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It's become clear that there simply isn't anyone else right now who can do my job at the newspaper. Sure, I haven't been here forever, and they managed to get by somehow without me before...and sure, we have other copy editors, but they tend to see themselves more as proofreaders than actual copy editors, and even in that capacity they miss a lot. Whoever finalizes pages on my off nights misses things, too—hence it's not just a matter of personal pride for me to make sure I've looked over everything, it seems to be a necessity as far as quality control is concerned. I spend three hours looking at just news, making sure that things look right, because there are that many mistakes! There's really no way I'd have time to do every section unless I went in every night to do it, and even then, I doubt it'd be a good thing to trust that much to my fallible hands. Even if I were perfect, which I'm not, the paper wouldn't be making progress if we did that; it'd simply be relying upon one person to get things right.

What we need to do is seek out more people who, as King Kaufman puts it, are "natural copy editors"—and we need more writers, too, who have that same self-editing ability. I sometimes wonder how well they did get by without me—the summer before I came here, I visited campus to fill out some forms and picked up a copy of the Commencement issue of the newspaper. The first thing I noticed was the sheer number of mistakes, poor grammar, etc. I ripped the thing apart, so to speak, bleeding red and black ink all over it, and put it in my AP Lit teacher's mailbox at the high school with the legend: "I think there'll definitely be a place for me here..."

These days I do that three times a week and get paid for the privilege. Life is good, in that respect, but it could be so much better. Sometimes I don't know if I'm a realist or idealist as far as that goes. I mean, I understand that some things will never change, as I noted awhile back. The paper, as it turns out, may be something to add to my list of things I can't change. We'll never have an entire cadre of professional-calibre writers...but then again, we can always hope.

Two more points: 1. Why is the university suddenly installing TVs everywhere, including in the middle of the food court and in the north entryway of the student center? It's about as stupid as when the high school did it, as an attempt to get people to watch the school TV station, which no one did anyway. 2. Everyone does this, don't they, listening to the same songs over and over? We college students are so decadent, which is yet another reason why the RIAA really has nothing to fear from losing college student revenues—what revenues?!

12:31 pm, November 10, 2003 :: the jablog years

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