Thursday, May 4, 2006

Good news. I received a call from that guy yesterday, telling me he got his test results back and they came back negative, and so now, that chlamydia scare of '06 is seemingly over. I should probably still go in and get a course of STD tests done, but now I feel more free to do that at my leisure, like not anytime this week.

I love my job and hope I am doing good at it. It has been a while since I have had a job (have I ever had one) that forces me to step up my game a couple notches. I know that the stuff I do edit, sounds better after I get through with it, but I just worry that I am not doing it fast enough. I need to train my eyes to search for mistakes faster than they do now. And I know that I type fairly fast, but this other girl could be a stenographer - she doesn't ever pause the tape she is listening to let her typing catch up to the point in conversation, she just types away with fingers of fury. I am able to listen to the tapes with less pausing as I get used to this, but I doubt I will ever be not pausing it at all.

I am making lots of observations about various speech habits in this job. People that transcribe interviews have a lot of leeway in how they make a person read. Most people do not talk in sentences and no one talks in paragraphs. Most sentences run into each other connected by "and," lots of "you knows" are also said, and it is fun listening to these rambling talks and making them look really intelligent with clear, cogent sentences.

So many people also have this habit of diminishing what they say, using these modifying phrases to temper their thoughts. I am really guilty of this also, and to a way more severe degree than these analysts, but I am going to try to stop. "Kind of" is placed before so many statements. Lots of "I think"s and "I feel"s - all of which I omit, making these people sound more confident about what they are saying.

Some of the people though, aren't guilty of these habits, and talk in really clear sentences that you can even hear the periods and the commas as they are talking. You can hear the end of paragraphs and the start of new thoughts. It is a really amazing skill, and I think one of the toughest - to be able to speak clearly and confidently. With written communications, you have the ability to see what you are writing, there is a remove and thus, an ability to see mistakes and glaring stupidities and correct them. With verbal communications, there is no time for that, no remove. I think it is the older people in the interviews that tend to talk the most clearly. I think most young people talk like shit, which is entirely unsurprising given the lack of focus we put even on the public speaking abilities of elected officials, that news segments, as has been well documented, have a shrinking soundbite, with decades ago, decent paragraph long quotes from people on air, to now today, with Howard Dean's shriek constituting the only necessary part of a speech to be rebroadcast.

The sun is shining. I am listening to the Supremes, drinking coffee and yesterday I went to Trinity Church on my lunch break and it is odd, but not totally surprising given the lack of open space downtown, that there are all these people eating their lunches in the cemetery there. I imagine if it were a more recent graveyard, if the tombstones all weren't washed out slabs with barely visible dates saying 1700 something something, that things would be different, that people might be more spooked, but here the remove is great enough, safe enough.

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