I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
These are the first four lines of one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems. But it is the first four words, (which is also the title of this work) that I point to as the most impactful of all the poetry I have read. I think about and talk a lot about possibility. In my graduate work, discussing what could be, theorizing potentials for human connection, understanding, and progress was always thrilling. I often ask students, “What do you envision for this semester, this year? What is possible for you?”
It makes sense, then, that I thoroughly enjoy this major. The Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts major is all about possibilities: it is about crafting and designing a curriculum that you want, encouraging you to showcase your interests. The interdisciplinary approach has a long tradition. For example, the polymath is a 17th century term for someone who relishes in learning lots of different subject matters, also more well-known as “a Renaissance man” or life-long learner. In all cultures, citizens appreciate and respect others who want to explore knowledge. We enjoy hanging out with people that have a variety of interests, who are curious, who get excited to engage in ideas. If you’ve chosen this major, YOU are that person. You are someone who embraces multiplicities. You are the polymath.
I am happy to be working with the students who chose this major. I have been a part of the Liberal Arts family for nearly 20 years. My Bachelor’s degree was in English, my Master’s was in Communication Studies, and my PhD was in the Philosophy of Rhetoric. I taught in the Communication Studies department here at CSU and have done advising for that department and Journalism and Media Communication for the past two years. Clearly, I like school. And I like talking to students about their educational goals. Now that I advise for Liberal Arts, I want to keep the idea of possibility as a running theme in appointments. Have you thought of study abroad? Internships? Trying a class in an unfamiliar department? I am looking forward to meeting with you and getting ready for the semesters ahead. I am here to help with the process of this degree, discuss curriculum combinations for over a dozen departments, give information about second field options, connect you to resources, and create plans for completion with you.
What experience can you create with this major? Think of the possibilities.
I encourage you to read the full poem here and then peruse the site to read some others: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182904