After changing majors, columnist follows dream

by Jack Sawyers

Clark Kent lies dead beneath the dirt. It was his fetish for journalism that undid him.

Kent is buried with all the trappings of the informed life he once lived – his voice recorder and notebooks and at least one cellular phone. From where he’s sitting, life’s rotten, or rotting.

He wants you to know that there is no Superman, and there never was.

He also feels it important you understand that it was only his potential to be “in” as a chronicler of popular culture that lead him to even initially pursue a career reporting fantasies. That promise, like Mr. Kent, is no more.

Instead, we hang a left onto “Corporate Communications,” and leave Clark to the worms back near “Journalism.”

Now that my major has changed, he’s just baggage.

And it’s interesting to note for the first time since I graduated high school, I’m looking reasonably at forgoing my longtime ambition to be a writer. It’s a bit of a trip.

I suppose I could affirm myself and take solace in the fact that, according to the National Center for College and University Admissions, over half of all college students change their major at some point before graduation, but it’s not that simple.

For one, Corporate Communications, although named to sell, is pretty vague as an avenue of study. Rather, it’s undefined due to its broad scope. At least I could mentally picture a journalist – try doing that with a corporate communicator.

And even though many of the requirements of the Journalism degree coincide with a Corporate Communications major, switching tracks indicates a changing lifestyle and changing outlook.

I’m becoming my father … not.

No, rather I’m looking for a better angle.

My old method of attack wasn’t looking too promising. I pictured the nights, weekends and holidays that would undoubtedly be spent in a dimly lit newsroom with the smell of ink so thick that globules of it would literally careen by, much like the zero-gravity Bailey’s Irish Cream commercial. Except this party wouldn’t be as much fun, and the ink is inedible.

I realize that modern newsrooms employ only the most naturally ambient light sources available and, due to the emergence of the electronic press don’t actually smell of ink, but when it’s time to trash an old ambition with over-the-top malicious sarcasm, there’s no quarter for the faint of heart.

So I made the shift and forgot the years I spent reporting 100th birthdays and school board meetings for my hometown weekly.

I say farewell to the feature writing I did for the Kirkwood Community College paper.

I bid adieu to chasing Simpson’s numerous athletic coaches for quotes that they don’t care to give and waved goodbye to life as a columnist.

I have become a corporate communicator.

Now it’s time for me to figure out what comes next. I’m going to miss some things about life as a writer, but not many.

Not even my penchant for sentimentality is going to slow me down in this transition.

It’s time to get communicating, corporately.