Starbucks’ Internet was being uncooperative yesterday. I wasn’t about to go home, yet, what with two free hours of Internet just outside my grasp. I decided to wait it out and try again later.

I turned on my Tetris. I lost. Points: 178,364.

Eventually I figured out the problem: This specific Starbucks’ router still redirects the user to a T-Mobile login when the national chain switched to AT&T.

Figures. I went back to Tetris. I lost. Points: 203,435.

Who should at that moment walk in to the Starbucks but an old adviser from college? She had arranged a meeting here with Professor Emeritus, a legendary department figure I’d only ever heard of before, and one who had read, and said he liked, what I wrote for the school paper.

We made some more small talk; I let the two of them get to their meeting, turning instead to Tetris. I lost. Points: 153,239.

Just as I started another game, my old adviser, done with her conversation with Prof. Emeritus, came over to swap a few more war stories from back in the day I still worked at the school paper. In the course of this conversation, it came out that I was looking for a job, as did my observation that journalism had almost exactly zero openings.

Have you considered advertising? Our advertising curriculum has been doing our students a disservice, because it doesn’t really focus on writing skills. The first thing employers ask now is how our students can write, and I have to be honest about it: Not so well. We’re reworking our program now, but for the time being you might find more than a few openings that might suit you.

There are a few other former print journalism students from the paper who found jobs in advertising because they can write. You should try that.

I hadn’t thought of that. I began my generic cover letter.

I can write. I hear this is a marketable skill.

Thanks be to shoddy curricula.

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