266: Crying Shame

I don’t cry much, even when there is actually something to cry about. I am a fan of the “stiff upper lip” sort of theory about handling problems. I am a fan, I can’t actually DO it. Usually, the madder I get about something, the more likely I am to cry and that REALLY, SERIOUSLY pisses me off even more.

When I am so furious I can chew nails, I cry. I HATE that. It makes me look all feminine and fragile, when what I’d really prefer to do is cut somebody’s ba….gonads off instead, since usually when I get THAT mad, there is a man involved. I wish I could go all British and do the offended, wounded dignity thing, but, no, I have to cry about it.

If you ever see me and I am crying, it is probably best to give me a VERY wide berth. Especially if you are male (or want to remain male).


264: Human….or not.

Some days, and under some circumstances, I am not human. This is embarrassing to me, because I pride myself on being pretty reasonable and rational…you know….human.

However, at the advanced age of fifty-mumble, mumble, mumble…..I have come to finally realize that yes, even I (who like to think I qualify as human all the time) do sometimes fall short of the mark. I get mad to the point of imbecility. Really retarded. Like, almost slobbering and drooling.

I am ashamed that I can get that mad.

At least it does not happen often, thank God.

214: wordy durds

I struggle with dirty words. Not so much hearing them, my problem is saying them. I am not shocked by hearing them, though I do chide my students when they use one (since nobody is allowed to use a dirty work in school, ya know). My problem is in not using them myself. *gasp* I know that you are shocked at this confession.

I don’t mean the ones that slip out when you smash your finger with the hammer, either. Those are marginally understandable, even if still not nice words to say. I also don’t mean the ones that come out when you get monumentally frightened (like nearly getting run off the road) or hugemongously angry and furious (like nearly getting run off the road). My problem is using them casually, even when I am not mad. Why do I do this?

Like biting my fingernails, this is not a habit I am proud of, and I’d rather not be doing it. I want to stop doing both. I am going to stop doing both. I will stop doing both. I HAVE STOPPED DOING BOTH. There. That should help.

18: Plagiarism


I just taught about plagiarism again in class. This is the practice of using the thoughts and ideas of others without giving them credit for their work; making it appear as if the thoughts and ideas were your own. Now, this is a subject that I teach again each year, and refer to often during the course of the year as well. Beginning writers often make mistakes in citation, that is quite normal. This is the time when they are learning how to cite properly in preparation for higher education in a college or university.


The problem occurs when it is apparent that the lack of citation was deliberate, and not just the mistake of a beginner. I use, like many other teachers, a plagiarism detection Web site that helps me track instances of copying from sources. Many students are shocked to discover such sites exist, and that they make copying from others in a paper very obvious to the teacher. For many of them, this is their first time being caught doing something they have quite happily been doing for years in school. They are quite put out that this is not acceptable anymore, when they have been getting ‘A’ grades for doing just this very thing for years. It is a tremendous attitude adjustment for a significant number of them, and I can completely understand their consternation. WHY is is suddenly not acceptable?


Well, the truth is that it was never acceptable, and I blame the large class sizes and the lack of time most teachers have for really scoring papers. It is sloppy grading, but when there is not enough planning time provided for professionals to work, they, like many others, have to cut time somewhere. It takes a tremendous amount of time to track down plagiarism without the use of one of these sites, and many school systems do not subscribe, or PAY, for their teachers to have and use this resource that makes detecting this problem much easier. So, as a consequence, students do not get caught in these cases of academic theft, and do not learn how to do things properly. Until now.

Please excuse me, there is some wailing, whining, moaning and groaning I have to deal with……….