Thursday, November 17, 2016

de-stressing a bit now

The crunch is pretty much over. I got everything done for the textbook in time, so now we wait while the designers format our material, then send us a PDF of what the textbook is supposed to look like. This means that we wait a couple business days; in the meantime, I've been told to start on two other textbooks, but the deadline for both of those books isn't until March of next year, so there's a bit of breathing room.

We outsource part of our books' material to a very professional British guy who lives down in Masan; I've met him a couple times, and he's a great chap with a philo background, which means he and I can talk shop in roughly the same language.* This gent writes our reading passages and reading-comprehension questions, which I then plug into whatever chapter I'm working on. He's such a pro that, when I proof his passages, there's normally almost nothing to correct except a few Britishisms, and I don't consider those corrections so much as alterations: at our office, we default to US English, so "furore" and "neurone" and "metre" and "colour" and "Mum" and "X is different to Y" have to go. British prose is, obviously, perfectly legitimate as it is, but you have to follow the style manual.

So we've alerted our Masan contact that we'll soon be starting on another two textbooks, which means he'll be churning out reading passages and reading-comp questions over the next few weeks. I, meanwhile, will be working on the other parts of those chapters. (For an 18-page chapter, our Masan contact writes 3 pages; I write the other 15.) Once we get Mr. Masan's material, things will once again move into high gear, but for now, I can relax a bit.

*For us philo/rel types, this isn't so easy to do with those from a science background, especially when the science folks use seemingly familiar terms but understand those terms in utterly different ways. Good example: a buddy of mine is an aeronautical engineer, and I can't tell you the number of times we've talked past each other because we both assumed term X meant something, without ever bothering to think that the same term might have different resonances in different mental universes. Specifically, I recall one very frustrating conversation about causes and effects as relating to waves. My friend had a very strict, unambiguous engineer's understanding of what the word "wave" meant, which meant that my metaphysical points were utterly lost on him (and, I suppose, vice versa).

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