Disc golf, movies, and worship: Our interview with Snowbarger RD Anthony Puryear

Snowbarger RD Anthony Puryear, second from left, leads worship in August 2012. (Photo by Kyle Pierce)

Resident directors play an important role in students’ college experiences. We interviewed Snowbarger RD Anthony Puryear during LEAD Retreat.

The Echo: How have your expectations coming into your second year as an RD changed compared to your expectations last year for your first year as an RD?

Anthony Puryear: Well, last year I don’t feel like I had any clue what to expect, and this year, at least, I’m prepared for move-in and for students and all that stuff. I feel like I have a lot better grasp on [resident life] and all that stuff this year.

TE: I often see you in the Snowbarger lobby, watching movies with students and watching games. What sports do you like watching the most?

AP: Well, I’ve always liked football. I play fantasy football. That’s like a big hobby of mine. I’ve been watching the Olympics; I’ve been doing that a lot. I like watching Thunder Basketball and KU Basketball. I like Basketball, that’s my favorite. March Madness.

TE: What are your go-to movies?

AP: I like comedies, something I’m not allowed to watch in the lobby. “Anchorman” is my favorite. . . Another one I can’t watch: “Boondock Saints.” I just had my RA’s watch the whole Bourne Trilogy. So, I like those. I like a lot of different movies.

TE: So, I know Snowbarger has a unique feel because there is a unique mix of freshman and a range of ages living there. What’s it like being an RD for so many freshman?

AP: It’s fun. There’s a lot more excitement. I think the sophomores and upperclassmen I have – if they chose [Snowbarger], then I think they knew they were going to be in a close community which is exciting to me. I loved dorm life when I was in college and this is exactly what my kind of experience was. I like being involved on the halls. Like at midnight hanging out in the dorm, stuff like that.

TE: I also know you have a kid on the way, so what do you think it’s going to be like being a Dad and working at SNU? [Editor’s note: Anthony and his wife have given birth to their daughter since this interview.]

AP: It’ll be different for sure. One of the nicest things this past year was I had a pretty flexible schedule. I could meet and do things whenever, but now I’m going to have to be a little more structured. I’ll have to enforce a little quieter standards around the dorm, at least near my apartment . . . I’m also starting Master’s work, so that will change my schedule.

TE: What will you be studying?

AP: Counseling . . . It’ll be good. It will just be a lot busier.

TE: I know you’re also an avid disc-golfer. When did you get started with that?

AP: I’ve been a disc-golfer close to seven years. I’ve probably been playing seriously for like four years, so I can compete in tournaments and travel. I’m hoping to play in the world championships this coming summer. It’s in Emporia, Kansas, so it’s a drivable distance.

TE: Can you tell me a little more about the history of disc golf?

AP: It’s been around for a long time, probably since the 70s. They claim it’s the fastest growing sport in the world. So, I don’t know if there’s actual facts to support that or not, but I know there’s courses popping up all over the place. In OKC alone there are 10 courses at least.

TE: I know you also enjoy playing guitar and leading worship. How long have you been doing that?

AP: Since I was 14, so 14 almost 15 years.

TE: Do you have a favorite worship song?

AP: I really just like a lot of David Crowder… It gets me pumped. Like his newest album, I’ve been listening to it since it came out. It doesn’t get old to me.

–This is the second in a series of interviews with resident directors to help students get to know them better. You can read our interview with Chapman RD Jocelyn Bullock here and with Hills Assistant RD Tim Cole here.