An Anecdote About an Essay

In the third state where I lived, I spent a relatively short span of time enjoying the friendship of someone who I often think about and of whom I have many fond memories.  These memories were comprised of afternoons spent playing video games at his house after school or the few classes we shared in middle school.  It is a memory of the latter variety that I would like to recount for you all today.

Our Language Arts class was usually not much of a class.  Our teacher was far more likely to show us movies (that was where I first saw Napoleon Dynamite) than to actually teach us anything of actual value.  As such, it was typically a very relaxing class, if not a very educational one.  On one rare occasion where we actually had an assignment, we had all gone to the computer lab to write an essay on some topic I had completely forgotten.

In school, it seems that, more often than not, teachers valued quantity over quality when it came to our essays, for we were often asked to write far more pages than I could ever come up with.  (I once wrote an essay about a psychologist in high school.  After scouring the scant library books on the topic and writing an essay that fell several pages short of the requirement, I had to start adding really weird, unimportant facts, about the man in question to meet my quota.  Considering such information was even present in the book, I think the author was facing the same plight that I was….)

Anyway, random tangent aside, the two of us were having trouble filling up the correct number of pages on Microsoft Word for our essays, so I took it upon myself to find a few ways to make our work a bit easier.  For one thing, I found out how to install Word’s spellcheck, something I instructed my friend to do, as well.  Then I happened to bring up the fact that you can add two spaces between sentences rather than just one.  Why I mentioned this, I am unsure, but this is where my friend began to take things too far.

In order to fill up the correct number of pages for his assignment, he started adding double line spacing to his essay, as well.  Then, when this failed to meet his goal, he thought he’d take it one step further and see if he could get away with triple-spacing.  While this proved sufficient to reach the required number of pages, when the essay was turned in, the teacher did indeed notice and was not pleased.  While I had meant well in my advice, I hadn’t realized at the time he would take it to such extremes!

This remains as one of my most amusing school memories, and it is a story I enjoy recounting from time to time whenever I am in need of a good laugh.  Now, if you’re in the mood for sharing, dear readers, why not leave your favorite school memories in the comments below?

2 thoughts on “An Anecdote About an Essay

  1. I always hated when you had to have essays of a certain page number or word length. I’ll say what i have to say and enough of it to make things interesting, but when you put that kind of pressure on me I tend to clam up. Now with creative writing I always have problems staying UNDER a certain word length, and now that I can choose what essays I want to write, I’ve noticed my word count has only skyrocketed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same way. When I write about a topic I enjoy, I usually find myself having to cut back on a lot because I’ve gone way over the word count. If I don’t enjoy the topic, though, I usually end up having to embellish and add lots of unnecessary details just to make it long enough.

      I got really confused one year when we were told that only words beyond a certain number of letters counted. My essay ended up being really weird because I used a lot of long words I wouldn’t normally use. In the end, I think the teacher didn’t really end up enforcing this, though, so I might have been the only one to write a really weird essay.

      Liked by 1 person

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