Years ago, I got to work late and had to grab the last parking spot, right in front of the university print shop. Technically, this was legal, but it was frowned upon; the person who ran the shop had a habit of hanging signs with strategically situated caps outside the main entrance: “Do NOT leave engines idling.” “NO smoking.” “Receipts ABSOLUTELY required.”
Sitting in my car that morning—the engine most definitely NOT idling—I found myself staring at all this signage: “Please be sure door is closed when you enter”; “No returns on rush orders”; “No orders received less than FIVE MINUTES prior to closing.”
They reminded me of something. But what?
And then I knew: they were just like my syllabus.