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Archive for “Kids Today” news
If you were to come into the Philly Mag offices today, you’d find that the editorial side of things is lousy with interns. They sit by the art department, clustered together like workhorses in a stable, cranking out the fact-checking of endless lists. Virtually the entire day, depending on the magazine content that month, you can hear our intrepid interns clacking away at their keyboards and phone pads, pressing some poor schlub we interviewed about whether their name is, indeed, spelled that way or some other.As is common across the media and entertainment industries, these wide-eyed young kids—each one hopeful for a future employment opportunity—will be paid in experience. Which, apparently, is just as good as money—that is, until you try to pay your rent that month with the things you learned while fact-checking. The exchange rates don’t quite match up to the landlord. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)Fortunately, though, this modern-day indentured servitude looks like it’s drawing to a close. And as someone with three unpaid internships under his belt (and one paid), the end can’t come fast enough.
Oh, look. The controversy of unpaid internships has come up again, with a federal judge ruling against Fox Searchlight in a case filed by unpaid interns who worked on the movie Black Swan. The Atlantic speculates that the "court ruling could end unpaid internships for good," and Time has declared that it's "the beginning of the end of unpaid internships."Some unpaid interns have been complaining about unpaid internships for as long as unpaid internships have existed. And as a former unpaid intern, I am here to tell you that they need to shut up.
I was at two weddings recently where most of the young women wore flip-flops all the way to walking into the ceremony, and then put on their six-inch stiletto-heel, platform-at-the-toe shoes, for the ceremony. They simply walked in carrying their $2.50 Old Navy flip-flops, clutched in the same hand as their special occasion beaded handbags. They switched back to their flip-flops as soon as they walked out of the ceremony.Sure, I’ll look for any reason to feel superior to girls in their twenties in skin-tight sheaths, but I have to admit, this flip-flopping into flip-flops did not look hot, it looked, well, silly. Not to mention how they looked when trying to walk in their heels: stumble-staggering with their hips thrust too far forward or too far back, legs shaking a bit with each step, not sweet and endearing like a doe on new legs, but awkward and clumsy, like Lena Dunham at the Emmy’s. I snicker, in my Aerosole wedges, and tell myself that confidence and the ability to walk, are sexy.
When the School District of Philadelphia announced at the beginning of this year that it was closing 37 schools—a number later whittled down to 29—parents whose children attended schools on the hit list raised a hue and cry all over the city.Such outrage is only natural. Some of it had to do with community cohesion—schools have historically been neighborhood anchors—and some of it had to do with safety: Many parents worry about sending their children long distances to school.But the outrage was especially loud in Germantown, where the neighborhood high school will close one year short of its 100th anniversary. And safety loomed large in the minds of the protesters.
If I were to tell you that I know a child who is given a $50-$60 video game for every week that he attends school, would you judge the parents of said child harshly for being well, a little whack?Probably.Then why are so many people applauding Heidi Klum for paying her kids to drink the morning smoothies she makes them? Isn’t the principle the same, i.e. kids are being rewarded for behaviors that should be expected, not considered exceptional?Maybe it’s not that strange that Heidi Klum would pay her kids to drink their morning smoothies since she was just paid to eat a four-inch-high Carl’s Jr. burger! Her value judgements may be a little skewed; in fact, look at her, she may only eat when she is paid.
You can say what you like about the millennials who are now, with the resurgent economy, trickling into the workplace for their first “real” jobs. (And I do.) But they have this going for them: They are unfailingly, unflaggingly polite. They have such good manners, in fact, that I sometimes find myself stymied in dealing with them. If I send one a request—asking, say, for information for a photo caption—said millennial will email me back the requested information with a cheery smiley face emoticon at the end of the message (and not at all meant ironically). When I email back a brief “Thanks,” I get an equally cheery “You’re welcome!” or “No worries!!” or “My pleasure!!!,” which all seem like one more step in the email chain than is really necessary. For a generation that’s supposed to be savaging one another on Facebook, I find these kids exceedingly nice.Still, I was taken aback to read this Wall Street Journal article about the steps companies these days are taking to be sure this new generation is happy in the new jobs they’re reporting for. If you’ve dropped a child off to college anytime within the past, oh, six or seven years, these steps will have a familiar ring. When our family rolled up to our youngest child’s dorm at his twee-as-all-hell liberal arts college a few years back, the road was lined with enrollees with signs and face paint and beads and matching t-shirts, all jumping up and down and screaming like bloody banshees to show him how welcome he was. That kicked off an entire week of games and rock-wall climbs and scavenger hunts and assemblies and residence-hall parties, all meant to ensure that he landed as gently as possible in his scary new $50,000-a-year Shangri-la.Guess what’s trickled over into the workplace?
Spring in my neighborhood is announced by a variety of sights, sounds and smells—some delightful, like the first blooms on the lilac bush in our back yard, others not so much (the incessant jingling of the wretched Mister Softee truck that will plague our sleep for the next four months). Still others are downright sobering. The roving packs of scantily clad obese children that emerge red-eyed and pasty after a winter spent hibernating in front of the television set fall into this category.While childhood obesity is certainly not unique to my neighborhood, like most lower-income urban areas, it is endemic here. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage of American children aged 6–11 who are overweight or obese increased from seven percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2010. Control for poverty and the proportion of fat kids rises to nearly a third. I'm not a betting man, but I'd be willing to wager that if you looked out my front window on any given summer day, you'd see two overweight children for every one who is physically fit.
Is prom season over yet? Really, is it? Because I honestly don’t think I can bear to see one more faux-suave 17-year-old being alternately cool and pitiable in the little video he put together to ask Kate Upton to be his date to the big school dance this year. I mean, what is the matter with kids these days? It used to be a big enough challenge to ask that cute brunette from homeroom. Now you’ve got to go all Hollywood and make life difficult for a gorgeous supermodel? You don’t think she actually wants to go to prom with
Isn’t is just adorable when adults stumble onto some fun thing their kids do, a thing that that they don’t understand, and then make that thing completely irresistible by telling their kids they can’t do it?