By M. Stephanie Murray
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 1, 1997

Make Money While Saving The World


Arizona Daily Wildcat

One of the main problems with college is that it has to end sometime, and generally, when one least expects it.

This means jobs must be found, experience must be attained and résumés must be spiffed up. Fortunately for you, there is now The Back Door Guide to Short Term Job Adventures (Ten Speed Press, $19.95).

Michael Landes (who, it appears, is considering a career change to that of motivational speaker) has not only compiled an exhaustive listing of internships, volunteer and seasonal work - he has also thrown in a self-help book.

The first three chapters of the book are dedicated to making sure you know exactly who you are and what you want to do. Amazingly, this takes less than 40 pages.

That Michael, he's efficient.

He's also a real feel-good kinda guy. A section is dedicated to "Feeling Groovy: Staying Your Best." Some readers might be frightened at the thought of feeling "groovy," but don't be scared off; there is no official "groovy" requirement for readers of thi s book.

Groovy Michael also peppers the margins with inspirational quotes. Some are good, such as those from "The Teachings of Don Juan" and A. A. Milne (can't go wrong with Winnie-the-Pooh).

Other quotes, however, are just making a pit stop on their way to an appearance in Dear Abby: "Take time to dream. / It is hitching your wagon to a star. / . . . Take time to laugh. / It is the music of the soul." (Even more troubling are the unattributed quotes; there's no one to blame for the really treacly ones.)

Research has been done on more than quotes, though, and it's this information that really does make this book valuable. Landes includes bibliographic "Resources" pages for readers looking for more information on career changes, unusual careers and general life philosophy.

Then there are the listings themselves.

Broken down into seven categories, including "Adventure Careers," "Camps and Resorts," "The Environment," "Artistic Adventures" and "Goin' Worldwide," the book presents roughly 350 pages of job and volunteer opportunities. Not all of them pay, but the lis tings include handy housing and pay symbols for those of you with more materialistic priorities.

By far, the most jobs are in the adventure/outdoors categories. There are very few internships, it appears, that involve staying in a warm and dry office and typing witty stories and reviews (which excuses some of us from the entire short-term job adventu re).

Most of them involve taking high school kids and/or jaded middle-agers out into the woods and teaching them how to rock climb and bungee jump. Some involve taking high school kids to foreign countries and teaching them to appreciate different cultures.

Again, staying home and reading are not feasible short-term job adventure goals.

All of these organizations seem very gung-ho about their mission and purpose. A typical entry goes something like this: "Crazy Outdoor Kids is committed to providing opportunities to people of all ages (between 16 and 24), with or without disabilities; en couraging teamwork and community involvement; respecting, enjoying and improving the majestic natural environment we are located in; reducing stereotypes surrounding sheep farmers; and feeding the world."

This type of enthusiasm should serve as a warning for those less eager to change the entire world, all at once.

But perhaps you are more motivated. By all means, buy this book, find that position at a fish hatchery, on a cruise ship or as a keno runner at Harrah's Lake Tahoe (page 83). Send postcards. And do let us know when we can expect that world change.

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