This arrived by courier this morning:


It’s my “So you Want to be a Student Again Starter Pack”. (Where’s the scarf and cheap booze?) Actually, it’s my textbooks and first two tutorials for the year-long correspondence course I have enrolled in – Proofreading and Editing.

The massive grey folder at the bottom will gradually fill as the next ten tutorials are sent to me at regular intervals throughout the coming year. Each tutorial consists of lots of stuff to read, a number of “Practice Exercises” and an assignment to complete and send back. There are some pictures and graphics dotted here and there. My personal favourite so far is the tiny sepia image with the caption: “A Medieval Monk copying a Bible”. 

In a giddy rush of enthusiasm I signed up for the online student discussion forum then read a few pages of Tutorial One and attempted the first exercise:

“Read the following text. Identify the errors and write the corrections in the margin. There are 21 errors.”

I found 22. Honest. I am absolutely convinced there are 22. This disturbs me a bit because if I tell my new tutor (apparently we have to communicate by email / online forum but we get to talk in person every eight weeks or something, so we’ll be getting to know each other intimately) he will probably tell me I’m wrong and think I’m a smart-ass. Or he’ll realise I’m right and feel undermined. Either way, I’ll probably get double the number of large red squiggles all over my first assignment, along with a few strategically spilt coffee / wine stains.

So I’m off to a flying start. Wish me luck. I’m actually rather looking forward to it all.

Right, I’m off to the pub to wallow in existential angst. (Do students still do that?)

Look out for my next post – a review of one of the most talked-about books of 2013.