Monday, December 24, 2007
NEW CAREER ASPIRATIONS
Merry Christmas everyone!
I know most people focus on the joy of he holiday season, but it's also a time to think about where you are in life, and how different the reality is from your childhood dreams. (Really, how many of us are astronauts, ballerinas or cowboys? And yet we still trudge to work anyway, our childhood dreams in tatters.) The the dying of one year and the birth of a new one are cause for a lot of introspection...
Which is why when I read that there is a brand new school of higher learning, where I can better my professional prospects, I got excited:
ROVANIEMI, Finland (Reuters) - Customer service, story-telling, nature studies and wilderness survival are essential skills for any elf worthy of the name. Anyone who aspires to a job as a Santa's helper can acquire them at a new Elf Academy in Rovaniemi, 2,600 km (1,600 miles) from the North Pole, which Finland claims as home to the "real" Santa Claus.
Christmas 2007 is in full swing as tourists seek Santa in the Arctic Circle but after the school opens next April, the 2,000 or so "elves" will be able to raise their game.
The competencies an elf needs are vast, says Esa Sakkinen, project coordinator and teacher at the Lapland Vocational College which will be running the academy.They do more than pack the gifts that families pick up at the Christmas market outside "Santa's house" or help answer the 750,000 letters that arrive at his local post office each year.
"An elf needs to know how to make a fire in the snow ... also the local nature and animals, because you never know what the clients or kids are going to ask," he said.
Exams to earn a professional certificate are part of the program, which will be open to all ages. On arrival at the airport, elves dressed in green jackets and red gloves and hat ferry visitors on buses to their destinations through the winter twilight.
After a day driving a snowmobile they may accompany families to a reindeer farm or tell stories of Santa and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer...
I am seriously heading to Elf Academy to get my elf certificate. I am the right height, I'm Finnish and I already have Exotic Dancer certification, so I can add this to my list of achievements. I know you people are scoffing, but when I sell my story to Esquire magazine, and one of the Olsen twins plays me in the movie version, who's gonna be laughing then, huh?
2008 is looking good!