Tuesday, 2 September 2008


I have already mentioned in previous posts that I am doing some proofreading for something called Project Gutenberg. I've been doing it for a little over two weeks now and for their purposes I am rated as a proofreading apprentice. To be promoted to whatever the next level is I need to have been proofreading for at least 21 days (so I have a few more to go), completed 300 pages of proofreading (I've done nearly 500), and completed a proofreading test (which I took and passed about a week ago). So in a few days time, the people who are in charge of this monumental project will be looking at the pages I have proofread and determine whether my work is accurate enough for me to be able to move on to the next level.

I have to admit that I am trying to stick with proofreading books written in English, but as many of them were written about a century ago, or thereabouts, even being in English does not necessarily make them easy to follow. Tonight I have been working on a few pages of book of a scientific nature. The problem with that is that I didn't really understand what it was I was reading, and there were a lot of words that I needed to check letter by letter. I have a scientific background but unfortunately my knowledge of the way that a creature develops cell by cell from the yolk of an egg isn't deep enough for the reading to be automatic. Some of the terms, particularly those relating to the way that the brain develops were a bit more familiar because one of the modules that I studied for my OU degree was about the brain and behaviour. I always knew that it would come in useful sometime, even if it wasn't anything to do with my job.

Over the last couple of weeks I have worked on pages from about 12-15 books, and they have ranged from children's books, those for juveniles, scientifc works, travel books and autobiograpies. The books for children and young people would not be enjoyed by youngsters today; they are certainly not of the standard of Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter series, so popular with present day youngsters and adults.

I start a new module with the OU in a few weeks time which is going to require me studying for 2-3 hours a day, after which I will have one more module to complete to get a second degree. But the proofreading is something that I can do for a short period each day, and may even provide a little light relief from the studying at times. One thing I do know is that being busy like this does mean that I have less time to worry about how I am feeling particularly when I am having a bad few days. Focussing the mind can have a wonderfully therapeutic effect.

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