I’m having a bit of “Huh?” moment here. On Friday, I have an open book exam in editing and we were told that we can bring in certain references: a dictionary, a style guide, and a “cheat list” that the class brainstormed together on the last day. The purpose of the cheat list is just to remind us of what to look for when we’re going through the editing exercise on the exam.
A classmate was assigned to transcribe the class’s brainstorm and email it to all of us, and we’re allowed to add our own notes to it as well. The kicker? Now the instructor wants us all to come 15 minutes early to the exam so that she can “inspect” our cheat lists.
Whilst freely admitting that there is no way you can really “cheat” on an editing exercise and that this is not to be a memorization test as such, it seems that our dear instructor just can’t let go of her suspicions. Is terminal control freakishness the consequence of choosing the editing profession? The upshot is, if there are any questions I need to cheat in order to answer (i.e. What’s the difference between copyright and trademark? What is “bias”?), I’ll be sure to write them on my thigh and wear a miniskirt like that scary Pat Benatar lookalike girl in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Or just look it up in my dictionary.

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