Not my kids, although there are moments where I’m thinking that. No, I’m talking about the kids who edited the paper down at campus the past two semesters. I’ve been digging through the stories I wrote to make copies to send out to prospective employers and thus reading through everything I had published. Oddly enough, I don’t always like reading my stories once they’re printed. I can’t explain why, it just works out that way. Anyway, for most of them this was the first time I read what had been printed. As I read through them, I noticed several articles were published with horrible errors in editing. In one, comments the editor had for me were inserted into the published piece. Things like “I think skeptical is a better word here,” etc. That looks real professional. I give that editor a pass because she was great the rest of the time and that was the first paper of the semester, and kinks were being ironed out.
I thought one of my best stories was one I wrote about a speech on campus by a native Darfurian about the genocide. I was reading through it and noticed the article cut off in mid-sentance at the end. It was my final paragraph, but rather than edit the quote down, they just filled the space and stopped. There are probably people all over the place who read that article and are still wondering how it ended.
Now my debate is do I use these clips, assuming editors at newspapers and magazines will realize it was a college paper and understand those errors, or does it look too unprofessional and I need to let them sit? I think the answer is A, but it makes me feel a little silly. “Here are some great articles I wrote for a paper that obviously wasn’t very good.” Frustrating.