Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is it that hard??

"Please submit all reports and applications electronically to the chair. Please submit all receipts to the Business Office for reimbursement."

Is it really that hard?

You'd think a bunch of PhD's could follow directions, but I guess not. I'm chair of our faculty development committee, and every granting period I get:
1) Someone's application as a hard copy only (which I then have to scan and send to the committee)
2) Someone's receipts (which I usually pass on, but they're risking them getting buried on my desk)
3) An application a week after the due date (and the day after the committee meets). For a while I sending them onto the committee, but no more Dr. Nice.

Time capsule

This semester in a nutshell...

Lost teeth, lost sleep.
Biddyball, T ball, tap, ballet.

Budget woes, stepping on toes,
that's the way it sometimes goes.

Ear drops, amoxicillin, ear drops, omnicef.
If this doesn't work, tubes are next.

Cloning frustration, losing motivation, under preparation...
I think I need a long vacation.

Spit ups, sit ups, I feel like giving up.

New life, new friends, maybe beginnings can be ends?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where's the line?

I had another close call with plagarism today.

The assignment was to summarize how a particular protein was used in a paper, including what it was used to show, how the researchers got it into the cells, how it was measured, and how the results were confirmed.

This paper was a mess--it didn't answer the clear list of questions I had distributed with the assignment. So I found the original.

I was stunned to find that things sounded eerily familiar. I started highlighting the sentences in the student paper that were identical to the original article...and I stopped after two solid pages of hot pink highlighter.

This student's entire paper was composed of direct quotes from the original article. It's like it shrunk from being four pages of journal-sized font to four pages of double spaced, twelve point text simply by removing sentences and clauses.

The ironic thing is that he referenced the article after each sentence he that makes it better.

I decided not to call the Dean of Students about seemed like an honest case of not understanding the difference between citing and quoting. I did give him an abyssmal grade (10/100), with the opportunity to re-write and get the average between the original and second draft score. We talked for a while about citing and's hoping it sinks in.

Am I unique in this problem? How do you help students use sources appropriately?