Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dream job

By this time in the school year, I'm always reminded of what a coworker of mine said, after a particularly harrowing day in the classroom.  "This job is like the guy who bangs his head against the wall because it feels so good when he stops."

So, I'm perhaps to be forgiven if lately I've been thinking, "What else could I do besides teach?"  And lo and behold, what happens yesterday but that I find an advertisement for my dream job:

Docent in the International Cryptozoology Museum.

Consider the qualifications listed:
  • Are you well organized?
  • Do you work well with others?
  • Would you enjoy working shoulder-to-shoulder with experts in the field?
  • Do you have the skills to sort and catalog artifacts?
  • Can you lead a tour with enthusiasm?
  • Do you have a passion for cryptozoology?
So, I'm reading this, and thinking, "hell yeah, I could do that."  Of course, there is probably one critical qualification that they didn't list, to wit:
  • Can you take all of this stuff seriously enough to talk about it without guffawing?
And I suspect I might have trouble with that one.  My tour through the museum would probably end up sounding like, "And here we have *snicker* an artist's depiction of *chortle* Mothman.  Note the wings and the *snork* demonic red eyes.  BUA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.  Um, sorry about that, folks."

So that might be a problem.  But hey, bosses can't expect that a candidate will have everything they're looking for.  So I got all excited, until I got to the bottom of the webpage and found that there were two downsides:
  • I would have to move to Portland, Maine.
  • The yearly salary for the job is zero.
Which are some pretty serious downsides.  But otherwise, the whole thing sounds pretty attractive.

Actually, my friend Dan and I are already planning our post-retirement second career: leading cryptozoology expeditions.  Dan is, if anything, even more passionate about cryptozoology than I am, and plus, he's a geography professor.  So the guy knows everything there is to know about topographic maps, tracking, landforms, and so on.  My thought is, we'd make a hell of a team -- a geographer and a biologist.  We'd take groups of people off into the exotic places of the earth -- the Congo basin, the Cascades, the Himalayas, the lochs of Scotland, the Everglades -- looking for cryptids.  And, of course, raking in huge amounts of money doing it.

The only difficulty with this plan is the one that beset the camel-spotter in Monty Python.  After three years' camel spotting, he'd spotted "nearly one camel."  Eventually, you have to wonder whether our clientele would look at our track record, and stop signing up.  "Take a Dan and Gordon Cryptid Tour!  Ten years' experience, and nearly one cryptid sighted!"  As an advertising tag line, you have to admit that it kind of lacks that certain je ne sais quoi.

So, I guess my threats to quit teaching are, for the moment, empty ones.  A pity, because the docent job sounded like it was right up my alley.  And even more of a pity is that it means I actually have to go to work today, and try to keep students productively occupied on the last full day of class.  Which has the effect of making tracking yetis in the Himalayas sound like a snap by comparison.

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