Major: Communication

Class of 2017

Developing a Prowess to Tackle Complex Topics

“CCM was a really good jumping off point for me. There I was inspired by my professors and discovered a prowess for analyzing complex topics.”

Young man in blue shirt and black vestA much analyzed play, “Waiting for Godot” captured the interest of Nick Sisti so much so he was thrilled to write a commentary for his literature class at County College of Morris (CCM). He was even more thrilled when he submitted the piece, "Metaphysical Existentialism and the Timeless Confoundment of 'Waiting for Godot,'” to Medium, which reviewed it and posted it to its Philosophy section. Medium is an online publication focused on “compelling ideas, knowledge and perspectives.”

Dr. Matthew Jones, professor and chair of the Department of Communication at CCM notes, “This is something that generally isn’t seen until graduate school, and we’re doing it right here at CCM, helping students to become part of an academic discourse.”

Sisti, who graduated from CCM in 2017 with a degree in communication, initially wrote the paper for Dr. Philip Chase’s literature class. “Professor Chase took something that you might think is boring and broke it down in a way that made it fun. He and Professor Jones really opened my eyes to things I never would have explored.”

When writing his commentary, Sisti was determined to author a piece that “was more than a drop in the bucket in the extensive discourse on “Waiting for Godot.” His goal was to “break down complex topics and use good examples so people could better understand them, like Neil deGrasse Tyson does with science.”

He opens his paper about Samuel Beckett’s play with a Sesame Street: Masterpiece Theater parody titled “Waiting for Elmo.” In that parody, Sisti notes, Cookie Monster introduces the play stating, “Today, me proud to present a play so modern, so brilliant, it makes no sense to anybody.” From there, Sisti provides multiple similes to offer new insight into the play. He describes the differences in how the two main characters respond to waiting as similar to how you get to see people’s true colors when they are “stuck in mind numbing, backed-up-for-hours traffic.” The lack of structure in the play that has puzzled audiences for decades, Sisti postulates, also forces the audience to look inward to discover a reflection of their own psyche.

Following his graduation from CCM, Sisti enrolled at Montclair University. His goal is to build a career as a writer, editor or literary agent. Currently, he is working as professional jazz guitarist, performing in the New Jersey, New York area. His debut album "Future Plans" is available wherever music is streamed or sold.

“CCM was a really good jumping off point for me,” he says. “There I was inspired by my professors and discovered a prowess for analyzing complex topics.”