1) The eye of the hurricane is the most violent part.

2) "Almost" is an adjective.

3) When you're describing a sequence of events, you must always do so using the words "first," "next," "then," and "finally," in that order. If there are only two events, you just use the first two; if there are only three, I think you skip "then" and go straight on to "finally." I remember asking what to do if there were more than five events and being told that I should try to avoid that sort of situation.

4) When you are writing a "report" (whatever that is), there should be one introductory paragraph, three paragraphs supporting your "point" (whatever that is), and one concluding paragraph. No more, no less. Doubtless these "reports" were intended as a gentle introduction to the classic Eight-Legged Essay form, to prepare us for our lives as civil servants in feudal China.

5) Sometimes in life, you will have to write a "report" about a simple multiplication problem. You will not be given any sort of example showing what the hell that should look like; life is like that. However, it is an uncontested fact that reports about math problems do not contain sarcasm, so please fix those three-fifths of your paragraphs that you fucked up the first time.

6) Every fictional narrative has a moral, even if it is not readily apparent, even it is by Anne McCaffrey. If you're not sure what the moral is, try on each of the following and see which fits best:

  • "friendship is important"

  • "it's bad to be greedy or mean"

  • "you should always apologize when you do something wrong"

  • "racism was awful, back when it existed"

  • "wear kneepads and a helmet whenever you ride a bike or roller-skate"

  • "drugs do not make you cool"


It's that one.

Except sometimes it's "religions that value meditation are basically like worshiping Hostess snack cakes" or "a palindrome is a word that's the same spelled backwards and forwards," which can trip you up.

7) Cursive.

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