Friday, June 27, 2008
PYD Update

But only a brief update, I'm afraid. Week 1 of PYD was just sort of a blur -- one day seems almost identical to the next, it's all just me and the other guy talking to kids who don't care about stuff they seem to only partly understand. Somehow, though, the other instructor and I have managed to get three production units together and ready to start shooting next week. There's theoretically a fourth unit made up of a group of completely unengaged, uninterested boys, and they're not remotely ready to shoot. After a good deal of discussion about what would be more unfair -- distributing the indifferent kids among the units and hoping that the interest of their peers would be enough to get them through the process, but harming the more-involved kids if the slackers let them down; or concentrating them into one or two units and letting them sink or swim on their own. In the end, we decided to stick 'em all in a single unit together. That way, if they fail, it only effects one unit. It's cynical, yes, but it seems to the least harmful thing to do, and it's probably what they would want anyway.

The good news is that we've got three units ready to go. And if the other unit isn't ready, it'll be by their own choice.

On a related note, the more I see of youth-oriented non-profits, the more discouraged I become. The group that's sending many of these kids is, in fact, paying them to attend; it's their "summer job." The organization gets grants, and they pay these kids to do whatever they can scrape up for them to do. The thing is, the objective (as best I can tell) is to teach them good work habits, but in fact they're teaching them lazy, undisciplined work habits. For example, today the van that brings them arrived about fifteen minutes late. They sit and do nothing, they wander away at will, they leave early, and they're accountable to nobody. It was a particularly bitter pill when I learned that one of their interns -- a typical teenage princess (literally, she was in the Rose Court this year), the sister of one of the group's main administrators, not a bad kid but not an especially competent or useful one, either -- is being paid more to sit around and distract the boys than I get for my crappy job at Fnorders.

It just makes you fucking mad, you know?

But still. That's me halfway done with this, though it's still going to be another week before I get my next day off. Tomorrow it's back to the bookfloor, but tonight my roommates are away, so I made myself a particularly good dinner and now I'm hanging out with the dog. One luxuriously quiet night before I get back to the usual routine.
10:36 PM ::
Amy :: permalink