Saturday, March 13, 2010

Workload breakdown

At the Times, a delightful piece by Alicia DeSantis on "This Progress" in light of its being done. Some very funny quotations in there, many of which I endorse (I was much less grumpy than usual on the last day because the break room was full of donut holes, mini-cupcakes and possibly the most delicious chocolate-chip cookies I have ever eaten in my life, baked by a teen who I happened to see on campus the next day as I hurried into Schermerhorn for a meeting - she was forlorn, the show was over!):
The schedule could be grueling even for much younger interpreters, who, unlike their elders, were unpaid. (They did receive a hat, bag and a museum membership; adults were paid $18.75 an hour, teenagers $7.25 an hour.) Solomon Dworkin, an 11-year-old sixth grader at the School at Columbia University who was one of the oldest children in the piece, said many of the younger ones had trouble with the pace of 40 to 50 interactions a day, 60 to 70 on weekends.

“They had a workload breakdown,” he said. “They would have liked more snacks.”

Some of the problem may have had to do with the intellectual rigors of the job. The younger children were “all pretty smart for their age,” he said, but “I’ve never met a 7-year-old who can match an 11-year-old in a conversation about philosophy.”

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