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Blah

That’s pret­ty much my opinoin today. Blah. Blah blah blah. I couldn’t wake up enough to dri­ve safe­ly, so I missed an appoint­ment that will take months to reschedule.

For every assign­ment we do in the tech writ­ing course I’m tak­ing, we turn in a rough draft and receive two peer reviews and feed­back from the instruc­tor before doing the final draft. I got the two peer reviews this morn­ing from the assign­ment I turned in on Sun­day, and they were ridicu­lous. Seri­ous­ly – both reviews were full of non­sense like, “your sub­mis­sion wasn’t dou­ble-spaced” (that’s because the instruc­tions said to sin­gle space it, doo­fus) or “there aren’t dou­ble spaces between the para­graphs” (yes, there are – I dou­ble-checked) or “you have to spell it ‘co-hous­ing’” (not when the author­i­ties in the field spell the word ‘cohous­ing’ kid).

They get grad­ed on their peer reviews, as I’ve been on mine, so hope­ful­ly they’ll get sucky grades. I got count­ed down on one of the first ones I did because I wasn’t harsh enough. Yes, that person’s piece need­ed a lot of work, and I could have ripped it to shreds. I was try­ing to stay “con­ge­nial” as instruct­ed. My true thoughts were more along the lines of, “Why are you in this course? Only TCOM majors need to take it, and oh please $deity do NOT tell me you’re major­ing in TCOM when you can hard­ly write a read­able sen­tence.” That wouldn’t have been con­ge­nial, would it?

The idea behind the peer reviews is that most tech­ni­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tors work in teams now, so we have to get used to giv­ing each oth­er con­struc­tive crit­i­cism and accept­ing the same. I can han­dle that. I don’t, how­ev­er, see why peo­ple who can’t man­age to sort out “there” and “their,” or who don’t under­stand that an apos­tro­phe does not mean HERE COMES AN “S” are even per­mit­ted in the course. They’re all sup­posed to have passed the basic Eng­lish cours­es before tak­ing any­thing in the TCOM depart­ment, but obvi­ous­ly “pass­ing” and “mas­ter­ing the mate­r­i­al” are not close­ly relat­ed concepts.

Cohousing?

I’m work­ing on my final project for the tech­ni­cal writ­ing course, which is a com­par­i­son of cohous­ing devel­op­ments to sin­gle-fam­i­ly and more tra­di­tion­al mul­ti-fam­i­ly hous­ing. I’m find­ing it dif­fi­cult to find any of the books I want to use as ref­er­ences in the library (school or two coun­ties). Do any of you who are local hap­pen to have books on the sub­ject? Copies of Com­mu­ni­ties mag­a­zine, maybe? I’d appre­ci­ate a chance to look at such things rather than need­ing to buy them via Amazon!

School Happy

I final­ly got the grades from the first tech­ni­cal writ­ing assign­ment I turned in last week, and the peer reviews I did on two of my class­mates’ rough drafts. I got full points for all of them!

I was wor­ried about one of the peer reviews, because the per­son chose to do a set of instruc­tions for start­ing to cross-stitch. I know too much about that top­ic to eval­u­ate it well from a beginner’s point of view, and that was the intend­ed audi­ence. I actu­al­ly approached the pro­fes­sor with some ques­tions, and won­dered if I should swap reviews with some­one new to stitch­ing. Hap­pi­ly, the pro­fes­sor said I pro­vid­ed a bal­anced review that reflect­ed my expe­ri­ences as a for­mer begin­ner and cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enced stitch­er, and that I was respect­ful through­out. I was try­ing very, very hard to avoid any hint of con­de­scen­sion, and it appears that it worked!

My top­ic was “Cre­at­ing Your First Pod­cast,” and that received full points, too. It had to be done with a Flesch–Kincaid Grade Lev­el less than 8th grade, which was not easy. I got it down to 7th grade, and couldn’t go any low­er. The pro­fes­sor said that was due to the tech­ni­cal terms I had to use, and was per­fect­ly acceptable.