I have to start this blog entry with a DISCLAIMER:
First, I believe a college education is a valuable asset to have in today's world - because, let's face it, a high school diploma doesn't get you too far anymore - and support those willing to challenge themselves to grow and learn and develop into responsible human beings, no matter what field they go into. Second, I wish I had listened to myself a little more closely in those crazy college days and had a little more confidence to pursue the field that I now know would have been a perfect fit for me. Not that I'm complaining about the route I eventually followed, but there's always the "what if". I find myself trying to bury that ever-present twinge of jealousy toward those I know who have become journalists, writers, English teachers, publishers and even editors. That could have been me.
I remember being a senior in high school, when my father asked "what will be your major?" I paused and thought about it; I think I even considered "journalism" but quickly decided "psychology" - a major as elusive now as it was then, I suppose. Granted, I enjoyed psychology - graduating with honors - and although I didn't go into the clinical field, I did learn much that I have applied directly in my career. Still, I always snuck those non-essential creative writing courses into my course schedule...just...because...and probably remember the advise of those professors more than my psych profs.
So, why should it be a surprise that someone, Columbia College Chicago, finally decided to make "Poetry" an official undergraduate major? Maybe because poetry is already covered under the umbrella of "English" or "Literature" or one of the existing majors. Maybe because, and let's be honest here, it's just not one of those lucrative career fields. I don't know. In the same breath, I think it's great that there would be such a demand and interest in poetry that it would warrant a college to allot enough funds to create a new major - especially when it seems most colleges are cutting back and sticking to the basics.
All I know is that if I told my father those many moons ago that I wanted to major in "Poetry", he would probably have disowned me, and certainly would not have paid his hard-earned money to put me through school to study something that may or may not have produced any marketable skills in his daughter. Then again, would I have had the confidence to have demanded this be my chosen field?
What do you think about "Poetry" as a major? Good idea, bad idea, just don't care?
For those of you who are considering this major, check out the CCC poetry blog.