I suppose it's inevitable at times. Grad students get tired of the unending grind of doing classes, writing papers that no one seems to read, and teaching classes of introductory courses for slim wages. When this occurs, a life style change becomes increasingly tempting.
Now some may go the corporate route, some may (horror!) get a real job, and some may find creative ways of getting money. For example, for those with terpischorean skills, there's stripping. This pays very well; but dancing on stage can be hard work; and the clientele is sometimes very critical of your efforts. And there's the book salesperson route, which I was in for a while. However, there's little attraction in being a road warrior in the long run.
There's the lower level job along this type: being a used textbook buyer. Now, given the costs of new textbooks (typically $100 - $150 apiece for typical ones), it's not surprising that sales of used textbooks led to an extensive parasitic set of companies. However, the used textbook buyer is generally regarded as lower on the hierarchy than the company representative for new textbooks, much like the used paperback book stores are regarded. And, darn it, you have to carry the books to your car!
Some twentyish women of above average looks and savior faire have even gotten sugar daddies while in grad school. However, there's the temptation to say To heck with it and become an outright kept woman! Needless to say, things are more complicated than that: the typical sugar daddy chooses his companion based on smarts, presentableness, and intelligence as well as looks and grands nénés! In other words, she is not supposed to look like a bimbo but passably like a prestigious protege! (In other words, a trophy girlfriend.)
But wait! There's an eighteenth century approach to making a living by other means: piracy!
No, not the piracy that the F.B.I. scolds about with regard to copying DVDs or the like; but actual Cap'n Blackbeard piracy!
The trick is, like in real estate, location, location, location. The horn of Africa and around Indonesia is too crowded; plus there's a déclassé sort of maritime asset reallocation specialists around there; and you would not get much respect at all from your clientile. Plus the U.S. Navy is on their case. And the Caribbean is largely given over to cruise ships and tacky tourist traps.
But wait! ¡Mire a los locos turistas! Because of the insatiable demand for bored tourists in the Caribbean plus the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it is possible to be a "pirate" and not worry about being pursued by irate navies and being hanged from the yardarm if they still have any yardarms around. Just be part of a crew on a pirate tour vessel. And for those lucky enough to be on a pirate party boat, so much the better! A free grog ration for the crew! Now that's incentive!
My Two Landmarks
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