COMIC ALERT: Top 5 Jobs for Liberal Arts Grads (Pro Tip: Learn to Love Kittens)

As you may or may not know, I spend a good portion of my days helping eager students apply to college and graduate school through my business, Just Start Storytelling. More often than not, my graduate applicants apply to science, business or technical programs because, you know, there are actual jobs available in the those industries. I am amazed on a regular basis at how many interesting niche programs there are, and find myself wishing I could apply too.

However, as someone who has made extensive study both of the Sciences and of the Humanities, sometimes I’m a little concerned that more Liberal Arts grads aren’t finding their way into graduate degrees. Even more worrisome is the perception in the mass media that a Liberal Arts degree will land you back in your parents’ basement, working fast food jobs until you’re 50 just to pay for mom and dad’s heating bills. As someone who spent a long time searching for her own post-collegiate career path, I can tell you that this is absolutely false. In fact, if you’re willing to invent your own job, there is a world of job possibilities out there for any hardworking Liberal Arts grad. You just have to know how to do one thing: mix and match adjectives and nouns. That’s right, it’s Invent Your Career Via Random Word Generator!

From “Professional Hemp Baker” to “Extraordinary Leaf Pruner” and everything in between, there are many excellent options. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at my top 5 picks below. (To make this read extra fun, see if you can guess which ones I actually encountered when I was first began my desperate search for employment so many years ago).

1. Kitten Dialysis Operator2. Professional Measurer3. Passive Aggressive Security Guard4. Random Knowledge Generator5. Fungineer

So you see, all you have to do is shove a few adjectives together and you’re good to go! Don’t you feel so much better? I know I sure do! But seriously folks, I actually do believe you’re well-qualified to do so many jobs with a liberal arts degree, as long as you get a little inventive. I detail a few of these paths for writers in this old post up on Write By Night, but there is so much more you can do than just that. So if you’re seeking to apply those skills somewhere, don’t give up hope!

P.S. Have you guessed which job (other than the Fungineer one, because that’s obvious), I actually encountered in my hunt post-grad school? Give it a guess in the comments below!

“Has Leah Got a New Web Address?” said No One Ever Because Who Cares?

When you’re a writer, the simple act of announcing that your blog address has changed becomes an unwieldy task. It’s not enough to quickly state the news – news that nobody, not even your mother, is likely to be interested in. Instead, you must devise something clever, self-deprecating perhaps, and entirely encompassing of you as a person, not to mention your sensibilities as a writer. And you’re to do all of this because writing a post about having a new blog address is just the kind of meta-blogging thing you’re supposed to do. It’s a matter of personal branding, dangit.

Well, everybody, I have tortured myself trying to devise something that fits all of those criteria, and also how to make vague yet well-intentioned statements (lies!) about trying to post more in the future, and the only thing I can do to capture my excitement about this fresh new address and look is:

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Excited crab dance. Yeah! It’s not quite the crab dance I love from Gmail, but it will have to do. So welcome, everyone, to my new blog and my new look. More updates on the writing life, comics on silly things and enraged letters to the editor soon! (Hopefully! Maybe! We’ll see how much time I have and whether or not I can think of anything worthy of posting! Yeah!)

The Travels and Tribulations of a Failed Clown

You meet all sorts of characters on the road, from hard partying hostelers to deep thinking bus seatmates. Sometimes you’ll even meet a great character by the side of the road, like the sole practitioner of this roadside dentistry operation I encountered in India:

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But by far the favorite character I’ve ever met in all of my travels has got to be the failed English clown I found battling his way through a life of abject misery in a Lisbon hostel. Naturally, I felt at once sympathetic, concerned, and a great urge to run away as fast as my non-oversized red shoes would take me.

In The Travels and Tribulations of a Failed Clown, posted on the lovely travel site, Fathom Way to Go, I detail the experience in full nose-honking detail. Go on, click the link. I promise not to squirt you with this plastic flower I’ve pinned to my lapel.

(Sorry, just had to get in one more clown joke. Enjoy!)

Notes from a Cross-Country Travel Disaster

A few years ago, when my brother graduated from high school, I began what had become my regular trek across the country from Seattle to Ithaca, dressed arrogantly in nothing more than a t-shirt, flip flips and capris.

Then came Chicago O’Hare and tornadoes. What could possibly go wrong?

In this travel horror story, Notes from a Cross-Country Travel Disaster, up on my new favorite site, Fathom, I recount what it’s like to be a travel zombie, imparting a few key tips like, “Use your waterproof backpack cover as a blanket when the air conditioning on the train is too cold” and “ALWAYS BRING SOCKS IN YOUR CARRYON.”

Watch as your intrepid protagonist overcomes obstacles, tries to keep her cool with airline representatives, and learns a little something about what it means to love.

Just kidding about that last part. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

The Real Pirates of Game of Thrones

Yes, yes, I know there was a lot of drama over the Event-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named on GOT last week, but the real drama is over the pirating of the series. Which, if you weren’t aware, seems to be an international past-time.

I break down the ins and outs, good and bad, peg-leg and not so peglike over at the awesome website, HBOWatch. Check out, “Game of Thrones: Is Pirating Helping or Hurting” and lemme know what you think (and whether or not YOU pirate, you cheeky streamer you).