Bill Bateman is a magician, emcee, entertainer, and now the new Instructional Coordinator at SOU’s Center for Instructional Support, located at Hannon Library.
Bateman has a long background in a diverse range of professions, but he’s particularly enjoying his welcome here at Southern Oregon University. He comments, “I have not met anyone here who does not seem energetic, competent, caring. Working with these two,” referring to CIS staff Vicki Suter and Hart Wilson, “all the BS that goes with working a new job has just gone out of the way.”
Bateman explained how goofy and unique working at CIS can be. He told us that he and his co-workers use sock puppets occasionally to break the ice and release stress. Overall, Bateman has had positive experiences in Ashland. Bateman says, “I have a strong background in media: radio, television, film, I had a theatre company that I ran for a number of years in Portland. So the fact that this is a theatre and entertainment oriented community here is like yessss.”
Media and magic have long been a part of Bateman’s life. He says you can learn a lot about people based on their reactions to simple magic tricks. He says, “I’ve had people get angry, I’ve had people get offended, I’ve had one person say I was the devil.” Bateman uses his experience with magic to improve his work, explaining, “Generally within the first few minutes you form an opinion of someone whether you’re aware of it or not. I’m told most job interviews are done within the first 30 to 45 seconds. There’s this tipping point type quality to magic; magic requires you do the same things as you do as the Moodle guy, or the trainer, or the faculty member, to get the attention and trust of a class.”
Although Bateman has not performed magic for everyone at Hannon yet, he has done a little bit for students, who mostly respond positively. For Bateman, “Connecting to people is a basic necessity. A human need. You can die of loneliness; it’s a disease, I mean—look it up.”
He continues, “By talking to somebody, by interacting with them, by working through a situation where I’m able to catch their attention to astonish them…it’s a good way to reach people, it’s a good way to establish a one to one connection, and once you have made that connection then you’re ready to begin working.”
As a former employee of multiple universities, Bateman comes to SOU with a fresh perspective from a lifetime of experience. We at Hannon Library are excited to add him to our team.
By Alex Mesadieu