I recently signed the girls up for an essay writing class, wanting someone else to assess their writing and offer suggestions on how to improve it. The teacher is someone who has done some ACT grading, which I thought would be very helpful as Julianne will be sitting for the ACT in June.
Today was the last of the four classes. As the girls prepared their homework over the weekend, we discovered something that Julianne had not understood in the past. Once she realized what she had been doing wrong, she penned the following apology to her instructor:
Dear Mrs. W.,
Hello. I am the student who, until this last paper, has been blatantly disregarding your request that we double space our essays. I am so sorry for that, but I thought I would inform you of the reasons behind it, so that you could at least laugh (at my expense) after all the frustration I probably caused.
You may be wondering why, as if by some miracle, I am suddenly writing in double space. It came about this way: Earlier this week, I was typing my essay, and after I had finished, my little sister sat down to do the same thing. "Julianne, is there a setting in Word that automatically makes it double-spaced?" she asked.
"It seems like there should be," I replied, "but I couldn't find one. I just had to do it the hard way."
"Here, let me show you where it is" my mom said. She proceeded to click on an icon for adjusting the space between lines.
"I saw that button," I told her, "But Mrs. W. wants us to double space. There's also a button for adjusting the space between paragraphs, but not between words."
I'll leave you to imagine the looks they gave me as the realization dawned on them that I had, indeed, put two spaces between every word, four after periods, and ten at the beginning of paragraphs.
I'm not sure how I've lived to be sixteen years old without knowing the definition of double space either. It's quite the mystery. It's obviously not my mom's fault, because my sister knew what it was. At least we caught the error while I still had time to backspace after every single word, and then use the handy little double space button.
Again, I'm sorry that it took me this long to find out the true meaning of "double space". It makes much more sense that you'd ask us to do that, now that I know. I have learned a lot from this class, (besides the previously discussed item) and I wanted to make sure that you knew that I wasn't being insolent.
Thanks for your understanding. :) Sometimes I need a lot of that from people.
*permission granted by Julianne to publish her letter. And yes, it's all true.