Thursday, 30 July 2015

Critical Friend(s) and Editors

I’m sure that I went over my finished project 100 times, checking and double checking that it made sense, testing out the links from different browsers and devices.  I could see nothing else that needed to be changed, so I pressed “submit” – done. 

I opened my project a number of times after that.  On a few occasions I referred to information from it.  At one point we shared our project with a classmate.  It must have been about the 10th time that I looked at it, post submission, that it jumped out at me:  that BLATANT, SILLY ERROR that I had missed, missed, and missed again jumped off the screen at me.   I could not believe it!  How could I have missed something like that after reviewing it so many times?!

Sometimes we use the term “looking over” something.  I looked over my project so many times, that I overlooked my error.  It couldn’t see the details anymore. 

This experience has reminded me of the importance of reaching out for support through this journey.  There are multiple roles within that support structure, and an editor is a key role.  When an editor reviews our work, they are doing so with fresh eyes and are looking for corrections that need to be made, the organization of the project, and flow of our work. They are the critical eye that focuses on grammar and structure.  

We talked last week about the importance of having the support of critical friend.  Similarly to an editor, a critical friend also provides feedback, but with a focus on "where are you coming from and what is your idea?" as opposed to the structure. A critical friend and is someone that can bring a different perspective, encouraging you to consider alternate angles. Their job is to review with a critical eye and question what you are doing, in order to push you to broaden your consideration. Sometimes  a critical friend may be needed to simply bounce some ideas off of. This relationship requires some of the same characteristics as other important relationships in our life: honesty, trust, communication and patience. On this side of that relationship, it requires openness to receive and consider criticism graciously. 

There are other types of support that I know I will need throughout this masters journey, such as encouragement and patience from friends, family and colleagues….and someone to clean the house :-).  I foresee leaning on various critical friends and editors in my life, and I hope that I can be a valuable critical friend to some of my RRU colleagues.  I know that my friends and family are behind me, and for that I am grateful. 

This is a complex journey and I recognize that we will benefit from supporting others and from receiving what others have to offer along the way.     

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