Tag Archives: McKenzie Malanaphy

6 Good Things about Winter You’ve Never Thought of Before

22 Nov

Before I go any further, let me cut to the chase: there will be no mention of ice fishing or downhill skiing, so if you’re looking for that sort of thing, just quit now and pick up your dad’s most recent copy of whatever that sporting magazine he reads is called. Instead, I’ve come up with 6 shocking benefits of surviving the winter that you’ve probably not even begun to ponder. Have I piqued your curiosity? Read on…

  1. Less Pressure to Care How You Dress: Pretty much anything beyond winter boots will be destroyed by the ice, wind, slush, and salt, right? So why bother? And, if your footwear is going to relay your low fashion expectations, why not the rest of your clothes as well? (this must be why I’ve been seeing so many girls in Ugg boots lately). Hey, nobody wants to be a walking contradiction!
  2. You Can Stop Caring about Being Fit: I mean, nobody really expects you to try and go out in that weather, and swimsuit season is beyond over. Plus, holiday gorging is the #1 American food-eater’s winter pastime. Oh, it’s ok that I don’t stop eating from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. – it’s Mexican Revolution Day!
  3. You Waste Less Time Walking: Walking, as a habit, is already a huge time-guzzler. In winter you not only perform this laborious task less, but you also do it faster when you do (because you feel like your nose is going to freeze off and your legs are soaking in ice water).
  4. You Don’t Have to Say “Yes” to All Those Annoying Social Invites: You can get out of social events whenever you want in the winter because you can always fall back on the tried and true excuse of not wanting to “go out there” and face the elements. I can’t even begin to count all of the annoying things I’ll get out of. Cousin’s baptism? Nope. Mom’s birthday? Sorry ma—the weather’s looking really iffy…
  5. Worried About All that Holiday Binging Weight? Well, you shouldn’t be. Sooner or later that seasonal depression is going to kick in, and you’ll be right back where you started, if not skinnier!
  6. Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.


McKenzie Malanaphy

The Fallacy of the Useful Internship

18 Nov

A common theme of my younger sister’s upcoming graduation has been the question, “Have you lined up an internship yet?” I myself didn’t have an internship during school or directly after.

It wasn’t until I’d returned from Americorps and realized that a) I had no marketable skills for what I might actually want to do, and b) couldn’t get a job paying over minimum wage pretty much anywhere, that I even considered pursuing an internship. To me, it just seemed like some bogus “get ahead” farce dreamt up by big businesses to get free labor. And, as my own experiences and a recent and exciting lawsuit against Fox Searchlight illustrates, my fears were partly founded on truth.

I spent the majority of my internship with a magazine publishing house downtown Minneapolis doing basic office dirty work such as fact checking and correcting minor grammatical details that clashed with the office style guide. Rarely was I given an opportunity to do anything that I would consider to be journalistically creative, and I rarely shared more than a two-sentence conversation with my managing editor. Certainly I never felt as though the company had taken me on to impart skills that would help me as a professional.

My realization that there was no way in hell this company was going to offer me a job came hand-in-hand with my observation that interns, of which there were probably at least 10, played an integral permanent role in doing all of the company’s mindless and laborious work.

I honestly think that I learned more about the publishing industry from Wikipedia than I did during my internship.

So now when my parents yet again encourage my kid sister to get an internship, I find it very difficult to be supportive of such advice. It seems to me that many companies today have transformed the former “learning experience” and “foot in the door” of an internship into an opportunity to get a whole lot of entry-level work done for free, permanently.

I wonder if everyone else who decided to devote time to an internship feels the same frustration with their experience.

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