“She was a Southern Baptist with a strong affiliation to her roots, and no matter no matter how convincing I tried to be, my spiel fell on deaf ears.” That’s a sentence I came across last night when looking over the latest edition of Crossing the Bridge. My heart stopped, at least for a couple of seconds. I couldn’t have made such an error! Or could I? Apparently I did because there it was in black and white. Why hadn’t the grammar check caught it? Why hadn’t I caught it??
That’s when I sat down and read the entire book out loud, and to my chagrin, I found a couple of other pesky little errors. There were two missing periods, a place where a comma was serving as a semi-colon (incorrectly), and a missing quotation mark. Glimpsing over the “Acknowledgements,” I noted that I had overlooked the word “eBook” in the print edition. Originally written as an eBook, I reformatted the book as a soft cover edition, and I was positive that all of the eBook references had been changed. Maybe I needed to look one more time.
Too aggravated and frustrated to fix the problems last night, I got up long before daylight to make the corrections. The process took longer than expected, and here’s why. I kept thinking of new things I wanted to add, some that I thought of on my own and some that I either read about or heard from my colleagues. For example, in rereading certain passages, I noticed that there was no mention of coming to class on time.
How could I have forgotten that when one of teachers’ pet peeves is tardiness? I know some teachers who lock their doors at the minute when class is to begin and won’t open it until class is over. Others allow tardy students to come in but won’t let them sign the roll. Because of formatting, I couldn’t add much about timeliness, but I did manage to put (on time) after Go to Class.
One of my colleagues, a compassionate and caring individual, mentioned that he was a bit weary of hearing excuses for missed deadlines and tests. How can it be that so many people have emergencies, deaths in the family, sick children, and computer crashes at the same time? We talked about extenuating circumstances and wondered how understanding our bosses would be if we continued to come up with excuses. “I’m their teacher, not their friend,” he said. I touched on this topic in Crossing the Bridge and am thinking of elaborating on it in the next edition.
On facebook yesterday, I saw a cartoon of a person applying for a job, and the interviewer is saying something like, “It says on your resume (can’t figure out how to include dialectical marks) that you spent fore years in collej.” The cartoon struck me as sad and funny at the same time. While misspellings are common, students don’t like to be told about them and often become angry when teachers point them out. I tried to incorporate the cartoon’s message in my modifications this morning, but when the formatting went awry, I decided to leave it out for now.
This post isn’t meant to be a rant. I just wanted to vent a little as I reminded myself that writing is a process. Even when the writer thinks things are absolutely perfect, there are elements that need tweaking. I posted my revisions on Amazon about an hour ago, and soon I’ll get to look at and approve the latest edition online. Or just maybe this time I’ll play it smart and order a tangible proof before ordering 20 or 30 copies.