(Or whatever the Google Drive equivalent is…)
Sparky’s class is doing a Careers module. As part of this research unit, parents go in and do a 30 min presentation on their jobs. I volunteered, and then wondered what on earth I’d do to make my job sound interesting. I mean, I love it, but I’m sure “looking at text for mistakes” sounds like a prison sentence for nine-year-olds. Especially when they’ve had a jeweller come in — “I wore a titanium ring!” — and a firefighter — “He showed us how he kicks in a door!” His best friend’s mom showed them how to make a website. I will be so boring to them. I will be all, “Words and sentences are cool! Be responsible for your writing!” Yawn.
So I suggested to Sparky that maybe I could do a PowerPoint presentation along with my talk, since he learned how to do them earlier this year, and he was very enthusiastic. I have never done a PowerPoint presentation before. It didn’t exist when I was in school. (Remember, dear readers, critical analyses of works that were the focus of my thesis were researched in actual printed books of Arts indices and physical copies of periodicals. The Internet was only a few tubes with a couple of cats in them at that time.) These grade 3 kids use a SMART board daily, though, so I need to be up to their speed.
So as of early this afternoon, I am ten slides into creating my first PowerPoint presentation ever. It’s entitled “What Does a Copyeditor Do?” and covers where the copyeditor fits into the publishing process, why copyediting is important, what tools I use, and that kind of thing. I am probably not allowed to say stuff like “My superpower is saving the world from plagiarism, typos, and incorrect facts.” I bet the phrase “Sometimes I edit using the Force” slips out during the presentation, though.
I’m hoping the coolness of meeting someone who is part of the process of making books carries a lot of it, honestly. And I’ll be emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility for your writing, why plagiarism is bad, and why your writing needs to be as polished as possible, so your information gets across clearly and concisely. Also because it is often the first thing associated with you that people encounter, so it’s an important part of how people form their first impressions of you and the information you’re presenting. It’s to your advantage to make it as error-free, clear, and accessible as possible.
I may not have titanium rings to show off or an impressive uniform complete with axe, but I’m hoping the Chicago Manual of Style and snapshots of a stylesheet and an edited paragraph, complete in all its Track Changes glory, will be at least somewhat interesting.