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7/23/06

Dear Kim:

I had a difficult time today trying to communicate with our latest intern. She is a lovely woman, full of energy, high spirits and perhaps most important in this circumstance, good intentions. But somehow, her good intentions do not translate to the work that she is producing.

Often when she shows us something that we have asked her to do, she wants me to crow about it without any critical feedback. Even if the product is not what I have asked for. Fascinatingly, it is not unlike the behavior of a young child.

Look at me! Look at my finger painting. Isn't it the best you have ever seen?!

But of course, she is not a child. And I am not her mother.

Several of the tapes she has shot for us are compromised by her talking almost continually throughout the shooting with various passersby. She is very social and seems to enjoy or perhaps need pretty constant interaction. That is very different than me. I get quiet and very focused when I am concentrating. I often have to remind myself to send out occasional cues so that other people will know what is going on with me.

Today, when I tried to discuss more imaginative shooting techniques, such as the use of angles or more interesting composition, she either argued or talked over and through me.

It was frustrating and actually saddening. Almost like in the musical, A Chorus Line, when the dancers are graded in different areas, i.e. looks 2, dance 5.

In this case, her usual pleasant demeanor as a person is her most distinguished quality. And while that is important, it is not why she has come to us. She has come to us to learn. And there is a great deal that I could teach her. No matter how winsome she tries to be, her work is currently mediocre. And this is in large part because she does not listen.

Some days, I love my job. And I love to mentor and teach when people get it. It doesn't matter if they make mistakes. I expect them to make mistakes. It doesn't matter if they learn slowly. What matters is that they are interested to learn and to improve.

I am not sure this is the case here. So today, I am not liking my job. Or perhaps, I am not liking myself. I'm thinking I am not doing it well and that does not feel good.

Later,

Joan

Monday, July 10, 2006