Ok, I’ll say it. Editing SUCKS. I hate everything about it.
Since this post is rated AHS, After High School, I don’t have to worry about my high school English students reading this. And throwing it back in my face.
“Good job, Student. But don’t forget subject/verb agreement!” I’m surprised I don’t have a mutiny.
That would be a pretty good movie, actually. The Mutiny, starring Mrs. Knowles’ English as a New Language classes.
Me: Now that you’ve finished your essays, please exchange them with another student and peer edit.
Me: Okay, we’ll review what you need to look for. Let’s draw a Brace Map. What’s the first thing you look for when reading an essay?
Me: Then I’ll start you off. It has to have a strong thesis statement. A clear central idea.
Students: No, it doesn’t.
Me: Okay, we’ll do peer editing another day. Take this time to read your essay again and use our strategies to edit your own paper.
Hopefully, they don’t actually think it’s that bad.
Even as a young girl I loved writing essays. It’s true. Reading and writing essays were my favorite things to do in school. Not counting lunch. But I don’t remember having to edit papers much. I think we just wrote them, handed them in and waited for our grade. The teacher marked where we should have written something differently. But we didn’t have to fix it.
But with for-real, grown-up, nonfiction writing, I have to edit.
Just like my students.
I hate it. I just want to write and have it come out perfectly. On this blog, I usually end up with 25 revisions. And I only write 500-1000 word pieces. 25 revisions. And the main problem?
COMMAS. In grad school, a friend of mine called me the Queen of Commas, because I use them correctly. We had a course called A History of the English Language, or something like that, where we learned about how English has changed since the year zero, studied all the grammar rules and stuff like that. It was wildly interesting but only to me. The professor said that the biggest grammar mistake made currently is the too infrequent use of the comma. He said I use commas, for the most part, correctly. Hence the nickname.
As you might imagine, I promptly began to doubt my use of commas. Add, a comma, no, erase, the comma,.
I can’t believe I’m writing about commas. Hold on while I edit this.
The other night I was editing another post and yelled out loud, not on purpose, I CAN’T WITH THE COMMAS. My husband just looked over at me.
My students hate editing. I hate editing. The State of New York loves editing. My professional reputation as a teacher and writer hinges on editing.
Bleeeeeeeech. Editing sucks.
p.s. The Oxford Comma should be outlawed. Bring it on.