Edits, Even Self Made Ones, Mar The Purest Form Of A Writer's Work

Edits, Even Self Made Ones, Mar The Purest Form Of A Writer's Work

Everytime you decide against that specific phrasing, you're trading in your voice for conformist purposes.

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This article will go through edits. Maybe even several rounds, before it is allowed to roam free on the plains of the Internet. It will be published with a title and a byline with my name attached to it, dubbing this work as my own, and no one else's. And although these minor details may hint otherwise, the idea that this piece was conceived using my authentic voice is false.

Think about it. Every error I pen, beyond spelling and in some cases grammatical, is authentically me. The stylistic choices I employ, from my colloquial tone to my oddly-fitting clauses, all represent the unique mindset in which I develop my ideas. However, the constraints of universal writing bind me to formatting my ideas into a concise and edited block.

While this block is incredibly digestible, it is not my writing, no matter how small the edits made. Differentiating between types of edits is important, too — those suggested, and those self-made. While I have separated them into two categories, they are intertwined to a point.

Suggested edits come directly from a reader, somebody on the outside looking in. While there is a spectrum to the severity of edits to be suggested, from complete idea reversals to simple clause reversals, the practice of editing still corrupts the purity of the original thoughts penned. And if these suggested edits are taken, the work is once again molded slightly to conform for the purpose of ease of access.

This is the most stark of corrupt practices within humanity. However, outside influences have the potential to slyly find their way into breaking down the purity of an author's work. When writing, we writers are often told to consider our audience. What words make sense? What topics are inappropriate? How can I break down this complex idea into simple sentences for you to understand?

When writers write for others, we automatically trade our voices for a more edited and conformed version. It is an automatic filter put up to control the free flow of ideas that should exist freely on a page.

When writers write for ourselves, we are able to communicate our ideas in the purest form, leaving thoughts up for interpretation. Compare a page out of "Diary of a Young Girl" to The Diary of Anne Frank (the play) Sure, both forms communicate the same basic idea. But adaptations are created for clarity or to teach lessons in an entertaining form. It's an extreme melding of the content to fit purposes other than basic communication.

With journal entries penned without intention of publishing, readers are able to more accurately gauge the thoughts communicated within the piece.

So this mainstream trend of idea communication that we have agreed upon has a habit of simplifying ideas. It is why we have AP style, why we have MLA format and why students are taught to write three body paragraphs all the time.

These conventions have their positives. They lay foundation for understanding so texts can be compared. They act as rulers for each other, measuring the legitimacy of ideas against the formatting in which they are presented. This practice is not necessarily evil, but it does allow for corruption of a writer's voice.

Corruption seems like a strong word, however, it is the most accurate. A person's writing style should be treated as a pure and untainted wavelength. While it often presents itself through spurts and trickles, the unique way in which we write should be regarded highly.

But if we all had our way, we would write in streams of consciousness. Note-taking in school is an excellent example of this — our teachers rarely collect our personal notes, so we find unique ways of taking them that suit our needs. My notes are the most effective when I use them, but if they were to be used by another student, they would waste their time decoding my abbreviations and figures.

This means that a balance needs to be found between the language of an individual's mind and the mainstream language accepted by general consumers. Not to say that these structures are incredibly rigid, but sometimes, fluidity becomes stifled by the constraints.

So in my pursuit to find the purest yet most acceptable form of my writing style, I've set out on a mission. It wouldn't be realistic to write all the time in a stream of consciousness. Nobody would understand, so the legitimacy of the ideas would be null. It's by writing constantly for myself that I aim to meld my stream of consciousness style with a concise and understandable flow and perhaps, adopt a few techniques from the mainstream styles to fit my own.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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