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January 30, 1992 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-30

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. -January 30, 1992- Page 3

D.C. interns gain experience

...for a price

by Lisa Bean

Apprentices, indentured servants,
over-privileged posers, serfs, ambi-
tious assistants, absolutely insane:
0 regardless of what you call them,
summer interns are more common
than sex scandals in Washington,
Every January more than 100
University students mail out re-
sumes with the hope of joining the
mass of interns who descend on D.C.
in the summer humidity to work for
senators, representatives, congres-
sional committees, lobby groups,
media outlets, think tanks and other
D.C. creations.
What is the rationale for spend-
ing approximately $2,500 in living

and traveling expenses, working
without pay, and dressing profes-
sionally often only to spend days in
a photocopy center?
Many students view their in-
ternships as an integral part of their
college experience.
"You can only learn so much in
the classroom. I came here to see
what I read about in books," said U-
M Dearborn senior Randy Coble
who interned for Senator Donald
"You don't have the pressure of
school, but you are learning any-
way," said LSA junior Ben Alliker,
who interned for the American Bar
"It's not just about a career. It's
learning how our country works,"

said Tami Rubin, an LSA junior,
who interned for Senator Carl
Others said they had hoped to use
an internship as a route to employ-
"I interned to get experience and
see what I wanted to do with my
life," said Rubin.
LSA junior Rob Weiss said one
reason he interned was to build his
"I did it solely to get an inside
track to a job on the Hill, and it paid
off," said Law School graduate
David King who now works as a leg-
islative correspondent for Senator
Several others said that they in-
terned for the perks, including pass-

ing political figures in hallways, ac-
cess to Congressional reports which
can double as term papers, an invita-
tion to the annual American Dairy
Association ice cream social, and an
autographed picture of Dan Quayle.
Although most interns and su-
pervisors felt the experience was
worthwhile, several named a few
drawbacks about the lack of pay and
the high cost of living in D.C. They
say they were displeased with the
way interns were treated.
"Intern is a label which staff
view as pejorative," King said.
"There have been interns here who
could do the exact jobs we're doing,
but they are lumped together be-
cause they are labeled 'intern."'
"I would not be an intern. It's
too much work," said congressional
press secretary Willie Blacklow.
King said summer internships are
not as valuable as the ones during
the rest of the year.
"During the summer there are
thousands of interns here, and it is
much more difficult to distinguish
yourself and to do substantive
work," he said.
Supervisors explained that in-
terns' complaints frequently result
from their unrealistic expectations.
"Some interns thought that they
were such great people that they
would work side by side with the
Senator," a senate intern coordina-
tor said.
Many interns criticized D.C. it-
self and the government hypocrisy
they witnessed first hand.
"One of my most vivid memo-
ries is of walking by the Old Execu-
tive Office Building and seeing
homeless people sleeping on the
sidewalk," said University graduate
Joel Davidson.

Many students were surprised by
politicians' disregard for the system
they represent. Some commented on
their lack of attention to con-
stituent mail and disrespect for law.
"I am amazed how many of the
laws Congress enacts don't apply to
Congress itself, such as recycling.
The government is the biggest
waster of paper I have ever seen,"
Davidson said.
Some also found fault with the
elitism of internships. "Almost all
the interns here are fairly wealthy,
white kids from the suburbs ...
there should be a fund to pay under-
privileged people who can't come
here otherwise," King said.
Some students commented on the
absence of humor at the Capitol cit-
ing the "The Fred Grandy Story" -
the intern equivalent of Adam and
Eve's fall from grace. According to
this legend, an intern stepped into an
elevator and found himself face to
face with Love Boat's Gopher, who
is currently a representative from
Iowa. Unable to resist the tempta-
tion, he uttered, "Lido deck, please."
He was on the next flight home.
Nevertheless, there is no other
place where local gossip is interna-
tional news, interoffice softball
games are played between national
monuments, favorite happy hour
bars are named "The Hawk and the
Dove" and "The Front Page," while
one can take time off to go to the
Pentagon as casually as if it were a
dental appointment.
This summer, 75 students went
to D.C. with the Public Service In-
ternship Program (PSIP) through
Career Planning and Placement.
PSIP helps students with their job
search and provides housing, social,
and career oriented programs in

D.C., said Associate Director for In-
tern Programs Paula Dirita.
There is no additional cost for
the program, but housing and living
costs total about $2,500. Applica-
tions for PSIP are due in September.
Students are evaluated on "their in-
terest in public sector demonstrated
on campus and elsewhere, their ca-
reer goals and their GPA," Dirita
Most of the students who partic-
ipated in PSIP said they were happy
they were chosen for the program.
"I wouldn't have preferred to be
on my own. PSIP sets up good pro-
grams and you don't have to attend.
them if you don't want to," Weiss
However, some complained that
some of the programs could have
featured stronger speakers, and sev-
eral said that they thought PSIP
should have been more straightfor-
ward about the expenses the stu-
dents would incur.
Students who choose to go on
their own generally find housing in
local universities. They nanred the
advantages they gained by not being
involved in PSIP.
"I'm glad I did it on my own,"
Rubin said. She said she felt more
involved in the "working world"
than in a student organization.
Other students said that going on
their own afforded them the oppor-
tunity to meet a wider variety of
people than they would have met
had they lived only with U-M stu-
Information about internships
can be found at Career Planning and
Placement. But some students said
that the listings were insufficient
and chose to purchase books on their

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) poses with summer interns, many of whom are University students.

Music students hear the call of Ghitalla . a mu aEEE
Distinguished classical trumpet player is also a'true educator' || |||| 'K x-

by Joshua Meckler
W hen someone chooses to come to
Michigan, seldom is it because they
want to take classes with a particu-
lar teacher. Indeed, it would be
strange to find someone who came
here because they heard about a're-
ally great math 115 prof.
But in the School of Music, it's a
different story. Quite often, a music
student will choose Michigan
solely because a professor teaches
here, disregarding everything else
about the University.
Professor of Trumpet Armando
Ghitalla is one of those teachers
who has students all over the coun-
try wanting to study with him.
And, the trumpet students who do
get into the School of Music feel
very fortunate.
Ghitalla has taught at the Uni-
versity since 1979, and his students
have gone on to perform in orches-
tras throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Ghitalla himself is a veteran of
orchestra playing, his primary job
having been the principal trumpet of
the Boston Symphony Orchestra
from 1965-79.
Because he held that prestigious
position (the BSO is one of Amer-
ica's finest orchestras), Ghitalla's
name is universally recognized
among trumpet players and is a
great draw to the School of Music.
But, there is much more to the
man than just his ability to play
trumpet - as his students and col-
leagues will attest.
"He's genuine, caring, interested
- the true educator," says Jeff
Sandstrom, a senior studying trum-
pet and philosophy.
"It was a remarkable feeling
when I met him. It really solidified
my decision to come here."
Professor of Tuba and Euphon-
ium Fritz Kaenzig says one of the
main reasons he came to teach here
two years ago was to be on the same
faculty with Ghitalla.
"He's one of the most caring,
gentle, outgoing human beings
you'll ever meet.
"He's probably the person I feel
closest to on the faculty. I suspect if
you polled the other faculty, you
would find feelings similar to

At age six, Ghitalla got his first
chance to play an instrument. "I had
a brother who was two years older
than me, and he started the clarinet
but didn't like it.
"When (my parents) asked me
what I wanted to play, I said,
'Anything but the clarinet,' because
I thought it must be the instrument.
So, they brought home a coronet."
(A coronet is similar to a trumpet,
except it has a more mellow sound.)
After receiving the coronet, Ghi-
talla wanted to join the school band.
"The band conductor told me, 'If
you can play "Let Me Call You
Sweetheart" by next week, then I'll
let you in the band."'
He got into the band and contin-
ued playing through high school.
While Ghitalla practiced only 15-30
minutes a day - "I thought it was a
lot" - and took lessons only as of-
ten as his parents could afford them,
something about music captivated
"One of the big things music did
was give me a feeling of being. I did-
not feel a person unless I was play-
After graduating in '42, Ghitalla
went to Illinois Wesleyan, where he
began studying music education.
But World War II came along
and interrupted his studies. In '43,
Ghitalla was drafted into the U.S.
Along with his uniform and his
gun, Ghitalla brought his coronet.
He took it to his station in
Melville, RI, where he worked on a
torpedo-carrying boat.
"I say I fought the battle of the
islands -.Rhode Island, Long Is-
land, Block Island."
Ghitalla and some other service-
people formed a band in Melville
which rehearsed three or four times
each week.
When not on duty, he would pull
out his coronet. "I just knew I
wanted to play, but I didn't know
what to practice or how to practice.
That all came later."
Later came in '46, when just be-
fore leaving the Navy, a friend sug-
gested that he apply to Juilliard.
Even though Ghitalla had never
heard of the school, he decided to
write them a letter. "I misspelled alI

Goldman Band, a popular wind band
of that time.
But as he soaked in more of the
environment of the music school,
Ghitalla decided that he instead
wanted to be an orchestral player.
"I was bound and determined to
succeed, and there was no doubt in
my mind that I wouldn't. I don't
know how I could have been so
naive, but I was."
To succeed, Ghitalla knew he had
to practice a lot. "Juilliard had only
a few practice rooms. So, I was there
when it opened in the morning, and I
left the building at night when it
He practiced four to six hours a
day. "I was known as the monk be-
cause I wouldn't do anything but
Ghitalla's hard work was re-
warded when Vacchiano helped him
get his first playing job in '49 with
the New York City Center Ballet
and Opera Company.
Later that year, Ghitalla audi-
tioned for the principal trumpet po-
sition in the Houston Symphony and
won the spot.
His career continued to move
forward, and in '51, he won the third
chair position in the BSO. In '65, he
moved to the principal position.
During his tenure with the BSO,
Ghitalla taught students in and
around New England, constantly re-
fining his teaching skills.
In '79, he decided to leave the Or-
chestra and pursue teaching full
time at the University.
"I was probably at the height of
my playing when this job came open.
At that time, this was one of the
two better paying teaching jobs in
the country, and I knew that I could
teach a lot longer than I could play.
"I was feeling the pressure (of
performing), and I think that's the
reason I had the heart attack, even
though it was a couple years later."
After a bypass operation in '81,
Ghitalla was out for a semester, but
nine months later, he was playing
recitals in Japan. "The reason I
wanted to do it was otherwise, I
would be sitting around like a veg-

Even though the heart condition
forced Ghitalla to reduce his teach-
ing load, he maintains a full sched-
ule, teaching 18 students a week.
"I like to have something to do
with people getting better. And, I
can't believe how much I've learned
about teaching in the years since
I've been here."
Ghitalla's teaching has certainly
impressed junior trumpet student
Kris Kwapis. "Sometimes he does-
n't tell you right out what will
make things better. He wants you to
figure it out for yourself - and
that's a good teaching technique.
I've improved 200 percent just since
meeting the man," she adds.
Ghitalla is known for inviting
students over to his house and serv-
ing them wonderful dinners, which
almost always include some sort of
pasta dish.
"It's company for me. I get to
know them. And, there's more to
trumpet than just practicing and
playing the trumpet. So, they learn a
little about cooking, a little about
wine and other things."
Surprisingly, Ghitalla does not
listen to much music at home. "I
think it started in the orchestra. I
sat right near the timpani. The horns
were in front of me, and the trom-
bones were in back of-me. So, it was
very loud. When I got home, I didn't
want to hear anything. My ears ac-
tually hurt."
When Ghitalla does listen at
home, he says he likes to listen to
classical music. Today's popular
music is not his style. "I don't dis-
like it, but I don't find myself being
drawn to it."
Despite the enjoyment he re-
ceives from teaching, Ghitalla says
he misses playing in an orchestra. "I
miss the music. I miss Boston. Still,
I don't miss the schedule. And I
don't miss the tension.
"But I do miss the music. Be-
cause there's nothing like sitting in

"The orchestra's loss is the gain of the University and everyone who is

able to work with Ghitalla."
an orchestra - in a good orchestra
- and everything all around you
and you being a part of it."
Still, the orchestra's loss is the
gain of the University and everyone
who is able to work with Ghitalla.
And as Kaenzig says of Ghitalla,
"He's the kind of person that makes
this music school more than an im-
pressive shell. People like him give
it a heart and soul."

the Faculty Brass Quintet at 2 p.m.
Sunday at the School of Music in
Recital Hall 4. For further
information call the 24 hour music
line at 763-4726.
Support Campus Cinema


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