Yesterday I commented on the fate of Susan Yuzna, unemployed poet and self-described victim of Bush administration policies. (See Bush Administration Victims: Jobless Poets, April 19.)Writing in the Washington Post, Yuzna complains that after 23 months of looking, she can’t find a benefits-paying permanent position in her cherished profession, college teaching–even though she lacks one big prerequisite for such employment, a doctoral degree. Yuzna also insists on living in San Francisco, where the competition for slots in academia is the most intense. Although Yuzna’s article wanders from the war in Iraq to homelessness to outsourcing, her main beef seems to be that America owes her a dream job and that Bush is reneging on the debt.

I suggested that if Yuzna really yearns to teach, why not go for a teaching credential? Unlike colleges, where, thanks to infiltration by dreary postmodern neo-Marxists, no one wants to major in the humanities anymore, so demand for humanities professors is low, high schools are crying out for qualified teachers and paying them well. I also suggested that Yuzna try admin work, which also typically pays benefits, and quit looking down her nose, as she does in her article, at “cleaning other people’s houses”–which can pay quite nicely. 

Reader L.A.M. e-mails with even more suggestions for Yuzna:

“Why doesn’t the umemployed poet and wannabe teacher apply for a job as a substitute teacher? My good friend did this for awhile. She didn’t need a teaching certificate. And as for an admin position, it took my office several months to fill two such positions that offered competitive pay and full benefits from day one. There are worse jobs to have: I worked on a loading dock for a year after earning an engineering degree.”

Right on, L.A.M. I don’t know why admin work is supposed to be so dreadful and humiliating. So few people can spell and punctuate nowadays that anyone with a few basic writing and computer skills can land a decent secretarial job just by opening the “help wanted” section of the newspaper. As a poet, a practicing wordsmith, Yuzna should have a leg up over the competition. You usually get decent pay and benefits, plus a comfortable desk and the ability to terrify everyone else in the office because you, my dear, are the gatekeeper. Want to reduce a Herr Doktor Professor of Greek and Latin to a quivering bowl of blancmange for forgetting to close the door of the supplies cabinet? Be an admin at my university.

By the way, contrary to what Yuzna reports, the U.S. economic recovery turns out to be not so “jobless” after all. The Weekly Standard’s Irving R. Seltzer writes:

“Not only did the Department of Labor announce that the economy had added 308,000 new jobs in March–the largest increase since April 2000. In addition, the government revised its job creation figures for January and February from 118,000 to 205,000. It is the latter figures that Fed watchers say chairman Alan Greenspan deems most significant, since they show that the jobs market is finally gaining some momentum. Since August 2003, payroll employment has risen by 759,000.”

So maybe Bush isn’t doing everything wrong after all.

And here’s an e-mail from “Disenchanted in Philly” concerning the IWF’s famous study on the hook-up culture of quickie sex that has supplanted formal dating on college campuses and in the after-college social scene:

“Even though I am all for the emancipation and liberation  from the societal roles placed on women in generations previous to the 1970’s, some of the changes posed through the sexual revolution have had detrimental repercussions on present-day sexual behavior….

“Most women are expecting more from hook-ups. They are lying if they say they aren’t. I do not consider myself a promiscious individual but I have on a few occasions found myself hooking up with men in bars or apartments. After every occurence I have asked myself why? This is not the type of image I want to set for myself. Do I become involved for fear if I do not I will miss out on the possibility that this situation might blossom into something more intimate and stable, especially since individuals in the 21st century do not date.

“I feel in some ways women have not won a sexual revolution–because our nature does not enables us to feel free after we have participated in a random hook-up. It makes us feel worthless, guilty, cheap, bitter, and emotionally and spiritually devoid. I think men have a more innate ability to partake in sexual encounters and check their emotions at the door–so in actuality the abolishment of rules regarding dating that were put into effect after the sexual revolution have not advanced women but benefitted men.

“I am 28 years old and I am tired of the whole experience. I really hope that a reformation comes about for future generations because I do not wish this scenario on anyone.”  

That’s why we funded the study, Disenchanted. It’s why we at IWF want to take back the date and return the romance to male-female relations.