Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Want to be more interesting? Get interested!

Academia a la DePaul has its distinctions. The learning domains each one of us must master expose us to subject matter partially by choice, but mainly force. To enrich the DePaul experience, students entering in their first year embark on Chicago discoveries, take focal points seminars, and essay-write their way through the mandatory first year writing courses. But many students miss this, and though many transfers take their complimentary Blue Demon T-Shirts home from orientation pleased to be college juniors, somehow, an advisor ensures "Sophomore Seminar in Multiculturalism" sneaks its way onto the transfer year schedule.

With all these garnishes hogging our educational plate, the opportunity to browse electives can tempt us into easy-way outing.

It's also something else: a chance to semi-specialize in something way-y-y-y out there.

There’s following tradition, and then there’s the savvy to parlay your X-box addiction into a viable allocation of tuition dollars. (“Well, Dad, I’m a Game Design Minor to expand my creative outlook. That’s a real asset for political strategists.”)

Accounting minors are a safe house for Finance majors while Spanish minors are the insurance policies of International Studies students, even though hablar espanol es muy bueno, hermano!

Aside from ostensibly branding yourself the most marketable to-be-pro-something, it's nice to walk into an interview armed with the knowledge your interviewer recognizes you as a diversely interested candidate.

There's also the carpe diem argument. In my case...

I wanted to know more about my heritage. As a student of Journalism, I was keenly aware of the need to find my expert niche. Entering the clover-blanketed realm of "Irish Studies" has filled me with ideas beyond fact, and experience beyond paper.
My writing was enriched by reading Irish authors. My résumé took steroids when I interned in the Irish Parliament this autumn in Dublin, and my insight stars in conversation now when I can either debate about or explain sectarianism.

But this isn't about me. This is about possibility. This is about your possibility.

For those blog readers thinking," Oh St. Vincent, how I love to bemuse on the internet, I wish I could be paid to do this! " There is a minor offspring of most majors on campus. And some minors stand alone, like mine. Because I'm in a minor-minority (there aren't so many people minoring in Irish Studies) - it's like meeting a long lost friend when you find a fellow.

Minority-minors, as I like to call them, offered in LAS are stepping boulder stones to meeting the DePaul Vision 2012 (
LGTBQ (the acronym for other than heterosexual) is a minor, as is Asian-American Studies, Comparative Literature, Irish Studies, and Peace Studies. Information is available…. Guess where. You guessed it.

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