Friday Frivolity

It’s Friday!  For this week’s edition of Friday Frivolity, I’m going to send you over to friend-of-the-blog Mistopia for their hilarious and brilliant revamping of the Happy Hour.

I’m a big fan of the Happy Hour.  There’s a delightful, local restaurant that offers $2 appetizers and $3 drinks, so we rarely deviate from that endeavor too often.  But I must say, given my aversion to cell phones in public, I’m a big fan of this suggested game addition:

Cellular Roulette (1 Drink Minimum)

Every person in the group must give their cell phone to someone else. This may not be a person you are married to or dating. The phones are pocketed and ignored unless they ring or vibrate. Any received texts are read out loud to the group, which will then decide whether a response is warranted. The owner of the phone may dictate a message to be sent back, but may not view the message to check for accuracy. If someone actually calls the owner, they may retrieve and answer the phone (without leaving the table) so long as they afterward explain why the person calling was more important than happy hour.

OPTIONAL: before a text message is read aloud, the owner may be told who sent it. The owner may then choose to finish their drink in order to prevent the text from being read.

You can check out the rest here.  Leave your own favorite happy hour games in the comments and have a great weekend!

Profiles in Post-Collegiate Courage: Kate Golcheski

Calling courageous post-collegiates! Our interview series has been so popular, it’s going to be a regular blog feature!  Want to nominate a courageous post-collegiate to be featured (including yourself)?  Email postcollegiateblog [at] gmail [dotcom]

Sometimes, in life, you find yourself in a job that was once rewarding and exciting but has, sadly, turned into your personal version of purgatory.  This happened to me, as devoted readers know, but luckily for me, I had someone to share my pain.  I met Kate Golcheski when we worked together and although she has chosen to go back to graduate school and pursue a career in education, I’m still eternally grateful for the temporary relief she brought to an otherwise painful work environment.  Kate was kind enough to share her thoughts on graduate school, thankless jobs, and teaching with us.

Tell the blogosphere a little about yourself.

I grew up in Lynchburg, VA.  I went to Washington, DC for college where I earned a degree in English and a hearty pat on the back from the Classics department.

When you initially graduated from your prestigious private college, what was the plan?

I had planned for a while to move back to Lynchburg to save some money and decide what I wanted to do with my life. My last day in DC, I woke up, took an exam, packed up my apartment, drove back to Lynchburg, and had a 4:30 job interview. At that point, I figured that I’d be in Lynchburg for at least one calendar year–working, building my resume, deciding what I would want to go to graduate school for and where. That job interview landed me a position at a non-profit museum where I stayed for one and half years, so I’d say I was pretty on the mark with my planning.

It’s pretty fortunate to have a plan and be able to stick to it.  Can you share anything that you’ve done in the last three years that wasn’t part of the plan?

I didn’t think I’d be making excel worksheets every day or writing budgets. But I did. Is this the most exciting response you’ve had to this question yet?  [Ed. note:  Probably the most honest.]

What are a few things that you’ve wanted to do but haven’t had a chance to yet?

I hate this question. I’d like to do a lot of things before I freaking die. I’d like to have a job that I like and get excited about. I’d like to travel more. I’d like more lobster dinners. I don’t know.

Dude, I’m right there with you.  You took a break before graduate school?  What made you decide to wait?  Any challenges to being back in school after working?

When I finished college, I was pretty much sick of academia. I had thought throughout school that I’d want to go back and get my Masters and PhD in English, but by the time I finished my thesis I had pretty much decided that academia was vapid, inconsequential, and trite. I couldn’t imagine spending another decade in school studying things like the use of perfume as a gender performer in Renaissance literature. I had thought about getting an MFA but I didn’t have a portfolio (still don’t), so that put the kibosh on that. I had thought about teaching as a possibility, but I had never really considered it seriously. Pretty much, I decided I needed some time to work and learn a little bit more about myself before going even more in debt.

Going back to school has been very easy for me. I find that my colleagues who worked for a year or two before coming back to school are far more equipped to handle the workload and stress of graduate school. Also, because we’re in a professional program, I think that working helped me better understand the workplace expectations that my younger colleagues have never experienced. So far the hardest part of returning to school is not having a regular pay check.
Most of the other profilees point to random happenstance as a major factor in their post-collegiate path.  Does that hold true for you?

I don’t know about random happenstance. I know that through working at the museum I got the chance to sit in on several meetings with teachers and administrators and I thought they were the most fun people I was encountering. All of the teachers I met through my time at the museum were creative, passionate, and funny. That’s what I’d like to be like, so why not join them?
Agreed!  I’m a big fan of teachers, especially after my time at the museum.  Plus I live with a soon-to-be-one, so yay teachers!  Finally, if you could go back to Kate on graduation day, what advice would you give her?
Don’t be afraid to be proactive and advocate for yourself. Spend some money on yourself. Getting a dog is always a good choice. Go out on work nights, you’re still under the automatic hangover threshold. Take your days off in weeks, not in spare days every once and a while. Teaching is a good option, look into that.
Many thanks to Kate for sharing her experiences with us!  You can find Kate in all the usual interweb locations – follow her on Twitter and check out her blog, especially if you’re a fan of Friday Night Lights.  As always, feel free to leave additional questions in the comments section!


What If College Came With A Diploma And A Job?

One of the  most common complaints heard amongst young postcollegiate’s is the expense of student loans/debt in direct relation to how worthless the value of their diploma is in the job market.  I’m the first to admit that the “I racked up several thousand dollars in student loan debt and all I got was this lousy American Culture degree [at a college that doesn’t exist any more” joke works every time.

But what if you were guaranteed a job with your diploma?  What if your college had enough faith in the quality of the education, the value of the diploma, and the career support services and guidance that they would promise to give you a job if you couldn’t find one?  Sound ridiculous?  Perhaps like the utopian plot of a never-published novel from some literature major toiling away in their parent’s basement?

That’s exactly what Albion College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan, is doing, starting with the class of 2014.  They are pledging that they will help every graduate find meaningful employment by the end of the summer after graduation.  If the graduate can’t find meaningful employment, Albion is willing to offer free classes, free career training programs, paid internships, and even on-campus jobs.  What’s even better is students have up to two years after graduate to invoke the pledge.

I think this is an incredible step for a liberal arts college, who find themselves increasingly unable to attract bright,  motivated students for fear that you must have a career-orientented diploma to secure a job in an uncertain market.  I also think it’s a brave move for any institution to make such a committment to their students, parents, and alumnae.  The world has made me an increasingly cynical person in many ways but hearing about this school’s dedication to keeping a promise is enough to put me in a sunny mood for the rest of the week.

What do you think?  Would this pledge be enough to convince you to attend Albion?  For those of you less than 2 years out, would you take advantage of such a program if your alma mater offered it?

Friday Frivolity

There’s not a  lot of good news out there for people who are unemployed – there continues to be a serious dearth of jobs, Congress doesn’t seem keen on extending your benefits, and many of us have found ourselves reduced to be underemployed, juggling multiple jobs, or temping.  Sort of a dim thought for Friday, huh?

However, there IS good news!  Your lack of employment can lead to a different kind of wealth, of the more carnal nature, if you catch my drift.  A study confirms that being job-free means most of you are having more sex!  Unemployed women in their 20s have higher sexual appetites and are more likely to engage in risky/risque behavior than those that are gainfully employed.

So, congrats!  (?)  Happy weekend!

[Ed. note:  No, I will not comment on the veracity of these statements as they may or may not relate to my personal life.  Nice try, anonymous email correspondents.  I’m sort of flattered.]


Learning Curves on the Career Path

Great article from the NY Times on the importance of continuing education in staying relevant in today’s job market.  While my resistance to graduate school is well-documented, I do believe that there’s a strong case for continually learning new technologies, new field techniques, and educating yourself.  I am a champion of life-long learning and I appreciate the way the article looks at both traditional and non-traditional post-graduate education.

Nice effort from Steven Greenhouse but most enjoyed the comments section.  Speaking of comments, leave your thoughts here!