Apparently, we have to get an education in some land of make-believe shot through a vaseline-covered lens in order to get a “real” job, and then endure the “real world” where we won’t have it so easy, and then, at some undisclosed point in the future, “it gets better”? If we don’t expect the level of community and political engagement that is growing all the time at all educational levels to translate into “real life,” then how are things going to get better? Are people suddenly going to start taking seriously the labor laws that compel companies to give perfunctory seminars on how not to sexually harass your coworkers? Probably not. I think it’s going to involve breaking down some of the boundaries between “school” and “work” that treat theorizing and activism and even a little naïve enthusiasm as immaterial to the way the rest of the world works.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who's been on the job search in the last two or three years that networking is now being held up as the be all and end all of job hunting strategies. Normally, I simply skim this ubiquitous and rather facile advice (it's on par with Cosmo beauty tips when it comes to regurgitating the same ol' same ol'), but this piece from the Wall Street Journal was effectively the straw that broke the camel's back. I think it was the use of voila. It's a recession, lady. There ain't a whole lotta voila-ing going on, ya dig?