howdoienglish











{July 20, 2011}  

It must be in my blood: I loved taking a field trip to Frederic Printing. Watching all of the machines suck down paper at incredible rates and seeing the finished (well, almost finished) product come out the other end was exhilarating. I walked around that whole place with my mouth open, staring shamelessly at everything pointed out to us and some things that weren’t.

In Dallas, my dad’s mom’s side of the family owns a printing company. I’ve toured it a couple times, but it’s been years since I was there and I don’t remember to much about it. I do have notepads from my visits, though, lots and lots of notepads with “Millet the Printer” on the bottom of the page. I’m sure this influenced my decision to go into publishing in some way. Some small nut in my brain started turning when I toured my family’s company and hatched, ‘scuse me, cracked, later on down the road after I beat it with enough books.

Along with the printing field trip (a newly added field trip at the Institute, and I’m glad they added it when I got there!), Monday had the design workshop. A graphic designer, from Fort Collins even (!), came in and showed us a little bit of the process from book jacket idea to finished jacket. She talked about what the editor likes and what she likes, how they differ, and what she does to resolve that. She even spoke a little about magazine design and how she redesigned Women’s Adventure when the old designer left. I would have liked to see a demonstration of how she works with the software to create a cover, but I understand that it would have taken way more time than we had to give her.

Monday also featured a lecture on digital production. Though filled with fascinating content (I’m sure it was), the presenter just couldn’t get my attention. He talked about how a digital product is made, specifically reference books like encyclopedias since that’s what his company does, the steps it goes through from concept to finished digital product. Though I should have figured it by now, it depressed me to learn that a lot of the work that goes into a product like that is outsourced. They have offshore full-service vendors they send their products to to be edited and worked on because it’s cheaper. I think they make enough money that they don’t need to worry about that, but then again, I’m not their accountant.

Monday night was baseball night. I went to Coors Field with seventeen other people, sat up in the third deck and cheered the Rockies on to a sad defeat. But it was fun, I talked with some people I haven’t talked to yet, and had a wonderful sense of pride because I’ve spent most of my life around here and could direct everyone from the light rail to the field. I was asked by several people who to root for on the Rockies. I felt like a sort of expert. (Thank you, sweetie.)

Tuesday was a good day. Not really because I completely enjoyed the presentations (which I didn’t). Though I find it a little sad when I don’t enjoy a presentation, either because the speaker isn’t a good speaker or because the presentation is on something I’ve no interest in, it’s also somewhat of a good thing. Lectures I’m not interested in give me another filter for when I’m exploring the world of job hunting. I’m narrowing down what I’d be interested in doing later in life. I had an idea when I came to the Institute, but I opened up my options when I started here and now I’m closing them down again. I’m also learning a whole lot about the publishing industry, even through those presentations that aren’t quite riveting. It’s a good thing.

I was able to read a little in one of my fun books and watch a movie with my mom and sister Tuesday night. Those are rare occurrences, and I’m quite happy I was able to swing that. Huzzah for homework that doesn’t take five hours.

And now I head to another fun-filled day.

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