Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Reading Tea Leaves (and coffee grounds)

he reads tea leaves So, recently the future has been freaking me out. First, there’s the constant stream of information about the downturn of the economy. Every time I sit down to poop (and read articles on my nifty New York Times app on my iphone), I get more bad news. Recently it was the “3,620 applications for eight positions” line from the article about the lack of teaching jobs in New York.

See, in two weeks I’ll graduate from my master’s degree program, which has taken longer, and cost more than I would have imagined when I started in the fall of 2007. This degree was supposed to be a stepping stone to a PhD, and then a cushy–albeit discursive–ride into tenure at a university. Not surprisingly, that seems to be the same plan that millions of other 30 somethings had in about a five-year span. The market is flooded with over-qualified, scrappy, somewhat desperate, and really bored folks who are currently working part time jobs as their “in-the-mean-time” extends into a career of fragmented attempts to pay the bills.

Having just received rejections from the two law schools I applied to (yes, I only applied to two…no I wasn’t willing to move to go to law school), I’m plotting my next move. But what sort of metric do I use to plot this kind of course?

I find myself torn between all the non-sense, platitudinal advice that presents itself in our multivocal culture. Here are some common phrases (in no particular order):

-Uber-practical: Starbucks (they offer medical insurance…plus, with your experience you could work your way up to manager)

-Practical: Technical/para-Medical school (the market according to jobs available on craigslist)

-Professional: Apply to a Phd (you just need to find your niche)

-Connections: Whatever you’ve heard about through friends or family (It’s who you know…)

-Disney: Follow your dreams (in other words, if you do what you love long enough, someone will pay you to do it…)

-Paycheck: Research the highest paying jobs and head that way (it’s just common sense, dummy)

Trouble is, as much as I love advice, I’m not good at taking it. After all, my Natural Cures app told me that drinking coffee only makes you more anxious. It recommends switching to green tea (green tea makes me sick to my stomach), which brings me to my final question. How does one choose between a series of cliches? Or, to say it another way, if coffee makes you anxious and green tea makes you sick, what on earth do you drink?


  1. more platitudes:

    1) try not to read the news. it’s always bad.

    2) drink smoothies

  2. noDOUBT. I am quitting my connections/paycheck job (an asinine thing to do right now apparently…right?) to be closer to a very important person in my life. Now I’m starting from scratch, which scares the h-e-double hockey stick out of me. I guess I’m sort of sketching out a disney plan with a side of practicality salted and peppered in on the side at this point, but who knows what will happen? I’m going with my gut, and that means quitting my job but not quitting coffee… it’s one of the only things that’s always been there for me :)
    I quite like Yerba Mate, though.

  3. Wow I just saw this was posted in May. Haha. Oh well, still applicable… still drinking coffee?