I Should Keep a List
The first semester I taught, I had in my syllabus that papers were to be stapled. And much to my amazement, students rarely stapled their papers. Sometimes they would expend the effort and use a paper clip or a binder clip, but mostly they just folded down the corners or rolled down the corners and handed me this sad, raggedy pile of papers that my dog would be embarrassed to pee on. Over the course of the semester, I found myself being a broken record: "Please staple your papers," and then, "I really need for you to staple your papers, people!" and finally, "If you don't staple your paper because you're thinking 'She must not mean me,' get off it already - I mean you!" This didn't work. And yet, I attempted it again and again, semester after semester. Is this how mothers feel? I cannot explain my level of frustration.
Finally, I decided to hit 'em where it hurts: The points. Last semester I finally put in my syllabus that five points will be deducted if your paper is not stapled. I may have mentioned that I had one male student this spring who handed me his paper which was held together with a safety pin. He said to me, "Is this okay, because it's so hard to find a stapler?!"
That goes on the top of my list because "It's so hard to find a stapler?" Where are you looking? Your ass? The bottom of a keg? Your girlfriend's blouse? Well, then, yes. I suppose it would be hard to find a stapler.
Sigh. And would you believe it? I used to be a "people person."