4.11.2011

In need of a baby penguin

You know, no one ever tells you that looking for a job is basically a job in itself. An endless parade of resume editing, cover letter writing, poring over job listing websites, preparing for interviews, and fighting with hundreds of other college grads over a position that ends up going to someone "more experienced."

As my friend Kristen put it: "Don't get your hopes up because this year is all about rejection."

Womp Womp.

So today I was mentally updating my job hunt to-do list and thought to myself, "It's a wonder ANYONE has a job. This whole job hunting thing is rough."

And then I thought of the movie March of the Penguins.

What? I'm picturing all of your brains as record players that have just skidded off track and made that awful scratching noise. You won't be confused for long; I have a point. Stay with me for a second.


The first thing I thought after I saw this movie was: Penguins are so cute!
The second thing I thought after I saw this movie was: HOW ARE THERE ANY PENGUINS STILL ALIVE ON THIS PLANET????

Incase you haven't seen the movie, basically Morgan Freeman narrates as you watch penguins migrate forever away to the middle of a frigid ice sheet to raise precious baby penguins. All fine and dandy. Except your survival chances as a penguin are apparently non-existent.

First the penguins walk up to 70 miles non-stop day and night to get to the breeding ground. An entire week of walking, walking, walking. Oh, and it's usually in the middle of a blizzard. Also, there is no other living thing anywhere around. Why not? Don't know if you heard, but it's pretty cold in Antarctica. How cold? According to Morgan Freeman's voiceover, the average temps are somewhere around -50 degrees Fahrenheit...during the afternoon when the sun is out. Doesn't that sound pleasant?

After the whole mating ritual thing momma penguin lays an egg and peaces out because she's been without food for way too long. (No living thing anywhere = no food for any penguins.) So the mom penguins walk those same 70 miles back to the ocean in search of sustenance where they most likely become dinner for hungry seals that are waiting for the penguins when  they arrive. In the meantime, dad stays to protect the egg. And there dad gets to sit, not moving, not eating, not doing anything, for TWO MONTHS. Can you imagine starving while sitting on a large rock-shaped thing in unbearable, freezing temperatures for two months? No thank you.

If dad miraculously survives that horrendous ordeal, the baby penguin hatches. Obviously it's hungry. Obviously dad can't really help solve the hunger problem since he hasn't seen a meal in 60 days. So it's all up to momma. What's that? Mom got eaten by a seal? Daddy and baby are both in trouble. If, however, mom somehow manages to walk all the way back to the ocean, stock up on food without being eaten herself, and then walk all the way back to the mating ground...the baby's survival rate goes up a tad. But here's the catch: mom and dad have to keep switching roles of who is going to go get food and who is going to protect the little one until the baby is strong enough to make the trek to the ocean. And each time one of the parents leaves, he or she runs the risk of freezing, starving, being eaten, or meeting some other tragic end. Plus all along there are these awful birds flying around the nesting area picking up baby penguins like little girls plucking dandelions out of the ground.

Are you seeing my connection here? I realize the penguins' situation is a bit (as in a lot) more extreme than mine, but...

AGAINST ALL THESE ODDS, HOW DO PENGUINS EXIST?
AGAINST ALL THESE ODDS, HOW DO RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES GET JOBS?

Now don't worry, I'm choosing to see the silver lining in this metaphor. Because, you see, some baby penguins do survive. They walk to the ocean and eventually come back to the frigid ice sheet to have little baby penguins of their own.

It's April. I  graduate on May 7th. Then my life turns into a big ?  But I'm done worrying about it. I will continue to check items off my job hunt to-do list and eventually I know one of these potential jobs is going to turn into an actual job. In other words, one of these days I'm going to find a baby penguin who's a survivor and will make it back to the ocean. It's just going to take a lot of dead baby penguins to get there. Until then, all I can do is keep writing cover letters, sending out resumes, interviewing and...waiting. At least I'm not having to wait in Antarctica for two months while sitting on a rock starving and freezing to death, right?  See college seniors, we don't have it so bad. Go find yourself a baby penguin.

I WANT ONE (literally and metaphorically)

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