Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/26

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Subject: [Leica] Leica donation to students
From: mail at (Karen Nakamura)
Date: Sun Sep 26 09:28:43 2004
References: <>

>The intern as a part-time administrator of this program is a great idea.
>Maybe Leica could even pay the intern partly in gear, partly cash!

I know, why doesn't Leica hire interns to run everything! Then they 
wouldn't have to pay any of those expensive wages and we'd all be 
much happier! In fact, if the whole factory was run by interns, then 
I bet they could pop out those digital backs for $250 each!

I'm against the use of unpaid or underpaid interns. They're a 
terrible idea for humankind.  It just creates more exploitation of 
people under the guise of "experience." I'm seeing a bad trend in 
america among my undergrads.

If the student is lower-class, they can't afford to be an 
unpaid/underpaid intern. So they lose out on what is rapidly becoming 
a must-have summer-experience before getting a post-graduate job. 
Instead, they wait tables or bartend and make their Fall book money 
that way. I try to cap my courses at $100 of books, but with 4 
courses a student, that's $400 a semester. Some of my less-wealthy 
kids spend the entire semester using library books -- which they 
can't mark on.

If the kids are middle/upper class, then what's the harm? The harm is 
that this has caused both a depreciation of wages for summer work as 
well as an increasingly higher bar for  entry-level post-graduate 

Basically it means that rich kids get to have the experiences that 
make them richer; and poor kids get to have the experiences that 
ensure they'll be bussing tables for the rest of their lives. The 
American Dream.

I'm really on a downer (the election is bugging me).  Sorry, haven't 
been taking my happy-happyhappy pills.


p.s. I was a summer intern at Canon, Inc . (Japan). while I was an 
undergrad. Great experience and even greater because they paid me 
real wages. It's also what convinced me that working at a large 
corporation was never  going to be in my future.

pps. Macalester College, where I work, is actually pretty good about 
the wealth disparity. It's actually  uncool  among the student 
population to be rich. So the parking lot isn't full of BMWs and 
Jettas. My previous workplace was a very elite college in the upper 
Northeast. Very elitist. One of the kids in my classes was a local 
scholarship kid. She was constantly teased because she bought her 
clothes at Walmart. She was so unhappy socially that she dropped out. 
I became a teacher in order to help equalize society and yet I often 
find myself a participant in its growing inequity. Sad..... So this 
is why I'm sensitive to these things....

Karen Nakamura

Replies: Reply from phong at (Phong) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)
In reply to: Message from leicagalpal at (Kit McChesney) ([Leica] Leica donation to students)