Standing on Chairs is Not OSHA Approved

I spent one summer of college painting at the university I attended.  It really was a rather enjoyable summer job (although I became somewhat sick of the color “Antique White”).   All of our safety rules and procedures, that summer, were based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: better known as OSHA.  Most of these safety rules and procedures, we disregarded on a regular basis.  However, whenever we were violating a rule or procedure, we would announce it.  The more obvious the violation, the more likely we were to make a pronouncement.  For example:

“Standing on chairs with wheels is not OSHA approved!”  This being said, of course, as we stood on just such a chair.  The funny thing is, I have continued in this practice, despite the 8 or more years it has been since I held this job.  Anytime I do something relatively unsafe, I say, out loud, that it is not OSHA approved, whether anyone is around to hear it or not.  Yesterday, I was working in my classroom and was standing on a table to reach some borders.  In the classroom completely by myself, I announced,

“Standing on tables is not OSHA approved.”  And smirked at myself.

Tonight, I was working on a writing assignment for my Master’s class.  I am getting a degree in Clinical Psychology, so I must adhere to all of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) writing guidelines.  As I was reading back over something I had written, I realized I had made a grammatical error.  The thing is, this “error” is a kind I frequently make on purpose when I am writing fiction.  I have a tendency, in my creative writing, to take certain leave with grammatical correctness.  I use fragments.  A lot. (See what I just did there?) I will often times write in a rather choppy manner, leave out words (specifically the word “and”).  Sometimes I am eloquent, or I repeat words, or write in a kind of rhythm or cadence, almost like following a pattern, or start sentences with conjunctions.  All of these are good and fine in creative writing, but not in formal, APA type writing.  I found I was muttering to myself,

“Writing this way is not APA approved.”  Just as I would verbally point out my OSHA violations.  The difference here is, I actually fixed it.  My creativity might pout at being stifled, but at least my professor will be happy.  Still, I am happy when I can leave the protocol behind and go back to my metaphorical “standing on chairs”.


– S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on August 21, 2012.

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