Faculty Mambers

Today we realized it’s crunch time. With our thermometor chart depicting the number of faculty members we’ve reached at below freezing temperatures, the room felt extra chilly. With a limited amount of time and a limited amount of faculty members left on campus, it was clear that we needed to revise our methods.

We decided to divide the work, assigning each intern five or so departments that they would be in charge of getting in contact with. With my list in hand, it seemed like a good idea to write a template email and send it out to every professor in each of my assigned departments, adressing each professor by name, enabling for a personal touch.

After constructing a satisfactory draft, I checked over the final product, correcting typo’s (or so I thought) and checking for any punctuation errors. I then began copy and pasting the template into email after email, changing the name at the top and email address for each new recipient. My biggest concern was misspelling anyone’s name because I knew that taking the time to spell a persons name right could be the difference between a sloppy, generic email and a genuine, personalized one. I plowed through my assigned list so quickly that I took on another intern’s department, feeling confident that I was sending out warm and inviting emails that would generate a lot of responses.

Thinking I was done for the day I began to pack up my belongs when Michele told me she recieved a response to one of my emails. I thought it was odd considering I sent them from my personal account, but my emotions quickly turned from confusion to sheer embarassment as Michele read the email out loud. The professor sent the response to both myself and Michele, pointing out two spelling errors and telling me to be more careful next time.

I immediately considered the situation. I sent out 50+ emails misspelling the word members as mambers and the word convenience. I sent these emails to all faculty members, some of which I have had for class and most of which included the title “Dr.”. I imagined my copy-editing class from freshman year. I imagined Randy Jesick drawing a big red zero on my computer screen. I imagined changing my name and fleeing the country. I wondered if I would enjoy my new life traveling with the circus. I wondered where the nearest rock was and how fast I could climb under it. I even fought back a few tears. After a small emotional break-down and making Melissa check my email to see if all the other professors responded by highlighting my errors, I decided to get a grip. Running away from your mistakes will never make them disappear and beating yourself up will not solve anything. I’m embarassed by my mistakes because I hold myself to a higher standard than spelling errors in a professional email, but I made them. It happened. I was not careful enough and I have to deal with the consequences. I considered sending a follow up email with the two errors followed by an asterisk (half jokingly), but Michele pointed out that not every one will notice the mistakes and not to draw attention to them. The way I see it, as long as I secure some interviews I’ve done my job, so I’ll put my pride aside and hope that not all the faculty mambers will focus my mistakes and will instead notice I spelled their names correctly.

Juliette Rapp

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One thought on “Faculty Mambers

  1. The two tricks I always tell people at the Writing Center: if you’re looking for spelling mistakes in particular, read each sentence backwards word by word. Your brain won’t skip over anything that way. If you’re looking for more general grammar stuff, print out the text and read it out loud at half the pace you normally would. It’s amazing what you can catch!

    But no worries if one or two things sneak in. If we all refused to work with each other unless text was flawless, nothing would get done. -Em

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