This one is for all you students...

I used to do research in Firestone Library at Princeton University where roughly 10% of the students in that facility were awake at any given time. It was mildly funny, navigating through thickets of sprawl and snore.

One tends to think some of those sleepyheads, eventually awakened, are pounding out panicked search strings like this:

>>already done civil war projects for powerpoint<<

That was entered into a search engine today and it brought this site to someone's attention.

Sorry kid, I don't have any already-done ACW powerpoint presentations.

In the late 1990s when Eric Wittenberg was guest hosting on an ACW Q&A site, its cavalry department, he'd sometimes answer briefly, "I'm not going to do your homework for you," or some such. It cracked me up whenever he did it (often). He had a lawyer's instinct for sly, disingenuous motives.

I had just launched a couple of sites and the requests for homework help were endless, for me too. It was amazing and I foolishly tried to help those who wrote well-thought out queries. Then they just stopped. Don't know why.

These student questions were actually less obnoxious than another type of message, "I am a direct descendant of George B. McClellan, can you help me" of which I have received at least 50 over the years. (Er, sorry, genealogist, Mac's kids died childless.) My factual response tended to generate a mighty quiet. Those types of messages have dried up too.

Tipping the aggravation scale was and is the request for help in pricing some knick-knack or other that the emailer intends to sell. Most recently an officer of the DAR asked me how to verify whether a walking stick in her posession belonged to McClellan. My detailed, polite answer was greeted with the usual deafening silence and (very quiet) non-thanks.

Ah, gratitude.

So keep searching, junior. "Already done civil war projects for powerpoint" have got to be out there somewhere. And don't let my e-door hit you on the way out.