Confession: I am obsessive about writing on lined paper.  

That is – I MUST write on lined paper.

I hate writing in cards because there are no lines.  Stuff gets crooked.  And messy.  And how big am I supposed to write?!?  How do I judge my space??  (Is there a backup in case I mess up??)

When I address an envelope I put a piece of lined paper INSIDE the envelope so I can see the lines through it…then I breath a sigh of relief…and I write the address on it. Nice and neat.

The #1 reason I hated working in a school (when I did my brief stint in a graduate program for elementary education) was because THERE ARE NO LINES ON A CHALKBOARD!  (Ok, fine, that’s not the #1 reason I hated teaching, but let me tell you, it was a close #2!)

Ever since I was in elementary school when I had to take a math test and teachers handed out blank (UN-LINED!) scrap paper, I politely asked if I could use my own lined paper for scrap.  It helps me to keep my work organized and as a result I always did better on tests.  Never did I have a teacher say no to this simple request.

Lined Notes

Neat lined notes. Makes me happy : )

Until now.  I have finally met my match in the evil physics teacher who apparently has something against my beloved lined paper!

I had to take my physics test the other day using UNLINED SCRAP PAPER!

The crazy immediately kicked in as I began working out problems…


“Shoot, that line is getting crooked…”

erase, erase, erase…start over.

“These numbers look bigger than the last row…that’s annoying.”

erase, erase, erase

(*Hot tip – you may want to buy stock in erasers while I’m in physics & chemistry.)

“Ugh, I can’t tell where one problem ends and the other starts!”

use edge of paper to draw a STRAIGHT line boxing in problems to keep them separate


Yes, it’s crazy, but it’s real.  And of course with all the erasing and re-writing I “had” to do, I didn’t actually have time to FINSIH the test.  Good job crazy line lady.

I tried to talk to evil physics teacher today after class and explain to him how much something as simple as using lined paper would really help me, but evil physics teacher clearly does not want to help his students succeed in his class and would have none of it.

(I had some choice words for him that I managed to keep inside.)

So, the way I see it I have 3 choices:

  1. Buy a Costco size box of erasers and spend half my test time erasing and re-writing.
  2. Learn to live with the un-lined scrap paper even if looking at my work all over it during a test makes me feel sick.
  3. Take the first 5 minutes of the test to use the edge of one of the pages to “magically” make my unlined paper lined.  (This would make me VERY happy and probably make evil physics teacher very UN-happy.)

So, what’s your vote? 1, 2, or 3?

Have you ever felt like a teacher is holding you back over something trivial?

Anyone else have a weird quirky thing like needing to write on lined paper?

(Oh, and while we’re on the topic, I only write in blue pen.)

**Please note the real name of “evil physics teacher” has been withheld for his own safety because I know you all have my back and are rushing out to campus in search of him right to give him a piece of your minds!  (or to draw nice neat lines across his forehead with a sharpie)


23 thoughts on “Lines.

  1. I know it’s not supposed to be funny, but I did kinda laugh about this. One, boo to your evil physics teacher! Good call on the withholding of the name. Everyone is a little OCD about something. I only write in blue ink too, and I actually have a specific pen that I have to use when I sign my name it’s different than the blue pen I use otherwise. I’m a notary and have actually made people wait till I find the pen before I notarize them. My biggest quirky thing is dollar bills not facing the same direction. I am constantly taking Doug’s wallet, not to “borrow” money, but to fix his bills.

  2. Could you bring a ruler to help draw the lines on the paper? If not, I suggest #3. Even 5 minutes at the beginning is worth it if you can focus on the problems for the test.

  3. First, let me just say your homework looks BEAUTIFUL. Having said that, as someone who taught undergrads the evil professor is not out of line or abnormal. In college, I know lots of people who don’t let students bring anything into the exam, the little boogers cheat (in amazing and innovative ways) and I’m 99.9% sure they’ve had this problem in the past with students using their own paper and this was their solution.
    Have you tried a “training test” at home–see what ways you can divide your blank paper that work and are expedient and don’t make you crazy? It’s like a marathon! You can train for this!

    • I guess it’s just new to me then, I went through 4 years of college without it ever being a problem. I mean if he’s concerned about people cheating he should make them clear the programs out of their calculators then – that seems like a much better way to cheat than blank lined paper!

      Honestly, if he explained to me that he was concerned about it being a cheating issue I would understand. His reason to me is that he wants all the work on the test paper, which I understand and if that’s the case I don’t see why I can’t use lined paper and then copy it on to his test paper one I work the problem out.

      Sorry, this whole thing is just very frustrating to me!

      • would he let you do like you do with envelopes–write on the test paper but have lined paper underneath? that might work…? Sometimes academics are just d-bags.

    • I’m going to try to use unlined paper for my homework and see if I can maybe divide it up like you suggested…maybe at least having the problems in different boxes or something will help. Thanks : )

  4. omg I need to write in blue pen too. Sometimes I’ll make an exception but I’m pretty anal about it. I have a whole shoebox of pens. 2 are blue and the rest are black since I never use them. I might just throw them out soon haha.

    As for the paper? I totally get it too. I slowly learned to deal with unlined paper in my classes too but woah. it does suck in the beginning!

    Oh and my bills all need to be facing the same way too… lol

  5. Are you the girl who used to re-write her homework if it was messy?? I had a friend who did that and I never understood! I have the worst handwriting, I just embrace it and get the job done. It drives my mom crazy!

    • Haha, just a bit! Honestly, it’s frustrating how some teachers really care about their students being successful and I swear others get some weird pleasure out of seeing people fail.

  6. Ha!! I promise you I’m not laughing at you – but at how much the unlined paper would bug me as well! How frustrating!! I would probably go with 3. And I had to go buy a box of pens because the pens at work frustrate me and I need my fine point blue pens!!

  7. Pingback: A Battle Won, A Disney Day & A Volunteer Weekend | Live, Run, Grow

Leave a Thought!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s