Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shocked and Amazed: Some People are Clueless (and Sometimes They Are Teachers)

Today I see an e-mail one of the SCWP alum sent to the e-mail group. I'm stupefied. This alum received a message from a college professor, some of which read as follows:
"I have a strange request. I teach community colege English, and I have my students write essays about ----. Because your essay comes up so easily through a Google search, students plagiarize from it every semester. Any chance you could take your essay down from the web, or publish it somewhere else?"

You got that? Since this professor's students pliagarize, it'd really be helpful if she'd take down her article so they could stop pliagarizing from it. Ooh, shame on her for having a well-written essay that's easily accessible. She should take it down immediately!

Okay, a few points:

  • It's spelled "college"
  • If this professor's students keep pliagarizing, this professor needs to address it with the students, not the author, because...
  • Even if she removes this article, they can find others online
  • Even if she publishes it somewhere else, it may still be available online, and it's not impossible to pliagarize from books - it just takes more typing

The funny thing, is it's more a compliment than anything else, right? Or, it's a chance for this professor to nip this whole thing in the bud and do something proactive. If all the professor's students are reading her essay already, what with the pliagarizing and all, why not beat them to the punch and assign it as part of the class reading?

Okay, so here's the question, it's a two parter:

1. Are you as entertained, and horrified (this is the one who's teaching our "colege" students?), as I?

2. If you found out college students were pliagarizing an essay you wrote, what would your reaction be? Me? I think I'd be a little flattered.

6 comments:

-John said...

I concur, that is both entertaining and horrifying. The last college writing teacher I had simply did not put up with plagiarism, I have no doubt he wouldn't waste his time bothering with the author, and simply report/fail the student.

If that happened to me, I'd be flattered/incensed, with a little bit of "of all the people to copy, why me?"

D.B. deClerq said...

And he could always assign a new topic for the essays. Just a thought.

Whittaker Luckless said...

I would only be flattered. Maybe a little miffed, but not too much. College essays don't get published or anything. I'd be really miffed if said cheater somehow got money for it.

---

Pliagarize?

Sort of looks like "Pillage!"

But not really...

Jenny said...

Dude, I don't even know what to say!

I concur, that is bother entertaining and horrifying. The last college writing teacher I had simply did not put up with plagiarism, I have no doubt he wouldn't wast is time bothering with the author, and simply report/fail the student.

He could avoid the problem by assigning a new topic for the essays. Just a thought.

But maybe it's no big deal because college essays don't get published or anything.

Shane said...

Love it if they stole from me. I'd laugh proudly as their butts were kicked out of the class (or school even if it was a second offense).

As for the teacher, wow what can you really say? You know, if everyone just stopped publishing all this "writing" stuff, then we could really nip this plagiarism thing in the bud. Let's get on that.

(You know the joke that ends, "those who can't, teach"? This is where jokes like that come from. Sad. Just sad.)

Mishell said...

You know, I think if I were plagarized, I would be very scared. We all know what a whacko I am, and my papers tend to follow that line. So, if a college student thought that was something they wanted to claim as their own, well, I'm thinking psychiatric help might be in order. BTW--the misspelling of the word college didn't bother me so much (I'm a horrible speller, myself) as the idea that the teacher obviously doesn't know what the spell check tool is supposed to do.