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October 26, 2007

Term Papers an "Eternal Source of Office Supplies" for Comp Instructor

(Ypsilanti, MI) A hidden benefit to the mountains of term papers that must be graded by Eastern Michigan University composition instructor Shelly Preston is the simultaneous acquisition of paperclips, report covers, and binder clips.

"Some of these students really go all out to dress up their pathetic efforts at rhetorical competence," chuckled Preston, showing off her latest pile of useful office supplies. "I always return the papers with nothing but a staple, though. Some of this stuff is too expensive to be attached to an essay titled: 'Robert Frost - Poetry Guy.'"

Preston came upon the idea to uncouple valuable office supplies from wretched student compositions several years ago.

"I was in a rush to get out my CV and research portfolio to another college, and I couldn't find a decent report cover," she recalled. "Then I thumbed through some of the literary abortions on my desk, and I'll be damned if some hopeful cretin didn't use this faux leather report cover on her term paper. It was kind of like dressing Quasimodo in a tuxedo, but pilfering that report cover saved me an hour's drive and ten bucks."

To this point not a single student has complained about the missing supplies, added Preston.

"I think most of them are so embarassed about their complete lack of talent that they wouldn't get caught near my office, let alone ask about the gilded folder they stuck their papers in," said Preston. "The best time to clean up on office supplies, though, is at the end of the term. Not only do I collect a ton of supplies, but I don't even have to read most of that crap. I just count the pages and add five points to their average grades. Boo-yah!"

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