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Alternate options

Robert Singer | Monday, February 23, 2009

Like many Notre Dame students, you may feel pressure to “succeed” in the conventional way by finding a high-paying job, a like-minded spouse and a suburban home within a 10-mile radius of either a country club or Catholic church.

That road is well-traveled, and it’s no sure thing given the state of the economy, so here are some alternative, recession-proof career options that you can’t look up on Go Irish and won’t hear about from your parents’ friends.

u MMA Fighter/Ultimate Fighting Championship: This is a burgeoning field because of a rise in frustration due to a poor economy and the widespread crackdown on school bullying; as people are forced to seek new outlets for their repressed hatred for the world, fighting circles are opening up everywhere. It’s the one blue-collar job that isn’t being outsourced. Plus, there is no drug testing for the amateur bouts. Couple this with the fact that Mixed Martial Arts rewards rage as much as athleticism and you’ll have an almost guaranteed shot at success if you “line up” the right kind of pre-game routine. Go to GladiatorElite.com for more details. Men and women can apply.

u Farmer/The Midwest: Land will be cheap in the Midwest if there is a mass exile due to a collapse in auto manufacturing. Also, if you’re enamored with Catholic doctrine, no career is more accommodating than farming. Birth control is a hindrance when you can always use more hands to shovel the hog pen or husk the corn.

Considering the quality of schools in most parts of the Midwest, your crew of child laborers will be around to support the family business long after they are rejected from their dream schools and decide joining the military is too risky given the five wars simultaneously being fought in the Middle East. If you’re interested in buying farm acreage, call Jeff at 614-989-9394.

u Friar/Franciscans of Primitive Observance: It won’t help to pay off that $200,000 bill from Notre Dame, as this strict brotherhood of monks rejects all use of money, but it assuredly won’t put you in the awkward situation of worrying about troublesome concepts like social justice from a 40th floor office in Goldman Sachs. Instead, you’ll be down on the streets as one of society’s sufferers. Wearing a rough wool habit and living in a wooden cell, you can toss aside the tired tradition of rugged individualism and depend on someone else for a change – Divine Providence. Begging and hitchhiking and relying on the guilt – er, inspired goodwill – of other people will be your only options, since this order denies itself the use of cars and commerce. If interested, write Brother Andrew at Co-Redemptrix Friary, 20 Trinity Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts 01841.

If you’re at Notre Dame, chances are good that your parents made more conventional career decisions. But who’s to say that’s the only way to find satisfaction in life?

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Robert Singer at rsinger@nd.edu