Friday, March 22, 2013

Killing the essay

I was accused of plagiarism on Monday.

I believe I now feel safe enough to explain the whole mess; a debacle which I'm certain most of you guessed at from activity on this blog this week. I feel safe to discuss it because for the first time, in the brief history of my two and one half months at University of Humble Pie, I made it to Ethics on time.

This never happens because I have Astrobiology immediately preceding Ethics in a classroom a mile away. Today, as never happens, I got out of Astrobiology five minutes early because we got our scores back from Monday's exam at the end of class and, I'm sorry to say, we had already been warned that the class average was 70%. I'm about average.

Anyway, I usually reach Ethics at 2:04 p.m. Today I was there at 1:57 p.m.

I've been sitting on the back row the last few weeks. Laying low like. I walked in the door, head down, minding my own when Mr. PNU addresses me:

"Did you get that whole thing figured out with Adam?"

Anyone who reads this blog regularly kinda already knows that Adam found my blog on Monday. He found the blog while he was grading my essay.

"Yeah, it's all good." 

What I should explain is that most of the class is already seated. I'm heading to the back row. Mr. PNU stands at the front so to appear on the camera for the telecourse, which this particular Ethics course is. This conversation is taking place at two ends of the room in front of about fifteenish to twentyish people.

"You know," he continues. "In the whole of my teaching career that has never happened before."

"Yeah," I try not to continue. "It's never happened to me before either."

"See, originally Adam read the essay and thought is was too good for a student to write."

"Really? I apologized to him because I was pretty facetious about that point and he'd denied that was the case."

"No, he had me read it and I agreed it was really good. So I told him to run it through TurnItIn. And when he does, Google pulls up the identical essay, and wouldn't you know, you have a blog."

"Yes, I have a blog."

"I didn't read it."

"Thank you. Please don't."

"I won't."

The rest of the conversation is me trying to explain I'd taken the essay down, that I'd been in panic central for me for about twenty-four hours while I tried to clear myself by divulging my true identity to people I don't really know if I can trust, and that it basically would never happen again. I will only post work AFTER it's been graded from now on. I know Mr. PNU was giving me his input as well during all of this, but it's kind of a blur. This isn't the sort of thing you want to discuss with your professor in front of fifteenish to twentyish fellow students. 

The two redeeming facets of the conversation: (1) The whole reason my essay was checked on Google was because of its quality, even though Adam said it wasn't, and (2) Mr. PNU has not and will not read my blog. I'm going to trust him. I have reason to believe his ethics are sound.

I also believe, however, I will still leave all posts referencing The Baker and like topic in draft mode.

Melissa, you ought to market your editing skills. You are proofer extraordinaire, and you helped to sharpen all the dull edges in my final draft. Thank you, again!

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