Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh dear...

Once when I was a fledgling professor, years ago, still capable of being shocked -- this was so long ago the internet was still in its first years, and students didn't believe professors knew what it was -- I received an essay that was, word for word, a copy of an article from an online encyclopedia.

It took me about 20 minutes, even in those ancient days, with their ancient search engines, to find the article.  As was my standard practice, I printed a copy of the article, paperclipped it to the student's essay, and sent the student an email (we did have email in those days, oh my best beloved) saying I would like to see him in my office as soon as possible.

He arrived, all wide-eyed and innocent.  When I confronted him with the evidence, first he claimed that "it wasn't fair," because I had been "trying" to catch him.  (Apparently he thought of my acts as a sort of entrapment?) But then he claimed he was innocent because he had not thieved the essay off the internet.  

Oh, no.

See, he had not had time to do his assignment; so he asked his girlfriend to write the essay, and she had thieved the essay off the net; so really --

"Dude," I said, wincing.  "Son."

All of this, by way of saying, to the latest revelations concerning George W. Bush's "Memoirs" -- dude.  Son.

5 comments:

Julianna said...

Guy logic. -L

dorki said...

Honestly, I am surprised that he had the brains to do that much. Maybe he had a friend do it.

whitney said...

didn't he know that all those papers we're assigned as students are really the professors way of trying to catch us in the act of plagiarizing?!

jo(e) said...

Well said.

Athena Andreadis said...

His publishers will still not ask back for the substantial advance they undoubtedly gave him, and the book will still become a bestseller.

This is why people, young ones especially, end up growing cynical.

And then we have Judith Griggs of Cooks Source...