PCC Announces New Barista Studies Program
Last March, a surprising study came out, showing that 98% of college grads ultimately decide to pursue careers in purveying espresso. Students with advanced degrees focusing on anything from architectural design to office administration have found that their real passion can be expressed in the architecture of a well-foamed beverage and in the administration of caffeine to a disgruntled stranger at 6AM.
PCC administrators have been scratching their heads at this seemingly inexplicable phenomenon. Despite students having shown great ambition and focus in their studies while attending school, once yoked with their respective degrees, college grads flock in unprecedented numbers to cafes across the country, trading in their specialized banks of knowledge to wield the symphonic screech of a steam wand.
In light of rising tuition rates, sinking enrollment, and high volumes of students dropping out before ever completing their degree, we can only assume that young people will soon trade in their propensity for academia for that special moment in the late afternoon where you get to take three drags of a cigarette before dumping trash bags full of steaming espresso grounds into a gated dumpster. These very concerns were brought up at the last budgetary board meeting with PCC administration. In response, they proposed a program that would allow students to skip all of the expensive frivolity that stands in the way of students leaving high school and beginning the rest of their lives serving up steaming mugs of house drip. Starting in Fall 2019, PCC will roll out the first ever “Barista Studies” program. The president of the college stated in response to the decision, “We are proud to say that PCC is on the cutting edge of higher education programming that ‘cuts right to the chase’”
The Bridge interviewed 18 year-old Mitchum Blasely, who recently finished his GED at PCC and plans to continue his college education at PCC in the fall. “When I heard about the barista studies program I was thrilled. Ever since I was 15 I had crushes on cute baristas, I always thought that if I became a barista people would have crushes on me too.”
Now people like Mitchum will finally have the opportunity to do what they really want to do. Students no longer have to settle for degrees like history and social science, where they have to learn about social stratification, patriarchy, and systemic racism.
“Having an understanding of social issues and the ability to unlearn hegemony by putting global politics in a historical perspective just seems like a waste of time if I can make $10 an hour in tips on top of minimum wage; I mean, with that kind of money I’ll be able to rent a house with 5 roommates and maybe buy a van.” Blasely adds.
The Barista studies program is starting off as just a two year program, where students will learn how to time and weight their espresso shots and properly steam milk, but in light of the inevitable over-saturation of qualified baristas, PSU has begun to follow in the footsteps of PCC, and expand “Barista Studies” into a transfer program where students can earn their masters in this specialized degree.
Matilde Bickerly, Head of PSU’S curriculum planning committee wrote in her proposal, “After 8 years of school, students with masters degrees in barista-ing will have the ability to recreate Van Gogh’s starry night with their latte art. We are setting an unprecedented standard for coffee that only Portland has to offer.”
Students and coffee drinkers alike have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. The social landscape is always changing, technology is changing, the economy is changing, even the climate is drastically changing. But those who are looking for that perfect prospective, stable degree can be sure that no matter our countries’ priorities, people still want to spend 5 dollars plus tip on a latte.