Alves.
Professor Krohn is a Living Treasure
Upon wrapping of filming, UST Vice President for Marketing and University Relations Jeff Olsen presented Professor Emeritus Krohn with an award of “UST’s Most Viral Professor” and surprised him with a 22 x 30 inch oil painting from a picture of Krohn teaching when he began his career at Jeff Davis High School.