Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stealth Mode

Stealth Mode
Originally uploaded by blackbear88.
Just in Case You Were Wondering.

Yes, I am in that part of the midwest that was hit with a substantial snowstorm on Tuesday the 13th.

***Breaking News!!***


Sunday, February 11, 2007

I Take It Back.

I would cheerfully trade several of the "It was a bright sunny day at the museum" papers in exchange for the one I just read that was fine except for two significant problems. One, it was completely unrelated to the assignment. And two, it was copied and pasted directly from Wikipedia.

What the hell, people? There was not even a crude attempt to disguise the theft--I just scrolled down the Wiki entry, and look! There's the text of the paper, verbatim! Why, lord? Why do they risk their entire academic career for one dumb 2-3 page paper assignment? And why do they think I won't go check the Wiki page myself? Do they think I'm sitting around here going, "Eh? What's this newfangled 'internet' I keep hearin' tell about? I hear it's a bunch o' tubes, or somethin'."

To be fair, this has only happened once in the 500 or so papers I've graded in the last year. Occasionally we get students who don't know how or when to cite sources, and of course we have lots who think Wikipedia is a good source for a research paper (bzzzt--wrong) but this is the first time I've actually had a 100% rip off the internet. So my faith in humanity is not completely destroyed. Just a little dinged.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night....

Why do some of my students think it's ok to start off a formal analytical paper with paragraphs like "It was a bright sunny day when I started out for our field trip. The wind was blowing, birds were chirping, and suddenly, on the horizon, I saw the museum! It was like a big brown building with no windows. Cautiously I entered, and was confronted by the coat-check girl, a pretty blonde about 25 years old..." This goes on for nearly a full page of a 2-3 page paper, before they actually get to talking about the art! Who teaches them to write a formal paper like it was a creative writing assignment?? Gah.

Several years ago, I had a Superbowl party, and my pipes froze the night before. This made for some cautious use of beverages during the party. This year, my party went without a hitch... and then my kitchen tap froze while I was at work yesterday. Sigh. Such is the peril of living where I do, and at least my shower and upstairs tap still work. I've had the oven on in the kitchen all morning, hoping it might thaw the pipe that runs behind it, but to no avail. So I've been running up and down the stairs to get water for coffee and cooking.... but I draw the line at washing my dishes in the bathroom sink. It better get up above 10 degrees tomorrow, or I could get mighty irritated....