Monday, July 21, 2008

Where the blog have you been?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not the kind of blogger that you can set your watch to, but I try, oh how I try.

Since my last post, life has been hectic to say the least. I went from worrying at the beginning of the summer about not having a job, to working on three separate large projects. There is a fine line between adequate work and too much. I think I may have pushed on that line a bit.

The first was copy editing a dissertation/thesis for a grad student in Physics. I understood none of it, but hopefully polished it a bit. That job took roughly 50 hours to complete over the course of 4 weeks.

I was also hired to help a professor in a different department (Comm/Asian American Studies) to fact-check and index his co-authored book. The fact-checking was laborious, but I had a ton of time to do it in (I think I worked on it for about 6 weeks). The publisher then sent a pdf copy of the nearly finished book which meant that the indexing could begin (because page numbers would match up with the final product—unlike the MS Word version I was working from). I knew that indexing was going to be intense, but I underestimated just how much so. Luckily I was able to use my pdf-reader’s search feature to search for the terms in the document, but the process of collecting those numbers for each of my 700+ terms was a lot of work. Some of the terms had literally hundreds of pages that they appeared on.

Anyway, to top it all off, the deadline that the publisher gave us to have the changes and index completed by was today. They gave us the book in the pdf searchable version on July 7th, which meant that I only had two weeks to produce the index… that may seem like a lot but it wasn’t! Especially considering that I had just begun teaching my summer class on July 7th as well.

So, today is a big sigh of relief day, I finished the index on Friday, helped with a few last minute things over the weekend and has now been sent off to actually become a real book. This last week especially was a brutal. Most of that time was spent staring at this computer screen and frantically scribbling page numbers on a piece of scrap paper. But it’s over and I’m onto the next thing: planning for a fall class that I am teaching called Writing Across Media (WAM for short). But I have a cold now—likely from the stress overload, so I see some serious chill time in the near future.

My class—thank goodness!—has been going really well. I have an exceptionally sharp cohort of pre-freshman and they seem to enjoy the content of the class and humor me by laughing at my bad jokes. We’ve had a few bloggable moments in class that I will try to dig through and post about in the next few days.

Speaking of chill time, three of my best AZ friends are coming to visit next week (all are arriving at different times). I am very excited to see them and look forward to a little bit of each of the following pass-times: cooking, exploring/picture taking, sight-seeing (going down to Amish country), movie watching (Batman!), music listening, video game playing (Wii!), music playing/recording, and concert going (Lollapalooza on August 1—Radiohead!).

Hasten, dear friends. Hasten!

Three blogs on deck: good product design, “tales from the classroom” or “what was written on the wall at the back of my classroom,” and a look at my first attempt at watercolor painting.

Oh! and one more. We have been in Champaign now for just shy of a year. I am planning a little anniversary blog to talk about our first year in the midwest. New adventures were had, to be sure.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a summer. Hope you have a great chill with your friends.