September 16, 2010

The Berry Patch: Fair Thee Well

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As one observant reader pointed out in honor of the Sun’s 130th birthday, Romeyn Berry may or may not have invented the Berry Patch in 1904. There’s really no way to verify it, but the guy’s Wikipedia page says he coined the nickname “Big Red,” managed the Cornell Glee Club, and was named to the American Olympic Committee in 1932. So we wouldn’t be surprised if this mysterious renaissance man did indeed give birth to the Berry Patch and its team of muckrakers way back when.

In honor of his enterprising spirit, we sent a small army of crack reporters to Barton Hall to assess the merits of Cornell’s Career Fair. Although they had a bit of trouble navigating the heaps of bullshit being tossed back and forth between eager-beaver students and all-too-giddy recruiters, they were able to compile the following list of jobs that were conspicuously absent.


The booth labeled “Astronaut” was obscenely popular at the Caroline Elementary School Career Fair, but at Cornell’s? Not so much. Probably around the time they puberty hit, the ambitious little space cadets transformed into soulless, i-banking spawns of Satan. They still want to go into the cosmos, but they’d rather take one of Richard Branson’s Space Tours and skip all that numbers-y, engineering-y smart stuff required to be a real astronaut.

Anything Not Related to Banking

Unless you want to spend the next 40 years moving money around and popping bubbles, there was not a lot for you to see at the “General Interest” career fair. The Engineering and Tech career fair was only slightly better: it offered jobs inflating those bubbles.

Theater-er, Filmer, or Dancer

The employers must have heard the bad news. Apparently fine arts students coming out of Cornell have no “practical knowledge” anymore, only theoretical chops. They could write you a dissertation on exactly why and how an actor playing Hamlet should express emotion, but when asked to actually perform the role, they get all defensive and say stuff like, “I only mean that in theory. Stop pressuring me.” Unfortunately for these fine artsies, jobs that only exist in theory are far less lucrative than, you know, actual jobs.

Park Ranger

Or anything outdoorsy or hands-on for that matter. Despite living and going to school in this “gorges” locale for four years, Cornellians’ options for future workspaces were limited to “cubicle” or “mom’s basement.” Whichever you choose (for the record, we’re taking the latter), you’re basically guaranteed to be staring at a screen for at least six hours every day. Hope you enjoy early-onset bad vision and carpal tunnel.

Tailors For America (TFA)

This poor ragtag band of patriotic tailors (they were the top-selling U.S. flag producers in 2005) was swallowed up whole by Wendy Kopp’s educational equity war machine. The other TFA — the one that feeds on naive overachievers’ self-doubts, then poops out disenchanted 20-somethings and marginally better-educated underprivileged youth — was obviously spitting game at the career fair. But alas, America’s tailors were nowhere to be found.


We looked, no dice.