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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Just got in a shouting match about plagiarism. Without sharing too many details, someone was pressuring me to do it and when I said flat out I wouldn't, started name calling and bullying. Which resulted in me just going on a tirade. It was 20 minutes ago and I am still shaking so hard.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:32 pm 
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(((((Hugs to you LW)))))))

And ((((Hugs C&S)))))

And ((((Rowan, daisychain and lutin))))

I hope things improve soon <3

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:33 pm 
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I'm sorry people suck. You, however, are awesome.

There is a real problem with plagiarism these days. Highschool students think its no big deal and cheat/copy any chance they get. They don't even seem to grasp why it's wrong. Very disturbing.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:08 pm 
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In this case, it is compounded by cultural issues. Most of the students in my program come from cultures where academic honesty does not necessarily mean the same thing it means here. But because of this, our department REALLY stresses the US definition of it and argh. Argh.

It just killed me that he tried to turn it around and make out that the problem wasn't his laziness but my "self righteousness."

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:10 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
In this case, it is compounded by cultural issues. Most of the students in my program come from cultures where academic honesty does not necessarily mean the same thing it means here. But because of this, our department REALLY stresses the US definition of it and argh. Argh.

It just killed me that he tried to turn it around and make out that the problem wasn't his laziness but my "self righteousness."


Out of curiousity, which cultures are those? It seems so entitled and ridiculous for any students at a US university to attack a fellow student for not being willing to plagiarize.

Glad you stood your ground, and I hope you feel better soon. It sucks to have to go through conflict to do the right thing and to feel the effects of adrenaline etc on your body because of it.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Indian primarily. I've been told repeatedly (by Indian students and every freaking professor in the department) that plagairism isn't really considered to be a big deal in Indian universities.

It makes me distinctly uncomfortable because I am often "the American" (there is 1 other, in a program of hundreds of students) in the room and the last thing I want to do is draw MORE attention to that fact by arguing about something that people keep telling me I just don't understand because of "cultural differences." But for the life of me, I can't do something I know to be a) really wrong, b) grounds for expulsion, and c) totally un forking necessary when this is a project I could do by myself in less than 8 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:59 pm 
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My ex taught English in China, and said he had to spend weeks (months) teaching "plagiarism" because it doesn't exist as a thing there. And when I lived in India, and was working with other students, I saw the same thing. I don't know much about China apart from my ex's stories, but what I saw in India . . . is that students were encouraged to memorize everything verbatim, and that there was not much emphasis on attributing stuff to sources. Phrases like "since immemorial times" were much more common than "this source said". Unless it came from the Bhagavad Gita. In which case, anything (everything! even not stuff actually from the Bhagavad Gita!) came from the Gita.

Ugh. So sorry you had that kind of confrontation, c&s. It sounds super uncomfortable.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:17 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
In this case, it is compounded by cultural issues. Most of the students in my program come from cultures where academic honesty does not necessarily mean the same thing it means here. But because of this, our department REALLY stresses the US definition of it and argh. Argh.

It just killed me that he tried to turn it around and make out that the problem wasn't his laziness but my "self righteousness."


Out of curiousity, which cultures are those? It seems so entitled and ridiculous for any students at a US university to attack a fellow student for not being willing to plagiarize.

Glad you stood your ground, and I hope you feel better soon. It sucks to have to go through conflict to do the right thing and to feel the effects of adrenaline etc on your body because of it.



I ran into this often in grad school. My program was an international one that was about 70% Chinese students, 15% Dutch or European students, and 15% other - mostly Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, and me.

The Chinese students honestly thought that having the "correct" outcome for a lab was better than reporting what we actually got, and copying someone's data who had a better result was preferable to using our actual data with an explanation of why the lab didn't come out as expected.

Another student (Pakistani) was dead serious about how writing a paper for one class just involved picking paragraphs out of other people's academic papers and pasting them into something new.

I really did not get the impression that academic integrity is regarded as an issue outside the US and maybe Europe. The (european) school didn't even seem to care all that much.


Anyway, hugs to you C&S for standing your ground, and my sympathies to Lavawitch... I think it's so ridiculous that teachers are expected to all be miracle workers reenacting the plot of Stand & Deliver, but nobody ever seems to expect much out of students or parents these days.


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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:37 am 
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I haven't been able to sleep, and for the first time flat out dont want to go to work. Today is going to suck. I have a long day too--leave at 4:30, won't be home until close to 10pm.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:44 am 
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Hate to say but plagiarism is a problem here too. I had a book translation a few years ago where large portions of the book had simply been taken [chapters at a time] from other books. Books that people read, such as Sophie's World and some biography of Jack Nicholson, for example. No citations whatsoever. Even better, had been taken from the translations of these books, and I was asked to translate them back to English. It was so wrong on so many levels. Academic works seem to be a bit better if perhaps over-citing but I can't complain.

I asked my daughter about it [she's a bit young but...] and told her that my high school policy was if you couldn't cite it, you couldn't get a grade for it. And at college, you got expelled. She was shocked.

LW, I really feel for you. I can't imagine teaching in an environment where the obvious challenge is neglected and the blame is lumped on you. Your student body obviously has so many other issues going on and you are going the extra mile with them. If it makes you feel any better my kid just got a 42 on her math test [le sigh] just because she's incapable of following basic directions. I can't imagine blaming the teacher.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:55 am 
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LW, it would be one thing if you were a negligent or uncaring teacher, but you're obviously not.

My brain can not even fathom failing an open note test. That level of apathy is astounding to me.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:02 am 
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I think it's different kinds of cultural learning. In the US/EU, people seem to really value innovation & processes, so it becomes super important saying (and keeping track of) who created what thing, and how it went down. Hence, piles and piles of intellectual property claims, copyright law, etc. Elsewhere, the emphasis seems to be on getting the right answer or memorizing a thing, and making sure you can repeat this already-repeated-to-death process (kinda like a right of passage? If you can't repeat someone else's ideas, how could you ever responsibly make your own?) (I don't think that came out right at all, but maybe someone kinda sorta gets what I'm trying to say).

At least in the Indian context, before the Brits swept in, any kind of education took a forking long time because first you had to spend several years memorizing a text (and keeping it in your head, not written down) before you could even think about analyzing it. Not sure what to say about torque's awesome (and by awesome, I mean terrible) translation job though. It kind of reminds me of the scam publishers that are getting lots of press in Nature and the NYT.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:28 am 
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I can kind of understand why people wouldn't consider plagiarism a huge issue depending on their culture's view of intellectual property, but at the very least outright cheating should raise some sort of ethical red flag... but it doesn't in my fiance's calculus class! He's in Calc II and has a terrible professor, but does his best in his class. His grade is made up 90% from daily quizzes and 10% from homework. He said that almost the entire class uses their cell phones during the quiz pretending that they're using them as a calculator, but really they're looking up the answers for the problem, since they're from the textbook, and writing them down. So, they get 100s every time and he makes 75s, give or take.

He's really not sure what to do, since he doesn't want to tattle on everyone in the class, but he also doesn't want to seem like he's doing disproportionately worse than everyone else. I didn't really know what to tell him, except for that in this world, sometimes all you have is your integrity and good word, and that if he stoops down to everyone else's level and starts cheating too, that I don't think he'd consider it worth it in the long run. He said he's not going to cheat, but I hate to see him get a C in a class where everyone else unfairly made an A and ruined any sort of curve that may have been used.


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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:32 am 
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That's a hard one. An email to the principal? When I last did a maths exam (admittedly nearly 10 years ago), phones weren't allowed in the exam room and the only calculators allowed were a specific model which looked something like this:

Image

If your partner could get an unfair grade because of this, he definitely needs to say something.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:49 am 
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When I took calculus (many, many, many years ago), you had to show your work so even any calculator wasn't going to help you. I took a calculus based statistics course a couple years ago and the class was online so we submitted a scan of our homework which had to show all the steps.

I'd definitely have him talk to the professor about his concerns though.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:58 am 
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That is such a hard situation. I don't know what I'd do if I was in it... Probably just suffer through. Which is crappy. Though, I wonder-- does his school have any sort of ombudsman or anonymous comment line or anything? If he's not comfortable talking to the professor, that might be a better/more comfortable option.

LW, I just read through your last through posts and wanted to send some love out to you.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:04 am 
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Well, the problem is that the professor is this elderly guy who is a bit out of touch, isn't exactly friendly and openly mocks students for asking questions, so my fiance is very reluctant to talk to him about it. And yeah, the students are looking up the completely worked out versions of the problems from the solutions manual or from their homework that they emailed themselves so they do "show their work", since the professor will often assign a huge problems set for homework and then pull one of them out as the quiz. With that kind of set up, he's making it way too easy for the dishonest students to take advantage.

Seeing how shy my fiance is with authority figures, I doubt he'll make waves about it... probably just take his C and move on with his life. I'd never do that, but then again, he's an adult and I'm not his mother, so I can't yank him up by his shirt collar and drag him to the office.

ETA: I'm not sure if there's an anonymous comment line, but I'll definitely bring it up. That way he can report the issue and not have to worry about confronting anyone face-to-face.


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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:16 am 
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I have a sleep disorder which is triggered by (among other things) changing weather. So the fact that it's April doesn't make a difference to my body - if it's 80 degrees and I don't put the AC on, I can't breathe and I can't sleep. But I really didn't want to put the AC on. So I opened all the windows and put the fan on as if that would help (even though I know better after living with this condition for a few years). Of course I tossed and turned all night, woke up about every 20 minutes gasping, and finally managed to fall asleep only to have horrible nightmares that some dude kidnapped me and locked me in a basement forever. Awesome. AC is on now. Let's hope that really was the worst thing about my day and everything will be great from here on out. I hate that I can't just forking enjoy nice weather! Goddammit :(

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:53 am 
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Tons of awesome birthday messages from my friends today, and not a single message from my boyfriend. What a keeper.


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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:59 am 
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ScooterDiva wrote:
Tons of awesome birthday messages from my friends today, and not a single message from my boyfriend. What a keeper.


Happy Birthday, ScooterDiva!!

And yeah, between this and what you've said in the relationship thread, you deserve so much better than this.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:05 pm 
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Thanks, lepelaar!


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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:16 pm 
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ScooterDiva wrote:
Tons of awesome birthday messages from my friends today, and not a single message from my boyfriend. What a keeper.


Happy birthday!

I will cross my fingers that he's purposely ignoring you and making you think he forgot and you'll get some epic surprise later. And if that doesn't happen, then I give you permission to kick him in the shins!

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:17 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Indian primarily. I've been told repeatedly (by Indian students and every freaking professor in the department) that plagairism isn't really considered to be a big deal in Indian universities.

It makes me distinctly uncomfortable because I am often "the American" (there is 1 other, in a program of hundreds of students) in the room and the last thing I want to do is draw MORE attention to that fact by arguing about something that people keep telling me I just don't understand because of "cultural differences." But for the life of me, I can't do something I know to be a) really wrong, b) grounds for expulsion, and c) totally un forking necessary when this is a project I could do by myself in less than 8 hours.


I think the distinction could be less uncomfortable, if you saw it as a difference in academic culture rather than as race-based distinction. I'm American and South Asian, and have spent all my education in the US and Europe and plagiarism is a huge deal to me as is cheating. And I have so many South Asian friends and family who have been to university in the US (often after doing schooling in India) and are professors and faculty at US universities now, and they're definitely not people who lack academic integrity or an interest in learning.

That said, it sounds like you are being put in a really uncomfortable position, and no one should be yelling at you. If you come to the US to study, I don't think its unsurprising that you should adopt the academic culture of your university.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:42 pm 
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I'm completely bed bound and immobile and in excrutiating pain in my low back every time I even move a leg. My back hurt yesterday pretty badly, but I did something to my back in the middle of the night and woke up with the wind knocked out of me from the pain. I crawled to the bathroom in the dark thinking I could walk it off, and I got there and physically could not move to get myself back to bed, so I had to call Trevor in to get me. So I haven't left bed since 5:00am this morning, except for one pee break that took 45 minutes for me to get out of bed and get the courage to suffer through excrutiating pain as I was crouched over with Trevor guiding me to the bathroom. I've taken a Robaxacet Platinum and it did nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: What was the worst thing about your day?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Oh, PP. I'm sorry. That sounds just terrible! Can you see a doctor/physio/something?

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