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watch for falling apostrophes

I wanted to do an end-of-semester update after the 48hr grading marathon from hell (I keep thinking I'm going to Do Better on that front, and then I end up accepting late work until AFTER the 11th hour ... sigh) but I think I'm just too dog-tired. I entered final grades and got my "all-clear" from the department with THIRTEEN MINUTES to spare before the 9am Friday deadline, and then I spent all day Friday prepping for a meeting –– a really good meeting, actually, with a new client who is working with MCI on some social media R&A ... but intake interviews take a LOT of concentration, so it's kind of like turning around and trying to win a 100-meter dash right after you limp through the finish line at 26.2 miles (yes, all my metaphors are running metaphors tonight; deal with it!).

R&A is the kind of work that's actually fun for me, but it's not exactly "light" and I still feel zonked today ... when I spent SIX HOURS trying to schedule an immunization appointment that should have taken MAYBE fifteen minutes, because this is the U.S. and of course healthcare can't be that easy.

I thought about posting an update on my adventures in Professorial Fashion Statements.

And I'd planned on maybe saying something about arguably my favorite essay title of the semester.


ALSO today I'd had plans to "run it out" –– usually a sound strategy for recovering the dregs of my sanity –– but it rained all day (literally the ENTIRE day, after a week of mostly rain). I enjoy rain, in general, but even I occasionally need and even want to do things that are best done not-soggy. In this case, I am being extra-careful to wear my mask on the way in and out of my apartment building because somebody the next floor down has a persistent dry cough that to me says "probably Covid" and "definitely nothing I want." Which is fine (well, not for the coughing guy), but getting wet is not good for the filter media on my masks and soaking one through is not what I'd prefer to do right before slogging through somebody's toxic fumes (running in a soggy mask isn't great, either, but then again on the open road I don't really have to WEAR it, just keep it handy for later).

Oh, and also I'm recovering from a sprained ankle, so MAYBE running sprints over wet leaves in a downpour isn't the smartest possible move.

I did get some solid content-creation work done for a local client; not as much fun as R&A, but something I'm pleased to say people do reach out to me for, often because they've seen and liked my previous work (in this case, a lot of it was for the same client). And then I figured that since I had already given myself a headache trying to navigate the U.S. healthcare system (FYI: that appointment is STILL not scheduled) I might as well go ahead and work on my pricing list, because I know I'm going to have to raise my rates again in January (I am nowhere near making ends meet right now, and while that is partly because college professors don't make what you think they do, it's also because my rates started way below the market and the gap keeps growing).

It's a screenshot and I'm not sorry.

Part of raising my rates also involves putting more emphasis on finding clients who will appreciate my specialty services (and by "appreciate," I don't just mean "handsomely reward," I mean "actually need and want"), so I also spent some time working on a set of updated client-need questions.

Then a potential client had sent me a message asking me to contact them about a job, so I responded by asking them some follow-up questions about that job. This level of interrogation made them so angry that they announced that since I refused to cooperate (paraphrase) they would be taking their business elsewhere (that one's a head-scratcher).

It goes without saying that those kinds of messages never yield billable hours.

I worked on a couple of letters of reference for students from this past semester, but one of them is going to be difficult because the student has yet to tell me what they'd like me to recommend them for (what is it with people and answering questions, seriously?).

Annnnnndd I made this video, a HOLIDAY PSA from my nerdy little heart to yours (let's see how Wix and Instagram get along) ...

Leave me a comment and let me know how Fall 2022 has treated you. :D


Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith
Dec 12, 2022

At first I thought this was going to be about names containing apostrophes, like O'Brien or D'Souza.

Replying to

Valid! But in the video I make it clear (I hope) that if your family name has an apostrophe the rest of the year, it can keep that apostrophe during the holidays (we are not all about taking away people's apostrophes here at TCA). Just don't ADD one for that festive flair!

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