The WIM (writing in the major) is a required class for every concentration offered at Stanford, designed to familiarize students with writing practices in their chosen fields. However, the administration has been forced to come to terms with the fact that students in certain fields may require additional help to actually write. When computer science major Frank Bartlett arrived for his first day of WIM, he was absolutely baffled before he even received his first assignment by the writing instruments on his desk. Presented with a pencil, he blinked bemusedly and cautiously tried to eat it, showing the information processing skills of a young chimpanzee. When its purpose was explained to him, Frank began to tap the pencil against the sheet of paper on his desk, exclaiming, “This is like a stylus, right? Wait, it’s… damn screen is frozen.” Unfortunately, Frank is not alone; dozens of dumbfounded students filled the classroom, holding pencils in various positions, looking as lost as a vegetarian in Brazilian steak house.

Recognizing the need for baby steps, the University decided to add a precursor to writing in the major for computer science. The new “Printing in the Major” will instruct students how to write capital and lowercase letters in print, as well as how to use pencils, pens, erasers, and possibly even white-out. Truly advanced students will even have the additional opportunity to take “Cursive in the Major.” This is a true breakthrough for Stanford, proving its ability to accommodate the needs of its students.

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