People are Goofy and Orange Food is Good

Hey!  Guess what!! I received a plagiarized essay today!

Sending me a plagiarized essay is just goofy.

Here’s why:

Teachers who want to be certified to teach in New York State have to pass a certification test.  Some of them like to take a test prep class, much like an SAT test prep class, before taking the test.  I work for someone who teaches the test prep class.  On the test, they’ll have to write an essay, so they are assigned three practice essays as part of the class.

My job is to read their essays and provide feedback.  What part of it was good?  What part was bad?  Were there recurring grammatical errors?  And so forth.

There is no grade for the test prep class.  It’s purely for them to brush up on their own skills before taking the certification test.  We take their money, give them our tips, and send them off to take the test.

So, I got an essay today from some guy.  It was written pretty well, but I didn’t know if all of his facts were correct as I’m not an expert on political philosophers of the 1800s.  (There’s an American history part of the test.)   I figured I’d better double check his facts before delving into giving him feedback on his writing.

Lo and behold, I find his exact same essay on  Word for word.

I sent him this email:

Dear Blah-Blah,

To tell you the truth, I don’t know a whole lot about Tyranny of the Majority.  I’d never heard of it used in the Dred Scott case, so I researched your facts so that I could give you proper feedback.

Whoopsie for you that I did that.

Looks like you got your information from this website:

Now, I don’t mind you refreshing your memory about the topics before you settle down to write your essay, so I expect to see echoes of popular websites in the essays I assess.  But your paper doesn’t have echoes.  Your paper has direct cut and pastes from this essay.  This means that what you sent me is not your writing at all and I’m not going to bother assessing some other guy’s essay.  That doesn’t help you on the test.

At this point, you’re running out of time to practice for your test.  So, unless you have a plan to sneak an essay into the testing center, you need to get going practicing writing your own work, or you’ll be in trouble on test day.

I’m sure Bridgette would say I’m being too nice to you.  I’ll let her decide whether we should accept any more essays from you or not.


I guess I should change my picture on the test-prep class website to the witch picture after all.  Or the glock one.


Write your own essay…or else!


Picture of the Day

Tuna Helper for Dinner.  Photographed by the light of the TV on the kitchen counter, which is where I ate dinner.

Darling Husband and the boys went to a camp out, so I got to stay home and eat orange food.  And not a veggie in sight.  ‘Course, carrots would have been welcome.

Yes, I have tampered with the colors in this picture. Had to tone down the orange…


4 thoughts on “People are Goofy and Orange Food is Good

  1. I told you! LOL Get back to me about being nice after a year or two. I mean seriously what is the point?! It’s strange as well because having spoken to students in class I know what they are capable of writing and always bust them. When I did the ACT class I’d have people come in with this kind of thing all the time. That and running Russian through bablefish which would create hysterical translations. 🙂

    • I would love to read the Russian translations. I hope we get one soon!

      I chortled through the writing of my email to him. And I was holding back. Maybe next time I’ll give a plagiarizer a full dose Homeschool Mom. Homeschool Mothers can give some pretty impassioned speeches about Education. My speeches would bring tears to his eyes. I know they bring tears to my kids’ eyes…

  2. I actually really like the lighting and I think the color-tampering was probably a good call 🙂 I’ve been taking pictures of yellow flowers a couple of times lately and had them reflect so much light than when my camera says they’re exposed correctly, it’s actually too much. So for yellow subjects, I now usually underexpose compared to what my camera would have me do 🙂

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