Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)
TITLE: The Missing Word
By Sharon Henderson
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Our teacher asked us to write on the topic “Our Ten Year Reunion” and to ‘predict’ where everyone would be by then and what they would be doing with their lives. She had taught us the craft of excellence in writing and I loved to write. This was an assignment where I could not fail. Or could I?
I took great care to include each person in the class and predict their lives with detail. One I even got right. Janet T did indeed marry Scott W. That was an easy one though because everyone knew they would. I even made sure that I included Mrs. D in my predictions. She was one of my favorite teachers and I wanted to compliment her and let her know what I thought of her. For her I wrote, “There is Mrs. D looking as as ever!” Yes, just like that. That’s exactly what I wrote.
I was not thrilled with my grade on this assignment. Understatement! I was extremely disappointed with my grade on this paper. How could this be? Then I saw them. Her notes by my prediction for her were “as what as ever? Mean? Ugly? Hard?” NO! NO! Oh my! How could this be? What was meant to be a high compliment “as beautiful as ever” turned into my demise as far as this assignment was concerned. It was too late. I could never go back and get this right. Never go back in time and ensure that my message was clear and correct. Too late.
From that day forward I knew the importance of proofreading and editing your work. It was years later before I learned the trick of ‘reading it backwards to catch mistakes‘ like these. That day I learned a valuable lesson. Everyone needs an editor! Everyone!
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