Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Plagiarizing God?

My B.Ed students handed in their poetry portfolios yesterday. Despite the warning on their assignment sheets, I've still got one blatant plagiarizer.

"All items submitted must be 100% original and written by you. Your instructor will search the Internet if the items do not match your writing style or level. Any instance of plagiarism will result in a zero for this assignment and a warning from the department."

Now, we did all the writing in the class, and this girl used to sit blankly without writing much in her notebook. I must admit that her English level is quite low, particularly writing skills, and she should have had to pass some prerequisite in order to take my course: Teaching Creative Writing.

I suggested she withdraw from the class and take it later once her English skills were stronger, but she stayed on.

When she handed in her poetry portfolio, it was by far the most decorated project. Any teacher knows that at the university level, this is a red flag! Unfortunately for her, this was not an art collage, but it was supposed to represent a semester of poetry writing. I don't believe she wrote any of the poems in her portfolio. She included the famous limerick attributed to an anonymous author:

"There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger."

She then went on to plagiarize the apostle Paul by using the famous
love passage from 1 Corinthians 13, as quoted from this website.

You'd think if someone was going to steal another person's work and
put her name on it,that she'd at least avoid plagiarizing the
Holy Spirit!


Smorg said...

... I hope you've thunderbolt-proofed your classroom, Heather. With all these kids lifting from scriptures, I wouldn't stand near any spark plug if I were you... ;o)

Heather said...