Friday, 2 March 2018

#460 Proofreading

Andres was a PE teacher in his twenties, who lived... somewhere. During the weekend's drinks in Clapham, I'd agreed to review his dissertation, a 4,000 word essay on the utility of a learning concept.

Some guy whose last name began with a "V" had come up with a descriptive term for a range of tasks that a child could reasonably be expected to learn how to complete, with assistance from a peer or teacher. It was like their comfort zone of learning. Andres' essay covered the details and benefits of the concept's application to his own teaching experiences.

I enjoyed proofreading. It made me feel powerful. It wasn't just that I was a native English speaker. I'd also grown up within a part of society that was relatively free from any regional peculiarities or slang. It allowed me to write how I spoke, without having to think about it. The hard part then became thinking about it. In order to explain the changes to the reader, I had to work backwards by figuring out the reasons for my alterations after I'd made them.

I offered to discuss the changes with Andres. He said he was happy with them. Hopefully he'd look it over again himself, as many times as it took until he could read it right through without noticing anything that needed improving. Then hopefully his paper would get published, earn him millions and he'd decide to buy me a Jaguar. I don't drive but I could sit in it the next time I proofread an essay and feel even more powerful.

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