It’s 1 a.m. in the Alice Cook Gothics and my contact-lensed eyes are burning as I stare into my laptop screen. My roommate is snoring gently and all I have to do is fire off a few quick notes before I can hit the twin bed. I assume my signature slump against my pillows and start typing. “Dear Professor, would you be so kind as to …?” No, it’s not the 1800s. “I was wondering if I could ask you to …” Why am I wondering instead of just asking?