As is ACP/CMA convention policy, the adviser who led our critique, Susan Smith from South Dakota University, hadn’t seen a copy of The Pendulum before we were sitting across from her. That’s a problem.
The thinking goes that a fresh set of eyes will notice what hasn’t been noticed before – provide a new perspective. With two critiques under my belt, I’ve come to a different conclusion: it doesn’t work.
Any reviewer needs to spend time with his/her subject, to get to know the medium on a level that’s more than superficial. Due to no fault of Susan, the 45 minutes we spent together were filled largely with questions about Elon and our publication.
That’s not productive. By the time our reviewer got a sense of what she was holding, all that was possible were suggestions (mostly good) regarding design and printing quality.
If advisers were encouraged – if not required – to spend some time with their subject ahead of time, we just might leave with some idea of how to make our paper better.
– Michael Bodley