Communication studies is a geek’s paradise

I started at Luther as a biochemistry major because I had my sights set on the cadaver lab and medical school. However, in the year I was actively taking chemistry and biology courses, I wasn’t able to allude to or explicitly reference Chinese author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s three web novels in any of my coursework. This simply didn’t work for me. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I will take any opportunity to bend their ear about Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji from “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”, Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu from “The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System” or Xie Lian and Hua Cheng from “Heaven Official’s Blessing”. My poor roommate knows this all too well because, as of January, I’ve forced her into making Sims for these characters that I can manipulate how I see fit. 

Imagine my absolute delight when I began dipping my toes into the communication studies pool. In the last two weeks, I have given a speech in COMS-132 about Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji and written a thesis-driven four-page paper on Xie Lian and Hua Cheng for COMS-133. Not to mention last semester, when I was filling my COMS-130 reflection journal with analysis of Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu’s relationship. 

The best part, for me anyways, is that these opportunities provide me with a captive audience. While my neighbor can roll her eyes and pop her airpods in when I rush over with the newest English volume, my entire class had to listen to my speech and offer me their attention. However, this wouldn’t be a fair or effective advertisement for the COMS department if I just blathered on about my own interests. 

Since my formative years, I have had unrestricted internet access. This has led me to become a denizen of platforms such as Reddit, Tumblr and Discord that are filled with analysis and discussion of any character, fandom, game, movie or show you can imagine. I argue that these are valid analyses and applications of academic concepts and skills. For example, as I sat down to write this morning, I had just finished reading a post written by Tumblr user @travelingneuritis about how Xie Lian’s life-changing kindness shown to Hua Cheng was forgettable to him but not to Hua Cheng in the same way the gardener’s picking the aphids off the six hundredth tree is forgettable to the gardener but not the tree. 

This kind of thoughtful work is not restricted to the fandoms of Chinese web novels. Look in any corner of the internet, and you will see people thoughtfully and academically geeking out about the things they are passionate about. This is the kind of work encouraged by the communications curriculum here at Luther. The professors push you to make connections in ways that are meaningful to you, even if that means they have to read your sixth chapter reflection of analysis on Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu. If you find yourself, just as I have, frequenting these communities, consider coming over to the Communications department. It really is a geek’s paradise.