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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Now what?

But seriously seniors, what we really want is for someone to tell us exactly how to take the easy way out, and teach us the tricks and secrets to finding a job we’ll actually like. Don’t you agree?

Luckily, someone has already done the hard work for us. “The Dog Ate My Resumé: Survival Tips for Life After College,” written by father-son duo Larry and Zack Arnstein, is a hilarious book that offers comical commentary and tongue-in-cheek observations on the painful and always awkward transition to life after college.

Highly qualified to dish out advice, Larry “squandered a perfectly good college education by becoming a writer for such TV shows as ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Not Necessarily the News,'” for which he won two Writers Guild of America awards.

He encourages young writers to pursue their dreams, but also to learn a more dependable trade, like armed robbery.

His son Zack, however, claims that because he is a recent college grad with no idea what he’ll do with his life “he has plenty of time to tell you what you should do with yours.”

Before even speaking with the Arnstein two-some, I became aware of their ever-present satirical attitudes.

While setting up an interview time via e-mail, I received a letter from Larry stating that while it may be easier for me to ask them my questions through e-mail, they would “be less likely to blurt out something we would later regret, taking the fun out for the interviewer.”

When the time for a phone interview was successfully arranged, I received an e-mail with an alternate phone number to call because if I dialed the other number, they’d “have to hook up an ancient speaker phone which makes us sound like we’re talking from the bottom of a large fish tank.”

As stated by author and NPR commentator, “Along with ” pirated cable and a big spattering pot of lentil soup, “The Dog Ate My Resumé” is a must have for all under-employed 21-year-olds! (Or 32-year-olds, depending on how much time you wasted while trying to graduate college.)”

I was ready for an amusing interview.

PULSE: Who conceived the idea? Was it a collaborative effort?

ZACK: My dad proposed it when I was still in college, based on what I was going through-not wanting to leave-and we started brainstorming ideas.

LARRY: He would actually have to visit the career guidance center for research.

PULSE: Where did you find your inspiration for ideas; through interviews or personal experiences?

ZACK: We talked to a lot of people; we basically rewrote the career center’s guide with satire.

LARRY: In the L.A. Times, they have a little section called the “Career Builder” with tips for getting jobs, but you’d hardly know what to do with it! One example about networking said to call someone up you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up with what they’ve been doing. Then, it said to wait 10 days and call them back and ask them for a job!

ZACK: A lot of friends tell me they notice their stories in the book.

PULSE: Did it take long for you to get published because of the subject matter?

LARRY: We started off with a proposal, and we had our share of rejections. The most frequent response was that they really liked it but “were not interested.” It’s really just recently come out, so we’ve had a couple positive reviews, mostly from colleges, and mostly from the Midwest ” we’re still looking forward to the bad reviews.

PULSE: Did one write more than the other or is the material equally weighted?

LARRY: Equal.

ZACK: Equal. The best material is the stuff we came up with together.

PULSE: You obviously have a close relationship. Did that help?

LARRY: Because of our relationship I got to say things like, “Because I’m your father!” and “go to your room!”

ZACK: We’re a close family. I have a younger brother who’s a freshman in college.

PULSE: So Zack, are you still in transition? Have you found a job yet?

ZACK: I’m too occupied with telling others what to do. Actually, I’m thinking of going to grad school to study astrophysics and become an astronaut, and this summer I’m going to study art in Italy. (With satire, mind you).

PULSE: Do you have any non-satirical advice to offer?

LARRY: Y’know, right now there is a tremendous appetite for advice books. We had offers from people who said our book was an interesting idea and they’d pick it up if we took all the humor out.

ZACK: Credit cards. Pay off the first one with the second one and the second one with the third and then move to another country.

LARRY: We did offer real advice when we listed all the countries with no extradition treaties with the United States.

PULSE: What are your future plans? Do you plan to write any more books?

LARRY: We do, but we can’t reveal what. We are working on something.

LIST OF CHAPTERS

Section One: Plundering the Resources at Your College

Chapter 1: Not the Introduction

Chapter 2: Making Your Major Your Springboard to the Future (i.e. Italian Literature=Pizza delivery; Psychology=Fortune Teller; Algebraic Number Theory=Bartender)

Chapter 3: The Career Guidance Center: Finding It, or Are You Prepared for the Next Exciting Chapter in Your Life?

Chapter 4: Identifying, Finding and Cornering Your Faculty Advisor

Chapter 5: Keys to Graduating: Completing Your Course Work and Alternative Suggestions

Chapter 6: Job Fairs: Bring Your Own Booze, but in a Plain Brown Bag

Chapter 7: Winning Interview Techniques: Developing a Go-Getter Attitude, or at Least Faking One

Chapter 8: Staying in School for Advanced Studies: Grad School, or Just Refusing to Leave Your Dorm

Chapter 9: Resume Do’s and Don’ts: A Few Years in Prison for a Felony is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing.

Chapter 10: Letters of Recommendation: 10 Ways to Find Out Who Will Give You a Good One

Chapter 11: Surviving Graduation Day: You Are the Future-Stop Slouching

Section Two: Leaving College-Your Personal Journey Through Hell

Chapter 12: Inspirational Quotes (i.e. “Follow your heart wherever it leads” when translated means “Listen to your heart, but pay particular attention to your liver, because your heart is a little unreliable sometimes, but your liver will never lie to you. Also, your spleen is pretty trustworthy. But when your kidneys start talking to you, it’s time to quit drinking.”)

Chapter 13: Prioritizing Your Decision-Making: What is the Meaning of Life, or Where Will I Sleep Tonight?

Chapter 14: Navigating and Guiding Your Family Discussions About What You Will Do After College, Including Good Answers to the Big Question-Truthful and Otherwise

Chapter 15: Networking (With All Your Slacker Friends)

Chapter 16: Your Own Apartment vs. Living at Home: Comparing Apples and Oranges (Both of Which Are Only Available at Home)

Chapter 17: Managing Your Finances: How Many Credit Cards is Not Enough?

Chapter 18: A Word About Pets (Avoid)

Chapter 19: You Don’t Have Time to Read This Chapter

Chapter 20: Navigating and Guiding Your Family Discussions About What Your Child Will Do After College-A Study Guide for Parents (Students: Skip This at Your Own Risk)

Chapter 21: Essential Real World Survivor Skills, or How to Get Selected to Be on The Real World or Survivor

Chapter 22: A Tourist’s Guide to the Real World: Knowing What You’re Doing Without Grades

Section Three: Choosing a Career by Process of Elimination

Career Elimination Exercise (Example: How big a part of your morning is alcohol? A.) Pretty big part B.) Usually add it to orange juice C.) Never get up without it If you answered A, B or C, the career of Neurosurgeon is not for you, but you should really consider being a Presidential Press Secretary)

Chapter 23: The Military: Getting Accepted into the Military Services is Not That Difficult

Chapter 24: Fabulous Careers, or Careers in Fabulousness

Chapter 25: Law: You Don’t Have to Be a Lawyer to Make a Living Suing Other People!

Chapter 26: Careers in Computers: Fatal Error E06#58647 Has Occurred

Chapter 27: Education: Long Summer Vacations, Plus the Chance to Make Someone as Miserable as Your Teachers Made You

Chapter 28: A Career in Law Enforcement: Do You Have Any Idea How Fast You Were Reading?

Chapter 29: Careers in Psychology ‘ Counseling: Hanging Around with People Even More Screwed Up Than You

Chapter 30: A Career in Show Business

Chapter 31: Starting a Band: Why Not Just Roll Around Naked on Broken Glass?

Chapter 32: Professional Sports: Pros and Cons of Leaving College Before You’ve Completed All Four Years of Remedial Reading

Chapter 33: Dream Jobs: Getting Paid for What You Do Anyway

Chapter 34: Crime: The Most Lucrative Profession for Which There Are No Formal Requirements

Chapter 35: Careers in Religion: Buy 10 More Copies of This Book and Your Sins Are Forgiven

Chapter 36: A Career in Editing: Do We Really Need This Chapter?

Section Four: Choosing a Real Job on the Basis of What You Can Actually Get

Chapter 37: Not Peaking Too Soon

Chapter 38: Bartending: Listening to Drunks, but This Time Getting Paid for It.

Chapter 39: Internships: Why Settle for Underpaid When You Can Be Not Paid at All?

Chapter 40: Doing Nothing

Chapter 41: Waiting Tables: It’s Not Rocket Science, but the Tips are Better

Chapter 42: Winning the Lottery: Somebody Has to Win, Why Not You?

Chapter 43: Messenger Service: At Least You’re Not in Some Office

Chapter 44: Begging: Being Your Own Boss While Working Outdoors-It Could Be Worse

Chapter 45: Telemarketing: Could Not Be Worse

Chapter 46: Temp Work: Not So Great, but It’s Only Temporary!

Chapter 47: The Classifieds: Now You’re Desperate

Chapter 48: Online Job Searching: You Can Be Humiliated in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Chapter 49: Careers in Research: Body Parts You Can Live Without

Section Five: Community Service: If All Else Fails, Help the Needy

Chapter 50: The Peace Corps: 10 Diseases You’ve Never Even Heard Of

Chapter 51: AmeriCorps: 10 Lethal Weapons You’ve Never Heard Of

Chapter 52: Making the World a Better Place, or at Least Cleaning Your Apartment

Full Life Experience Check List How to Succeed in Life: Writing Impressive Class Notes for the Alumni Magazine

The Individually Customized, Nondenominationally Specific Holiday Networking Card

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