Saturday, 22 April 2017


I got a letter today from Spec Savers informing me that my eye-test is long overdue. They're right, but I can't afford new specs until summer. I found myself at Leeds station the other day idly wondering why it said 'heartburn' on the departure board. On closer inspection I worked out that it said 'northern'.


Extraordinary title here for an article by (who'd a thunk it?) a 'femme woman of color'. I thought at first 'Chatroulette' must be a French or Belgian town, or maybe a Parisian arrondissement: might be worth going there to expect a few penises. It's actually a web site. (chat + roulette - sometimes us educated types are too clever for our own good.) All the usual preoccupations are here: race, gender, sexuality, along with all the familiar jargon - autoethnography, embodied self, marginalized communities. I'm beginning to think that Women's / Gender Studies articles are generated by algorithms rather than by sentient beings.


Midnight yesterday was the deadline for my MA students' dissertation proposals. I looked on the University's VLE this morning to check that all were safely gathered in. Three were late and one was showing 80% similarity to something submitted to a university in the US. I felt a familiar rolling sensation in my guts and it took two hours to talk myself out of thinking this was all my fault. Teaching doth make paranoiacs of us all.  


maria verivaki said...

I'd be really interested to know what happens when plagiarism is detected. I work at a small university. I have detected it in the past among students, and it was very embarrassing for all sides, but no action was taken against the student (apart from allowing them to re-do their work). What do you do in the UK?

Steve B said...

If it's on a pre-sessional course, we just explain to the student why the essay cannot be accepted, and let them chalk it up to experience. I've realised over the last 10 years or so that plagiarism is quite a difficult concept for many students to grasp, especially those who come from cultures where it's considered presumptuous for an undergraduate to voice their own opinion or take issue with the views of older academics. However, the one whose essay is 80% similar to some other has actually taught on pre-sessional courses and knows perfectly well what plagiarism is. Until I can see him, I'm assuming some sort of error - I've tried to find the source online, but it isn't to be found. Surely he can't be that dumb! If it is indeed plagiarised he'll be called before a plagiarism board and risks getting kicked out of the university.

Paul Brownsey said...

Do you think "expecting" means what we English-speakers mean by "expecting" or does it have some special sense within this field?

I struggled to relate the title to the ordinary meaning of "expecting" by wondering whether the article was about some sort of correlation between race and whatever, on the one hand, and the likelihood of a penis-photo on the other; but perhaps that was naive.

Steve B said...

I don't know, now you mention it. I thought it meant 'pleasant anticipation of getting some cock', but that might be my own um, preoccupations clouding my interpretation. After all, I also envisaged Chatroulette as a place somewhere like Cap d'Agde, which shows how wrong you can be.


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