Key to Tracking Down That Dream Job: Embrace Decadent Cravings

    Recently a lot of my upperclassmen friends, poised to graduate, have been getting a little uppity about the Real World. Maybe I’m just blinded by my comfortable two-year distance from the job market and adult responsibilities, but I really don’t understand why they’re so worried. Spring quarter should mean great weather and an awesome Sun God, not Life 101 conferences and stressing over stuffy interviews. Don’t worry guys, there are tons of crazy jobs to be found, you just need to think outside the science-and-engineering box.

    For instance, think of delicious Milano cookies. Chances are you’ve never read the extravagant description found on the side of every carton, but I bet the majority of American housewives have. That’s why Pepperidge Farm pays some lucky literature major big bucks to pump out those little language pearls.

    “”Begin with a baker’s soul,”” one cookie poet wrote artfully. “”Embrace decadent cravings.””

    Just think, now that you’re about to have a sparkly new degree, this could be you. Or if the cookie-jingle jobs are all filled, just branch out to other products. Books, CDs and DVDs, for example, all have similar summary paragraphs on their packaging. Those blurbs don’t write themselves.

    That’s right, companies actually pay people to sit down and write draft upon draft of this stuff. “”… A delicate, crisp wafer surrounds a rich, creamy filling.””

    Or if writing is your thing but you aren’t quite that talented, just publish a book of poetry. It’s not as hard as you think; I mean, look at Ron Padgett. He published his first book, “”Great Balls of Fire,”” which includes a 14-line gem called “”Nothing in That Drawer,”” shortly after graduating college. The poem repeats the line “”Nothing in that drawer.”” Fourteen times.

    No, seriously. (Nothing in that drawer.)

    But maybe you aren’t ready to stray from the sciences just yet. Maybe you’re really into studying things and collecting data. Well, you’re in luck! As you may have noticed from reading the Guardian’s news section, foundations are always funding ridiculous studies – hot tubs cause infertility, more salads make you healthier and abstinence-only programs are ineffective. (Talk about scientific breakthroughs.) Act now and who knows what obvious assertion you could be paid to confirm.

    Or perhaps you’re a fan of the sciences, but four (or five, or six) years of studying was enough. Dog food companies are always coming out with new and improved treats. I’m sure there are some pretty intense chemistry majors on their staffs, paid just to figure out the next best combination of rice, cheese and barbeque sauce. Now that’s a sweet gig. I’d love to sit around all day playing mad scientist with puppy chow.

    And don’t fret, engineering majors; I’ve saved the best for last.

    Just the other night I was watching the Discovery Channel when I came across an investigative documentary on Smilodon – that’s right, sabre-toothed cats. As experts discussed the habits, social hierarchy and diets of these ancient tigers, the documentary jumped to a paleo-engineer, hard at work in his lab. Narrators explained how this guy had been working for four years to construct a mechanical Smilodon jaw – a steam shovel with model sabre teeth instead of a bucket.

    I followed the documentary as it followed the paleo-engineer and his team to a buffalo ranch somewhere in the Midwest, and watched the team look on in wonder as they slowly directed the mechanical jaw down to the neck of an already-deceased buffalo.

    In a very careful and thoroughly anti-climactic couple of minutes, the team of engineers and experts – a bunch of guys in cowboy hats standing near a tree – closed the book on a mystery they’d been working on for nearly half a decade. Yes, a sabre-toothed cat could indeed bite through a buffalo’s jugular vein. Phew, thank goodness we cleared that up.

    With so many bizarre jobs out there, and a shiny UCSD degree under your arm, you’ll never have to worry about going hungry. So relax and enjoy the San Diego sun this quarter, because if all else fails, you still have flowery language and Smilodon to fall back on.

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