19 July 2009

PMA: Instructions for use...

Find a news story. 200 words. Write article. Submit. Rejected. Rewrite. Resubmit. Major amendments required. Rewrite. Resubmit. More amendments required. Rewrite. Resubmit. Find another news story. Rinse. Repeat.

The first Sunday of the course gave us all the chance to choose what time to enter PMA HQ. For some it was an opportunity to get an extra hour or two of well-earned sleep. It was also a chance to work at home for a few hours and have a break from Mornington Crescent. The lofty responsibilities of being key monitor and a lack of suitable facilities at my flat meant I foolishly got here at 9am. I've now hit 11 hours, and counting, at my desk.

I’m getting concerned cabin fever may be setting in for some of us. I’ve begun to concoct a fiendish plan that involves marrying up my key monitor duties with taking over the photocopier and starting a revolution. Gurjit has taken to laughing uncontrollably out of the blue. Alex’s desk gathers more ridiculously random items each day. And bananas now litter the desks at random intervals.

To make matters worse, today marked our first Teeline session. Cue expressions of panic for many.

I thought I’d got the theory behind the art of writing squiggles sorted but our first lesson with softly-spoken-shorthand-guru (if-in-doubt-hyphen-it-all-the-new-rule) Alison shattered that illusion. Still I found comfort in looking to my right to find Adam with his head bowed, furiously rubbing his temples as though his brain may explode at any second.

One week down, eight to go. There’s plenty of time to get the thing right.

If I don’t I’ll just put my not-so-secret plan into action. Simples.

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