- land of Nod \land-uhv-NOD\, noun:
- A mythical land of sleep.
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.