Ever wanted to really, really get into yoga? Naropa University in Boulder has your (expertly arched) back with its new master’s program in yoga studies, one of only a few in the world. It plans to “integrate traditional academic training in the history and philosophies of yoga” with a “deep engagement into yoga’s most transformative meditation practices.
The new program got us thinking: What other master's degrees should be offered for non-academic areas, either at Naropa or at another institution of higher learning in Colorado? Here are a few modest pedagogical proposals.
Coloradans are good at admiring Colorado. We never stop talking about how awesome everything is. If Colorado had a giant mirror set up on the border with itself and Kansas, it would never stop checking its reflection and adjusting its hair. If we like Colorado so much, why don't we just get a master's in it?
Sure, this is a broad subject for a master’s degree program, but there are just so many ways one can express their love for the great outdoors, including hiking Brainard Lake off the Peak to Peak, painting the vistas down in Garden of the Gods, backpacking the Continental Divide Loop, camping up at Oh Be Joyful near Crested Butte, conquering fourteener after fourteener, and mountain biking all 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, from Silverton to Durango. Or, you know, reading about all of that in lists like this one. Then writing a thesis.
If at some point in the near future there’s not a way to get a master's degree in marijuana here in Colorado, we will have failed as a hemp-loving society. Seriously, we have degrees for hotel management; surely we can spare a few dozen credit hours to examine the particulars of cultivation and harvesting, sales and marketing, and service and distribution in terms of pot…not to mention banking and legal issues surrounding its status in the courts and on the national stage.
Brewing and Distilling
Speaking of intoxicants, Colorado loves its beer almost as much as it loves its weed. Craft beers, home breweries and amateur distillers are nearly cliché in Denver at this point. No, we do not want to try your latest batch of a very-hoppy burrito-inspired ale you’re calling Casa Bonita’s Revenge. But we will give you this advanced degree to study it for a few years.
Winter Sports Management
No, not the contractual supervision of professional skiers, snowboarders or skaters or that weird biathlon thing that combines guns with slippery surfaces. There are already degrees for things like that. This master's is Colorado-specific and delves into how one manages their own winter sports, with coursework like Mountain Pass Driving, Is It Too Cold to Ski Today?, and Ways to Rationalize Spending More on Lift Tickets Than on Food. One caveat to this program of study: One required course — I Can Always Do That Tomorrow, Because Look at That Powder Today! — is offered every semester but is always canceled because of low attendance by week three.
In Colorado, fashion rules definitely do not stop at layering (though Layering 101 is a pre-requisite for the remainder of the master's track). It’s also about situational fashion: One must know the region in order to know exactly how one must dress to meld with the local culture. For example, women in Stapleton must at all times wear yoga pants and either a visor or ball cap. Sunglasses must be worn, though usually on top of the head and not over the eyes. Failure to comply with these simple rules could result in isolation and separation from the herd.
Sure, you can already get a veterinary degree, but that takes, what, eight to ten years? Instead, maybe just get a master’s in canine adoration, including sub-specialties in block walking, daily grooming, training and behavior modification, food selection and dietary precision with a breed that also eats literally anything on the ground, communication (both with the dog and about the dog to others around you at all times), and go-get-the-ball-go-get-the-ball-good-boooooooy.
On second thought, never mind. The city pretty much has a lock on this already.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.