Friday, November 11, 2005


As an addendum to the recent posts on plagiarism, I thought it was interesting that all five of my departmental colleagues
believed I blew it by not crucifying the guy immediately. I must explain that I love my colleagues. They are devoted teachers, talented researchers, generally great human beings. We share a commitment to progressive politics and action. I genuinely look forward to going places with them socially. I guess that is why it surprises me so much that we could be so far
apart on this issue. Now I feel like I've let the side down by not lowering the boom for knowing dishonesty. I'll really have to give this one more thought.

And while I'm thinking, I have to come up with a way to make amends to the whole school for flunking the only bright spot in one of our college's many struggling sports programs. JumpShot faltered, I have tried to help, the coach has been completely supportive of getting her to extra study sessions and so forth, but JumpShot didn't show up for the test or the make-up. That's the sound of the buzzer -- game over. I hate it that she may have lost her only opportunity to go to college. I hate that we live in a world in which young women like JumpShot arrive at mediocre schools which will use them to draw the crowds for a year or two. Coaches will run them ragged with 6 am practices, withhold study time from them in the form of weekend "team retreats," hold drill until the athletes can barely stay awake in class, and then send these academically challenged students packing when they can't make NCAA grade requirements. If they came in with great study skills -- and to be fair, her teammates have come and gone through my class and have been fine -- that would be one thing. Recruiting kids not ready for college academics and then putting them through a regimen seemingly designed to guarantee their
failure...well, that's just the system in which we're all trapped here. (The real joke is that we're not a Div I school. The glory of the game is about all these kids play for...)

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