From McSweeney’s, this a column about “dream jobs you’re glad you didn’t pursue.” This week’s column is “So You Wanted to Be a Marine Biologist”:
Many people went through the marine biology phase. Most of them moved on. Not you though. You saw your dreams through to the bitter end. You started college and attacked your undergraduate degree in biology with fervor. Probably about the time you got to Organic Chemistry you started questioning your choices, but you powered through with more than a little help from that homely chemistry major you suddenly took an interest in and then let down not so gently when the semester was over. Now you were four years in and committed to the graduate school path, because you knew that without a doctoral degree your career in marine biology would end at one or more of the following (in relatively descending order of acceptability):
• Adjunct professor of biology at Central Florida Community College.
• Junior marketing associate at a drug company.
• Middle manager in charge of going to meetings at the same drug company.
• High school science teacher.
• Yacht salesman.
• Yacht cleaner.
• Pool cleaner.
• Peanut vendor at Miami Dolphins games.
None of this aligned with your goals so you went on to get your doctoral degree. Having spent the better part of a decade lost in academia, you were hopelessly out of touch with every aspect of the actual human world and convinced yourself that your thesis, “Heteronormative Behaviors in Sea Cucumber Colonies,” would have significant global impact.
One could easily substitute “Philosopher” for “Marine Biologist,” but I’m not sure it’s a ever been a dream job. What fifth grader excitedly exclaims, “I want to grow up to be a philosopher?” Maybe, but for some reason this article cheered me up considerably…