Skip to main content

wotd: Land of Nod, brought to you by EditorLive

land of Nod \land-uhv-NOD\, noun:
A mythical land of sleep.
Nothing like going to bed humble.

The school year is coming quickly to an end, which for me means a summer of no pay. I could have worked summer camp, but balance my pay with what I'd be shelling out to put Jack in summer camp somewhere and it's just not economically sensible. I've been cruising Craigslist and tucsonhelpwanted(dot)com for offbeat opportunities that might earn me some pay without incurring further economic hardship. I found an intriguing ad placed by EditorLive, a 24/7/365 on-line academic editing/proofreading service. I spent the evening polishing up my resume, creating a cover letter, and distilling PDF files of both of them. I even set up a new, more "professional" email address and tested it. After dinner, I settled in to take their proprietary test, estimated to take 20 minutes.

It took me 38 minutes.

I've done copyediting and proofreading in the past---for academic textbooks, no less, so I figured I'd have the skills necessary to edit and proofread academic papers.


It was hard.

Halfway through, my mind was reeling. Who knew there were so many manuals of style, with such nitpicky requirements for formatting in-text citations and what to call your reference section? Really, I did know this, but thought I could cheat, googling MLA, APA, and CSE styles to do my best to answer these questions. The grammar and puncuation questions were biting, so painstaking in their convoluted construction, just to tap your knowledge of possessive plurals and possession of gerunds, should you lay or lie on the sofa?, serial commas and comma splices, often mixing so many grammatical connundrums into one sentence that my initial reaction as a writer was to simply chuck it and rewrite for clarity.

Not seconds after I'd finished the last questions, a polite dismissal screen popped up:
We have reviewed your editing assessment, and, although you did well, we cannot extend an offer of employment to you at this time. You scored below our cut-off score for part-time editors (95% accuracy).
I scored 27 out of 42, a measly 64.3%. I barely passed a test assessing something I thought I was good at.

So off I go to the land of Nod, eating humble pie.


Zia Mac said…
So funny! I just finished the same test with the same results. No job for me. I, too, thought I was an expert in academic writing. All I can say for both of us: We are probably better off; the stress of MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago (which, as an alum, I thought the latter two were the same), et al, would have sent me over the edge. LOL. Enjoyed your blog very much! Thanks
Anonymous said…
My god, you're right. BRUTAL. How exactly are Turabian and Chicago different? (Like I knew what they were beforehand...)

And then they give you these ABCD 1234 lists in a way that makes it just about impossible to even read the question.

I wonder if the timing matters...? I expected an alarm was going to go off when I ran over, but alas, just that sad mark of our failure: you missed the cut-off for a part-time gig.

Oh well.
Unknown said…
You dodged a bullet. I worked there -- for several years. (I am partly responsible for the editing test.) Would not recommend that sweatshop to anyone.

Popular posts from this blog

wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

It's easy to tell yourself that you'll write a daily blog entry using the word of the day from dictionary(dot)com as a prompt, and equally easy to temporize your daily entry by waffling over what to write about, or evading your obligation by procrastination. There. Bedtime.

expanding my culinary horizons

After last night's culinary debacle, today's culinary surprise was particularly welcome. My dear friend Rukmi brought me lunch! Rukmi is Sri Lankan. She cooks the best food. I ate a fish and egg croquette, lentil curry, saffron rice, all with delicious chicken and what I thought might be tuna. I asked Rukmi what the meat was, and she told me it's all chicken. "The flat, triangular meat? With the spices? Is it tuna?"

She laughed lightly. "That's a wegetable," she said, in her lovely Sinhalese way.

"Oh, yeah? Like a beet?" That made sense, because it flaked like tuna steak or like beets might.

"It is jackfruit."

Jackfruit? Jackfruit! I ate jackfruit today. Rukmi told me all about it: she used canned young jackfruit she bought at G & L Market on 22nd St.; fully grown jackfruits are gigantic and if one fell on your head it could kill you. When fully ripe, jackfruit is full of big pods that each have a seed in the middle, like a po…
Jack doesn't have many "activities." I don't relish the thought of driving him to soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, tae kwon do, KidzArt, swim team, T-ball, so on, and so forth. Not to say that I don't recognize the value of these activities, but I witness firsthand the toll a full schedule takes on little ones. On Monday nights Jack and his cousin participate in Young Champions of America Karate, which is more about learning discipline, respect, and self defense than it is about martial arts.

Recently we've picked up a new activity, which is also about learning discipline, respect, and creativity: Tucson Lego Club.

He was invited to join by Nathan and Lucas, friends from church who also attended the preschool a few years ahead of Jack. Here he sits between them, at a table surrounded by 6 other boys, each of them building a lavish Lego creation.

Members spend an hour building and fraternizing, sometimes more fraternizing than building, but at the end of the h…