After School Detention

Previously on Adam Riff™: I registered for two summer courses in technical writing at a local community college.

"Does everybody know what a 'letter to the editor' is?"

Shockingly, someone didn't, and Mrs. Conklin spent three minutes explaining.

She insists that students address her as "Mrs. Conklin."

I wasn't sure why that moniker bothered me until I realized that I never addressed any of my professors at UCLA by name.

In my mind, I raise my hand.

"Yes, Jon?"

"Just because you worked in the field of technical writing doesn't mean you know how to teach it……….Mrs. Conklin."

To be fair, it's not just her.

Actual excerpts from our textbook, The Elements of Technical Writing:

Notice that the logic of an outline requires that you have a II when you have a I, a B when you have an A, and so on through the outline.

Imagine reading page after page of prose without any paragraphs. They would appear dense and forbidding. Therefore, the first principle of paragraphing is to paragraph often.

All you need to be a technical writer, evidently, is common sense. I'm not learning anything!

"Should your cell phone ring during class, you will be responsible for bringing candy for the entire class the following day."