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While interns at the Independent don't make coffee (or very rarely, and typically only if they're the ones drinking it), they do receive assignments that cross all levels of challenge. They range from entering weekly listings into our events database (a detail-oriented task) to writing for our Seven Days page (a step up in creativity) to interviewing those in the local medical marijuana industry (often quite an eye-opening experience).

Our two fall interns, Leah Barker and Claire Swinford, were given the daunting responsibility of carrying out a complete revamp of our Fall 2010 K-12 Education Guide. What follows is the product of weeks spent brainstorming, researching, writing, rewriting and making more phone calls than either of them had a right to expect outside a customer-service-center internship.

They learned that some school administrators will talk your ear off, and others will flat-out ignore your messages (admittedly at a much lower rate). They heard uplifting stories of recent high school graduates, met excited sixth-graders who knit scarves as part of their school day, and found out that art in our local schools may not be as doomed as rumors indicate.

In the end, everything they learned was toward the greater good of their own education — but also, hopefully, your children's education as well.

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