Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CH. 3

This chapter was very interesting and had a lot of insight from college students so I can really relate to it. It talked about your "authentic self" and your performance self" and the difference between them and why one is more likely to plagiarize than the other. The performance self is the one that is more likely to do it because it strives to achieve its academic goals and will do whatever it takes to get to those goals. The authentic self is more focused on learning and improving in its own way than getting a specific grade. The authentic self is more appreciated and is preferred but it is hard to be purely authentic. Everything we learn and do has an outside influence unless you are locked in a room creating things completely on your own, but not many people are going to go through that trouble to stay authentic. We are pressured to perform every day, from doing well at work to school, even your friends expect a performance of some kind. The authentic person disregards what people think of them completely, they don't let what other people want them to be take over their lives. It is not easy to be authentic but there should definitely be more authentic people out there. I can say that I do agree with these two types, because I have seen both kinds of people and they have portrayed these selves and even in my own life have had times where I needed to perform and may have done something I normally don't do to finish. I do believe however that these are not the only two selves, I think there is a lot more going on with people and it would be to hard to put them into just two categories. I think I identify more with the authentic self, or at least I hope I do, cheating and plagiarizing are really bad in my opinion and I try not to do either. I try to learn and create on my own with little outside help but realistically it is almost impossible to be truly authentic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reflection of ch. 2 and Gladwell article

I found Gladwell's article very interesting because something similar, on a much smaller scale, happened to me. When I was a Junior in high school I thought the yearbooks were boring and so I had the idea to have everyone that wrote in my yearbook sign the cover somewhere, which gave it a cool, unique look. The next year when the new yearbook came out they had collected everyones signature throughout the year and filled the entire front and back cover with the schools signature. I know where the women in the article is coming from, there is this strange feeling that you have been robbed or deprived of something. In some ways however it can be flattering that they thought the idea was good enough to actually use the next year so why does it matter who gets the credit. I know where the idea came from and I was not upset enough to go talk to the yearbook staff. Even if I did complain and make a big deal out of it the yearbooks had already been printed and distributed, no person at the school would really care that much. Also an interesting question is, would I be able to charge them with plagiarism? If I did, which I would not, what would it achieve except cause controversy, embarrassment and little personal gain, if any.
It was interesting to me to see the variety of different views the people interviewed in chapter 2 had. Some of them believed that plagiarism wasn't that bad if they accidently wrote their sources incorrectly or if they just took an idea from something they read but no actual words. The thing that most people agreed on however was that if the person that plagiarized did it on purpose with the intent to pass someone else's work as their own on purpose it is different and wrongful. That is probably among the many reasons why it is so hard for punishments to be chosen for the accused. They should be forced to write essays until they get it right instead of being expelled or something ridiculous.
The other thing that I have been thinking about lately is that since their are so many different people in the world how can any ideas be original, someone has had to have thought about it before or written it down somewhere. Also the way we make our own ideas and the way we write is by the way were have been taught how to do it in the past, technically plagiarizing everyone we have ever talked to or learned from. Is it safe to write anything, is one persons pride valuable enough to ruin another person's life? To what extent do we take it?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What is an essay

An essay, in my opinion, is a structured written response to anything from a book, a movie or a certain prompt. Essays do not have to be a response to something though, they can be about anything really. I have only written essays in school so I think of them in a different way as older people. I did not realize that essay could actually be a verb so i looked it up on and it means "to attempt". I found this very interesting because I did not know that and that for most essays you do have to essay. Now that i know the other context for the word I plan on using it more.