So, on Monday I went to a one-day training on improving editing skills. It was the first editorial class I've ever taken, and I was expecting it to be boring, but actually? It was great. And the best part? Was that it was a class full of editors.
I haven't been surrounded by editors, well, ever really. Both my post-college jobs have been in very small communications departments for bigger firms whose main focus was something else entirely. At most, I've worked with one, maybe two other editors at a time, and we were always so busy actually editing that we never really discussed the finer points of what we did.
But in that class? We talked about dangling modifiers, and everyone was totally engaged. We were all equally fascinated by what we were discussing. We had long discussions about the exercises we were doing, and we discussed minute little details that non-editors wouldn't even notice, much less care about. We had a whole conversation about APOSTROPHES, and the miracle is that NOBODY WAS BORED. Each of us was more nit-picky than the next and we could have had detail-oriented conversations for ages about things that I normally never dare discuss, for fear of losing all my friends to death by boredom.
In short, it was GREAT. And now I want to go to another class. Seriously.
The less great part was the horrible, awful, totally oppressive weather. The temperature has been near 100 degrees for several days straight, and although there was a big thunderstorm last night that supposedly pushed the heat wave out to sea, I am not yet convinced that it's really gone. It's been so humid that I start sweating the second I step out the door. It took several very loud shrieks of horror before I managed to convince Torsten that no, opening the window will NOT let in fresh air when it's 98 degrees with 70% humidity, because there is no such thing as fresh air under those conditions, unless you count the air that comes straight out of the A/C unit, which I absolutely do.
It feels too hot to work, or move. We went for a walk on Sunday but only made it about four blocks before we were ready to keel over and die. And yes, Torsten DID try to open the window when we got home. Freak.
But the thing is that I really shouldn't be complaining, because remember those thunderstorms I talked about on Thursday? Well, they knocked out power for a lot of people in the area, and as of Monday night? Thousands of them STILL didn't have power. That's right. They spent the WHOLE WEEKEND suffering through record-setting high temperatures without the benefit of air conditioning, or even a refrigerator to stick their heads into.
I know that I am spoiled, and believe me when I say that I fully recognize my own privilege of having been born in the age of technology. I know there are a lot of problems with the world right now, but oh my god do I ever love living in the time of the internet, central air, and advanced modes of transportation. I hate heat and humidity, and I love nothing more than collapsing on the couch in my air-conditioned apartment on an insufferably hot summer day. I am happy (okay, that might be too strong a word) to run on a treadmill, but the idea of running outside in the elements makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I'm lucky that I don't have to brave the elements to get to the gym, because then I would be much less likely to go.
My point is, I can't imagine dealing with heat like this without the benefit of air conditioning. I truly believe that such conditions should be considered insufferable, and I do not understand how people are surviving like that. They can't even plug in a FAN to cool themselves off. They must be reduced to sprawling naked on the floor, fanning themselves with a stray piece of junk mail.
I cannot even imagine what women did centuries ago, when they were forced to wear big, heavy dresses that covered them pretty much entirely, and they were sweltering in houses with nothing to cool them. Even as I sit in a lightweight skirt and sleeveless top, typing this in the air-conditioning, the idea of a heavy petticoat and an ankle-length dress that buttons all the way up to my neck makes me want to tear at my own skin.
S0, I know it sounds petty, but let me just say: I am so thankful for air conditioning. And for having the electricity to operate it.
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