This morning my doorbell rang at 9:00. I was still slurping down a bowl of Rice Krispies and mango (it’s mango season!) and wasn’t too happy to be interrupted. I knew who it was—my last thesis student. He’s the one you are most familiar with—we’ll call him Romeo. I had rejected his 3rd chapter, as mentioned before, and he’d brought me another version of it. The first 3 pages were copied, with no changes, from a site telling you ways to plan a Romeo-and-Juliet theme wedding! It included lines like “Dress the men in pirate-style shirts and show a bit of hairy chest! Or, go whole hog and rent period costumes—ask your groomsmen first though, as some will refuse to wear tights!”
I wrote in the margin, “You should read through your plagiarized paragraphs and determine that the content is appropriate before including them.” Went right over his head.
But after he promised to redo it with appropriate, theme-related plagiarized paragraphs, I signed off on him. Why? Because I’m tired. I’m supposed to be on vacation and playing with my kids, and I want to be done with thesis papers. Plus his work is actually typical. Why should he be held to a higher standard just because he’s got me as his supervisor?
On our way out, he told me that he asked me to supervise him because he knew I would push him harder. Who would have guessed? I tried not to choke on my coffee.
And I enjoyed my day off after that! We had kids to play all day, and the house smells faintly of little boys who’ve been playing soccer in the mid-day sun. Eww, I know, but better than the bitter smell of frustrated professor 🙂 Family movie night tonight. Time to go start the popcorn—which of course I make from scratch. Microwave popcorn does not exist in a place where most people don’t even have regular ovens. Pulaars put powdered milk (in powder) and sugar on their popcorn. Yes it tastes weird. No I don’t do that.
I’m done now till the thesis juries start. Don’t worry; you’ll hear all about it.