Just a bit more than a year ago, young Emma Carmichael, a nice young person from Vermont, unwittingly became the subject of a much-used news photo: at her graduation from Vassar, a little hungover and a lot bored, someone snapped her picture and then it got licensed to a bazillion news stories about how there were no jobs for new graduates. "We were all destined for unemployment and my face seemed to say it best," she wrote here a year ago: "Hungover and under-prepared, but I could fake contemplation and self-awareness with the best of them."
Well, Barack Obama promised the young people that everything would work [...]
Three months ago, I posed for my college graduation photo—the official one in front of an American flag, diploma in hand, ready to face the world. Since then the photography company has emailed me almost weekly, offering discount upon discount and before-it's-too-lates. But when the picture was taken, just seconds after I had crossed the stage and shaken hands, I was too delirious to smile, so instead I bit my lower lip. I mean I almost swallowed it. I don't know how it happened. Normally, I have no trouble smiling. But I remember at that moment that the muscles would not contract into a casual, triumphant smile, that my [...]