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He'd really done it this time. Little Frankie's sloppy, halfhearted attempts at editing were unnerving enough for the professor, especially when a paper was up there on display in front of the entire class, projected onto such a large screen to instruct even the students sitting in the most distant rows. A misplaced comma here, a stray quotation mark there - and this was an English class for crying out loud.
But the professor was fuming now. And not just fuming, but really devastated. As was often the case, the professor was working through a student's recent paper and began to mark the errors very clearly in pencil the night before. This particular student had fallen prey to some particular grammatical pitfalls that the professor had really wanted to illustrate before the class. And as usual, he left his editorial markings in pencil to be redrawn in red ink by Frankie, who was merely allowed to do so because the professor pitied his feeble-minded stepson and wanted to give him 'something to do' to boost his self-confidence.
And here he was, before a class of 153, trying his best to ignore the muffled chuckles of the class upon reading the words 'banal passage' minus the critical 'b' of the first word, mere days before the professor himself had planned to come out of the closet.
Date Written: October 30, 2003
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