Dear Senior Editors,
With the arrival of our new sponsors, you asked for an evaluation of my writers. Editing for the Spotlight section has been an absolute joy so far this year. Mostly, that is… We’ve had a few bumps as the months have flown by, mainly including video cameras, cute animals, and, um, superheroes, but I suppose I should just explain in my evaluations.
Allison [Class Spotlight]
Creativity- 0 // Timeliness- 0 // Knowledgeability- 0 // Grammatical Correctness- 0 // Organization- 0 // Style/Tone- 0 // Communication- 0 // Effective advertising- 5
Explanation- I’m truly sorry to give Allison almost all zeros. But you don’t understand–Allison leaves me with nothing to do. I’m convinced that she races me each month because she always turns in her articles before I can send out reminders. She has flawless grammar and leaves me nothing to correct. She knows absolutely everything about the classes she writes about.
Also, I now have eight more classes on my bucket list of TPS classes to take next year (except that I’m graduating, so I’m left to console myself with reading her articles over and over again). On second thought, I probably shouldn’t have written any of this because I’ll be out of a job now. Oops.
Annette [Advice Column]
Creativity- 0 // Timeliness- 5 // Knowledgeability- 0 // Grammatical Correctness- 5 // Organization- 4 // Style/Tone- 2 // Communication- 3// Advice- 5
Explanation- I still don’t know what to make of Annette’s column. Every month she goes around asking for people to ask her questions. Asking to ask questions? Yes, I know, it sounds funny.
Anyway, she writes in response to the questions. The Bible verses and such are great (and of course the occasional wise words from her wonderful editor), but her advice is always too useful and practical. I think she could be a bit more creative and take notes from some of the knowledgeable humor columnists on staff. But then again, if I’m giving her advice about how to give advice to the people wanting advice, it just gets way too confusing.
Aina [Teacher Spotlight]
Creativity- 3 // Timeliness- 2 // Knowledgeability- 4 // Grammatical Correctness- 1 // Organization- 5 // Style/Tone- 3 // Communication- 5 // Choice of teachers to interview- 5
Explanation- You’ll notice that Aina is the only one of my writers who did not get a zero in creativity. (She may or may not have received extra points for spotlighting three of my favorite teachers… Hey, no one told me that these evaluations couldn’t be biased.) She has an incredible ability to make people, teachers in particular, spill their life stories. Frankly, it’s a little terrifying.
I think the biggest issue that must be addressed is how she abandoned her column in January to attend a creative writing class. She at least told us about it when she finished, but she’s supposed to be interviewing teachers, not going off to participate in fun classes.
Kalijah [Girl’s Spotlight]
Creativity- 0 // Timeliness- 2 // Knowledgeability- 5 // Grammatical Correctness- 3 // Organization- 4 // Style/Tone- 0 // Communication- 4 // Videography skills- 5
Explanation- Kalijah started off as a decent writer. Started off. About three months into the year she acquired a video camera and I don’t know what to do with her anymore. I’ve tried explaining that she is a writer, not a videographer, but she just doesn’t understand.
Also, instead of writing, she goes around making friends with the girls she is interviewing. It’s become a problem because her articles are now friendly conversations instead of serious interviews. It’s just too much. I don’t know what to do. Maybe the SEs can sit down and have a conversation with her?
Katie [Story Spotlight]
Creativity- 0 // Timeliness- 5 // Knowledgeability- 3 // Grammatical Correctness- 5 // Organization- 4 // Style/Tone- 5 // Communication- 2 // Adorable animal pictures- 5
Explanation- I’m pretty sure that Katie only applied to write for clay again so that she could publish photos of her adorable dogs. There are eight pictures included in her October and January articles as proof. She made me want to foster a dog (and I already have a dog and a cat and a bunny… the point is that it’s an issue and she shouldn’t be allowed to use pictures of cute animals).
I’m also a little confused as to why she just sits around and writes stories every month. I think we should change her title from “Columnist” to “Storyteller.” But I suppose that’s not for me to decide.
Gabriel [Guy’s Spotlight]
Creativity- 0 // Timeliness- 3 // Knowledgeability- 1 // Grammatical Correctness- 4 // Organization- 4 // Style/Tone- 5 // Communication- 3 // Communication with superheroes- 5
Explanation- I’m sorry to break this to you all so late in the year, but I don’t think Gabriel understands what his column is supposed to be about. I must address the fact that he wrote his December article about Batman. His March article was on origami and please don’t ask me to attempt to explain the October one…
My point being, that in the future, I think a better explanation of our expectations for columnists should be presented at the beginning of the year. Since it’s a little late in the year to fire a writer, I guess I can deal with him for one more month. Hopefully he can manage to write an article for May that doesn’t include superheroes or folding paper.
After taking this time to reflect on my writers and the experience of editing for clay so far this year, I have come to the conclusion that a single item has gotten me through the last eight months: my loose leaf tea filter (pictured above).
Each month I sit down with my laptop and an inbox filled with drafts of articles. As I stare at my screen and reconcile myself to several hours of dealing with the previously mentioned “bumps,” the only spark of hope left in the world is a mug of tea next to me, made possible by my lovely loose leaf tea filter.
It’s so simple! You just scoop some tealeaves into the filter and set it in a mug of hot water. A few moments later you have a wonderful mug of warm tea to soothe away every worry about misplaced commas and forgotten deadlines. You can find your own at your local Target, Wal-Mart, or, of course, Pampered Chef.
Happy April Fools and Happy Easter!
~Morgan [Spotlight Editor]