Tag Archives: the real world

Outside the Bubble

At Wesleyan, it’s pretty easy to fall out of the loop with the rest of the world.  Even as someone who can spend all day reading news articles and blog posts if nothing’s going on, I haven’t really taken a glance at the news in the past two and a half weeks (till like five minutes ago).  So, if you’re like me, here’s what in the world you’ve been missing:

Gay Guys Kiss 33 HoursA Pair of Gay Guys Break the Guinness World Record for Longest Kiss

They kissed for thirty-three (33) hours.  That’s over a day.  And they’re not even a couple, just “friends”…

Barack Obama Went to Christian Church on Sunday

This is headline news.  For me, the real news was that this was such vital headline news in the first place.  I love these precious few weeks before elections.  The news gets so…amusing.  Dear Obama, please be an atheist.  Just because.

Jewly Bandz

If your grandmother didn’t mail you a pack of these while you were too busy “writing a 15 page paper due Monday” at the GSA & Grotto during the Yom Kippur weekend, then she must not love you.

Bedbugocalypse

Speaking of Jews, bedbugs are still taking over New York city (and beyond).  We could let them have AMC movie theaters, TBS, and even the Empire State Building, but now they’ve got Niketown too, nooo!

“Holy Shit, I’m Fat!”

Guys are anorexic now too.  “Whether they squeeze their ass or stomach, they make a point of showing you.”

The Recession is Over

Remember that time when people started to go broke? Yeah, apparently it’s over now.  It’s been over.  Get with the program.

I bet you those thick “Worlding the World” course readers didn’t include this invaluable info, huh?  Okay, but I have a composition, a manuscript, and a paper due this week on top of other things so I’ll leave you all to procrastinate some more without me now…

A Night Out with Isto

Adam Bernier ’06 followed Chris White around with a camera for a night about a year ago, during which White gave an epic Isto performance at the Sidewalk Cafe in Manhattan.

Here’s the resulting half-hour video, in which White waxes philosophical about life as a working musician, Internet fans, being on the receiving end of a hit-and-run incident, and the awkward transition from Wesleyan to the real world:

Corporate Whoredom or Selfless Service?

…is the facile but succinct question that’s on a lot of college students’ minds as the real world looms on the other side of graduation.

Wesleyan is ostensibly all about being a well-rounded individual and helping out the greater world, but college is mad expensive and cashing in with high-paying jobs after graduation is not only tempting, but necessary for a lot of debt-saddled new alums.

As the NY Times noted today, the dilemma of choosing between big money and public service after graduation, or at least putting off the big money in favor of something noble for a little while, seems increasingly pronounced as Obama’s play for the White House (and our hearts and minds) grows stronger. As you might remember:

In his commencement speech last month at Wesleyan University, Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, voiced a similar theme when he sounded an impassioned call to public service, and warned that the pursuit of narrow self-interest — “the big house and the nice suits and the other things that our money culture says you should buy … betrays a poverty of ambition.”

So what’s a well-educated but financially-strapped idealist to do?

The article mentions approaches that different colleges are taking to encourage graduates along the public service path without having to worry about the finance issue. A Harvard education professor is leading seminars to light a public service fire under Ivy League asses. Amherst and UPenn are expanding public service fellowships and internships. Tufts is going to start paying off the college loans of graduates who choose public service jobs. And a lot of schools, including Wesleyan, are making great efforts to decrease the costs of higher education, so students don’t have to worry about paying off loans.

Wesleyan isn’t lacking in efforts to encourage students to pursue public service opportunities – this is clearly an issue that President Roth feels strongly about, and certainly a significant amount of Wes graduates go on to participate in nonprofit programs like Teach for America, or work in jobs related to public service.

But many are insecure enough about their financial ambitions without the additional guilt of lacking a full-time public service commitment.

The NYTimes touched on post-graduation job insecurities in another article this past weekend, about fresh college grads getting used to gainful employment, citing Kai Johnson ’08 as someone who seems to have found at least a temporary balance between public service and apprehension about the future:

Kai Johnson, 22, who graduated from Wesleyan University in May, is working at the Greater New York chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, a nonprofit, for the summer, and will begin teaching English in France in the fall. “I’m really excited to move on to the next chapter of my life,” he said, “although it’s hard to graduate from college and leave that behind.”

Still, his summer job is part time, so he does not feel trapped, he said, at least not yet. “I’m looking at having a couple of different careers in different areas, with a couple years of commitment,” he said. “I’m not looking to having a 30- or 40-year plan.”

So are we on the verge of a new Obama-ushered era of socially conscious graduates, sacrificing personal wealth for the greater good of society? Is public service reaching a tipping point, from being easily written off as a fringe manifestation of progressive guilt, to a universally-appealing American civic movement?

Links:
NYTimes
: Big Paycheck or Service? Students are Put to Test
NYTimes
: Land a Job, Then What? Graduates Adjust to Life With No Going Back

Poor In New York

This might be helpful and/or anxiety-inducing for graduating seniors moving to big cities (I mean, New York) this summer, especially if your parents are trying to cut you loose financially.

Some tactics have long been chronicled: sharing tiny apartments with strangers. Sharing those apartments with eight strangers. Eating cheap lunches and skipping dinners — not just to save money, but so that drinks pack more of a punch and fewer need be consumed.

But there are smaller measures, no less ingenious, that round out the lifestyle. These young people sneak flasks of vodka into bars, flirt their way into clubs, sublet their walk-in closets, finagle their way into open-bar parties and put off haircuts until they visit their hometowns, even if those hometowns are thousands of miles away.

NYTimes: Starting Salaries but New York Tastes

Reports from the Field: Service Learning and Community Research in Middletown

Grace Lesser ’08 writes in to tell us:

Students from “Activism and Outreach Through Theatre,” “Health of Communities” and “Alter(ed) Approaches: Middletown Lives” will present on their experiences doing service-learning this semester.

TODAY, Friday 5/2 @ 4:30 pm

Center for Community Partnerships (corner of Church and High)

Coffee and refreshments will be served