January 20, 2010 by Jen

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go

When I found this I thought: Gee, thanks for telling me now.

But there’s no use crying over spilt…dollars…or hours…or brain cells…or stuff. Right?

So instead, what we need are some super-fantabulous Alternate Careers for Unemployed, Over-Qualified Graduate School…Graduates.

What a great idea. I thereby submit for your consideration the following:

1. Royal Food Testers

Worried about those political enemies? Fearing a bit of Roman-style drink spiking? Call in your friendly neighborhood graduate student. Believe me, after eating unidentified three-week old leftovers that were advertised as “free food,” we’ve pretty much developed the necessary immunity. Your average deadly poison will give us little more than a stomachache, and you can partake with an easy mind.

2. Psychological Research Subjects

You need people who exhibit signs of mental illness? The truly complex cases that will test your new product? Let me put it this way: we ruin our eyesight staring at tiny spots of ink or images on a screen which tell us nothing is real in order that we may produce even more tiny spots of ink which tell other people nothing is real. Need I say more?

3. University “Living Billboard” Marketing Solutions

Can’t afford ads during the Super Bowl? Olympic coverage out of your price range? Never fear–the ultimate marketing solution is here! We willingly wear the same college t-shirts and sweatshirts for up to 10 consecutive years while coming in contact with dissatisfied individuals in your target demographic at up to three different locations. What’s not to love? What’s not to pay?

4. Coffee Shop Undercover Investigators

Does the local cafe water down its caffeine content in an effort to reduce overhead? Are the mugs really washed after every use? Whether you’re the Secret Shoppers, the Better Business Bureau, or the Food and Drug Administration, chances are, you’d like to know. On the surface we’re innocent, we’re loyal, and we’re naive: underneath, we’re hard-nosed investigators waiting to have our caffeine addiction financed. For the price of a cup of coffee a day, we’ll give you the scoop.

5. Scrabble Tournament Referees

Is “Shakespearean” a proper noun or an acceptable adjective? Is “culpa,” as in “mea culpa” sufficiently in popular use to nullify its status as a foreign word? No one wants to look these things up. What you need is an expert in the obscure, the grammatical, and the nonsensical. Someone who, though they may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, can quickly rule on an illicit attempt to use “frumious” as a game-winning word on the justification that it appears in a work of literature.

Trust me. You need us. You just don’t know it yet.

So you see, all is not lost, even for those who wander. A deeply rooted love of learning is not touched by the frost of a cold economic situation. We will endure. And we will do a far, far more useful thing for society than we have ever done.

N’est-ce pas?

"Hunting of the Snark"

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