When I was in kindergarten, I sometimes got to come up to the split first and second grade because I could read pretty well. The teacher was a little on the mean side and also seemed to forget that I was a fair bit younger than most of the kids in the classroom and would ask me to assist her with various classroom tasks--like I was a tiny research assistant. Once she gave me a bunch of papers to staple together, and I went off, happy to have my little task, but also a little bit unsure about which papers needed to be together. So I attempted to staple the entire stack of papers together--it was about a half-inch thick. After much wrestling with a big industrial-size stapler, the likes of which I had never seen, let alone used, I ended up with a bloody finger and a set of papers with seriously mangled corners. The teacher yelled at me. My finger hurt.
I--and my finger--have thought of this long ago tiny trauma several times over the course of the weekend as I grade and then print my grad students' papers with my comments. The papers that exceed 25 pages prove to be the most difficult to get a staple through, but it's also the case that my stapler sucks ass. Apologies to those of you whose papers will arrive in your mailboxes with so many mangled corners (the worst of these are pictured here). I hope you'll be more understanding than that grouchy, mean old teacher.