Internet connection being what it is in Mexico, I thought I’d try and expand my employment tentacles and applied for a job reviewing college essays. I had mixed feelings when I heard back from the company. While it would be great that I wouldn’t have to keep on eye on my signal bar or panic when the electricity flickered off like when I was teaching live classes, I didn’t really want to work more hours.
With a sigh, I reviewed the writing sample and sent copies of my diploma and university transcripts, demonstrating my more than adequate qualifications. I wasn’t surprised that I got the job.
Although the pay rate was $13 USD per hour, I could only request payment for 30-minute increments which meant I would need to review 2 papers per hour. Initially, I tried to note each and every error so each essay was taking me well over an hour, sometimes 2. I learned quickly to only accept essays 4 pages or less, which sped things up a bit. I could also preview the essay before accepting, allowing me to avoid the worst of the lot but I had the thought “you graduated from high school?” on more than one occasion while rolling my eyes at yet another misused word.
Most of the errors were in citations. It’s been more years than I care to admit since my last professional paper, so I had to do quite a bit of review of MLA and APA standards. This research was useful while I was converting my ebook A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Best Place to Be in Any Disaster to paperback though.
I diligently cranked out at least one hour of work per day throughout the first weeks of December. Then suddenly, the well went dry. Christmas vacation you know–no essays due. I submitted my timesheet and found I had made $68.21 payable through PayPal. That was about what I had been making for 2 weeks at the elementary school.
In January, essays started piling up again, but I was done with all that. I toyed with the idea of doing live essay grading or Spanish tutoring on my days off from online teaching, but then I’d be back in the same boat worried about the internet. So while it’s good to know that I have another income option, I’ll just let it be for now.