We English majors from another era remember the quaint times at the professors' homes.
Mine was Seton Hill in central Pennsylvania. We recited our poetry. We read our short short stories (that was before the term "sudden fiction" had been coined). Then we earnestly debated if film was killing off the novel. The professor served homemade cookies.
How superior and smug we felt. 'Em were days of heaven.
It wasn't until we hustled out there for jobs that we recognized the unmarketability of the liberal arts. Those with degrees in business, computer science, and math were scooping up the work.
To this day, I regret how naïve I was to invest four years in stuff the world didn't care about. Not then. Even less now. I had asked a Millennial client's communications assistant, also a Millennial, if she had ever been to a Shakespeare play. She rolled her eyes. She hadn't heard of Jay Gatsby either.
Well, that pattern of majoring in English at a small, liberal arts college might not repeat itself too much longer. Increasingly, liberal arts institutions of higher learning are being threatened.
The latest blow is the end of the Perkins Loan Program. Launched in 1958, it had primarily funded low-income students. Now, reports Natalie Kitroeff in Bloomberg, "For small, private colleges that are already having trouble keeping their dorm rooms filled, the loss will be particularly acute."
Will my alma mater survive? I don't care. I still don't forgive the powers that be there for not providing more pragmatic career guidance. After all, I was first-generation college. I was clueless about the game.