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Quote of the Day (Kid Lit Edition)

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From Clay Shirky:

My next book will be 'Wikipedia Brown', about a boy detective who solves crimes by getting his friends to do all the work.

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  1. My wife is a high school teacher. The kids these days have no fucking idea how to cite anything at all in papers, and use Wikipedia or other online sources for just about anything, even if they haven’t the foggiest idea if the website is legitimate or not. At the risk of sounding fogeyish, kids are fucking LAZY these days. And they whine about it when called out and get a shitty grade. Then, unbelievably, they keep doing the same thing.

    1. I agree. If I were a teacher, I’d not only fail kids relying solely on Wikipedia, I’d publicly humiliate them.

      1. In this environment, even in a private school, that’s a recipe for a-firin’. The parents are their BFFs, and they will lie, cheat and steal right along with their kids in order to get their way. It actually might make things worse at a private school in a way.

        1. It’s true. We ran into some of that when a kid slugged our youngest son. Without provocation, according to witnesses. Whether that’s entirely true or not, the fact is that he initiated violence.

          You’d expect in these days of “zero tolerance” that a kid who punched another one would be spending some time at home, right? Wrong. The kid was “troubled” and Hispanic (which, incidentally, my kid is 1/4 himself), so he basically got away with it.

          That’s not an academic situation, but it’s typical. Enforce stupid rules whether they fit or not, unless there’s a good story tied in with some identity politics. Then make exceptions.

          Academically, we have encountered a lot of BS work (like decorating notebooks for points), extra credit for bringing in drinks or food, dumbed-down assignments, passing kids who actually failed, an overemphasis on getting high scores on the FCAT (so the school gets a high rating), etc.

          Public education is horrible, and it’s getting worse. And you’re right–the kids are getting less able and less educated as a result. And Lord help a teacher who wants to discipline a child.

          1. There is a big push by the Obama Education Department to ensure that rules are enforced “fairly” and do not disparately impact minorities. That means that they are going to go after schools who don’t punish just as many white kids as minority kids, even if the behavior of the minority kids is worse. Because in liberal world, any unequal outcome must be the result of something invidious.

            1. Evidence?

              1. What percentage of black criminals are convicted of hate crimes, versus what percentage of whites?

                1. This was a reply to Some Guy, not John

          2. Academically, we have encountered a lot of BS work (like decorating notebooks for points), extra credit for bringing in drinks or food, dumbed-down assignments, passing kids who actually failed, an overemphasis on getting high scores on the FCAT (so the school gets a high rating), etc

            It’s the same in many colleges. The gentleman’s C is now a B or B+. Even when a class is actually taught and the work is expected there’s often a curve that benefits the bottom percentile more than the top scoring students to lower the number of failing grades.

            I actually know of a professor teaching entry level college micro econ that was admonished by his chair because he used the word derivative. Not because he expected people to know it or because he didn’t show the class how to do a first derivative, but because he used the word. His solution? He called it the magic formula from that day on and kept teaching the same thing.

            1. I am completely puzzled as to why anyone would object to calling a derivative a “derivative”. What?

              1. It’s racist, duh.

              2. My best guess is that investment type derivatives are now considered evil, therefore mathematical derivatives are guilty by association.

            2. EVERYONE at my school had to take calculus. Even the football and basketball players. EVERYONE. (And, fortunately, this hasnt changed in the last 23 years)

              Sure, it cost us some recruits, but at least a professor can use the word derivative.

            3. I was told that it was a department policy when I took the intro macro-economics class not to use the words “derivative” or “integral.”

              As a result, I only got a B in the class because I could never remember the proper relationships between any of the formulas, as they were given to us in words instead of variables.

              It was annoying as hell…

            4. I’m puzzled how you can even deal with derivatives “by another name” without talking about limits, which are going to be just as off-putting to calculus-challenged students.

              Unless he put out a sheet with all the differentiation rules (power rule, product rule, quotient rule, etc) as his magic formula. That would be a real pain in the neck way to learn.

              1. I had non-calculus based physics in high school. There were lots of odd formulas for motion and stuff that were just there, didnt make sense.

                Then I took calculus based physics in college and never had to memorize the formulas again. Just start with a=a and integrate.

                a=a
                v=at+v0
                s=1/2at^2+v0t+s0

                A is A is a good place to start for lots of things.

                Teaching physics without calculus must be painful too. And is worthless as far as Im concerned.

                1. Well, physics did exist before calculus. The work done at that time would probably be unrecognizable to us today, though.

                  I remember reading a book that had one of Galileo’s drawings from his experiments rolling balls off the side of a table. Even beyond the apparent silliness of such “experiments” to us today, there was the fact that the ball was travelling from the right to the left in his drawings, rather than from left to right as all good demonstrations of motion do. It seemed so wrong.

                  1. Well, physics did exist before calculus.

                    Yes, it did. And they had to memorize arbitrary formulas. Might as well have been biology.

                2. I’ve taught Introductory Physics For Non-Majors (i.e. no calculus) and Introductory Physics For Scientists and Engineers. (i.e. with calculus).

                  You can make a fairly convincing argument for Newtonian mechanics without calculus. I don’t think you could derive it that way and it relies a more types of basic arguments then you need with calculus, but it can be done. And a few of the students got it.

                  Then you do E&M mostly by demonstration and analogy to mechanics and a certain amount of “Trust me, I’m an expert. I’ve got this certificate here somewhere that says so…”

                  There are even very senior and respected physicists who argue that we should teach physics from an pre-algebraic basis because we should teach it before chemistry or biology (’cause physics explains those sciences, not vice versa). Which I suppose you could do, but there’d have to be a lot of “Trust me, you’ll see the math for the general case in a couple of years and then it’ll all make the same sense at the same time.”

              2. The first derivative is just used to get the marginals. It’s a sausage grinder approach. The functions are not very complex and the power rule is all you need. It isn’t like they had to use Lagrangians to derive total cost functions or anything.

        2. And why do kids these days have to play their rock and roll music so damned loud?

          1. If only they would.

            1. Exactly. Lady Gaga and all this Glee soundtrack shit makes me reflexively gag, but that’s what kids these days are playing so damned loud. If they played rock and roll damned loud, I’d be ecstatic. I’d be over the moon if they played most of the stuff that can be found on Alt Nation on XM damned loud, but that ain’t happening.

              1. Lady Gaga is okay techno. At least it is something different than hip hop. But, the glee soundtrack is just gay.

                1. Nein!Es ist Schei?e!

              2. You know the solution. Punish the obnoxious little fucksticks with high-volume black metal.

              3. What’s funny is that they do listen to a decent amount of 60s and 70s rock because of Guitar Hero and the older, wiser source of many of their mp3s.

              4. You just can’t read their poker face.

              5. The first word in Gaga is Gag.

            2. As much as I hear iPod earbuds three tables away, I think they are and their music sucks too. Yes, I think I am knocking on door of fogie. Maybe I just have some manners.

              1. No, you are right. It sucks. There is such a thing as aesthetics, regardless of whether the cultural relativists acknowledge it.

                1. There is such a thing as aesthetics

                  Philistine! 😉

                2. You are right, but that doesn’t mean it is not culturally relative.

                3. A few days ago, as I do every three years or so, I flipped on a country station. The songs were what one would expect (same sound, different lyrics), but the thing I noticed most is the quality of the vocals. There are some very good singers in the country genre.

                  1. No, there’s some very good auto-tune filtering in the country genre.

                  2. Country doesn’t tolerate bad musicians. Been that way for a long time.

                    And at it’s best it is absolutely fantastic; all full of nostalgia, melancholia, and pathos and shit.

                    But somehow, the whole genre is at least 20% of a U2 on the All-These-Songs-Sound-The-Same scale.

                    Love it, but it small doses.

      2. “I’d publicly humiliate them.”

        Tempting as it is, I would not recommend that strategy unless you have tenure. Not only is the average kid lazy, they have very thin skins and their egos are easily bruised by criticism, public or private.

        Damaging a child’s self-esteem is a high crime in the teaching world, and it’s very easy to do.

        1. Yes. And we are doing so much to prepare these kids to compete in the real world. In India and China the kids are being beaten for not bringing home As. Not that that is necessarily right. But which kid would you bet on to compete in real life?

          1. I often hear students bemoan the fact that jobs as doctors and engineers are being taken by Indians and Chinese and taking up all the good salaries…I encourage them to consider why that is – what kind of work ethic (no matter how corporal-punishment motivated) do those students have? What kind of familial and cultural expectations do successful people have? What kind of sacrifices are their families, communities, and selves willing to make to pursue the career and the salary?

            The sense of entitlement to a good job and a high salary for little effort is astounding.

            1. It is. The only members of their generation who seem to be getting a sense of sacrifice and the world doesn’t owe you a living are the ones joining the military. The rest of them are just floating.

              And it is sad. They are kids. They don’t know any better. It is the adults job to show them. And the adults in this society are failing miserably.

              1. Some thought fodder. Interesting stuff here, and it has potential to revolutionize how we approach education. Unfortunately few schools are willing or able to embrace the change necessary to break away from the homogeneous-age-grouping-self-contained-classroom model.

                http://www.psychologytoday.com…..-gatherers

                http://www.psychologytoday.com…..-parenting

              2. I’ve posted this on here before, but it’s pretty relevant, so I’ll do it again.

                You can skip the part about the nerds if you want to, but his description of the school system, suburbs, and teenagers is pretty spot on.

                http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

                It’s like throwing a domesticated dog into the wild. It expects food to magically appear the bowl, but it stops all of sudden and doesn’t know how to find it’s own food.

        2. Actually, forget my rant above. It’s the unearned self-esteem crap that hurts my kids the most. They seem to have insanely overinflated views of their abilities and of what it takes to achieve anything. Part of that is just annoying teenager nonsense, but the lion’s share is this insane emphasis on making kids feel good about themselves. What the hell business is it of a school or the government in artificially boosting my kids’ egos? What’s next, mandatory antidepressants?

          The worst part of all this is that it makes my wife and I have to be a little less encouraging of our own children, in order to undo the damage.

          1. What’s next, mandatory antidepressants?

            Remember the rampant prescribing of Ritalin? We’re getting there.

            1. Egad.

              1. I wouldn’t be surprised if kids were first prescribed Ritalin, then anti-depressants to counteract their glassy-eyed roboticism from the Ritalin. Then we’d have a perfect pack of bovine-tempered young’ins to mold.

                1. The trick is to take your kid’s Ritalin and use it yourself so that you don’t have to buy cocaine. They don’t actually end up taking it, and you get a pure cocaine substitute at co-pay prices. It’s win-win.

                  1. Really? What do those things do to you?

                  2. True wisdom.

                2. Watch what you’re doing
                  Taking downs to get off to sleep
                  And ups to start you on your way
                  After a while they’ll change your style
                  M-m-m, I see it happening every day

            2. Have any of you ever heard of a kid who’s taken the test to determine if he was ADD/ADHD and the results came back negative?

          2. My wife freaks out when I remind my kids that they are doing just ok in the shittiest school in the district. Junior daughter got straight As last year, but anyone with a lick of intelligence could do that at her school. Seventh grader’s Bs and Cs are totally unacceptable to me

      3. Shit, even a professionally reviewed real encyclopedia should not be an acceptable primary source for a research paper. Wikipedia is great and very useful, but it should never be considered an acceptable source.

        1. It doesn’t end with high school. My wife is a doc who teaches 3rd and 4th year med students (clinical rotations). Every rotation these “kids” (old enough to have graduated high school and worked a non-college track job for 6-8 years, sometimes longer) present research topics to her using Wiki as a source.

          Sometimes she preemtively warns them, but sometimes I think she uses the respondant bitching-out as stress relief.

      4. Do they even teach the difference between primary and secondary sources anymore?

        1. I do, can’t say what others do. My students come to me still confused on the issue, so they know that a difference exists, but are incapable of identifying that difference.

          1. I just assumed it was a standard middle school lesson — and not a particularly difficult one.

  2. This is why the FCC needs to license the web, only gubmint approved truths should be allowed- for the sake of our childrens.

    1. That’s funny, but it’s a different joke.

    2. Tom Sawyer beat him to it.

      1. I thought Huck was getting Tom to do all his work? More coffee is in order.

        1. No, Tom got all his friends to paint Aunt Polly’s fence for him. Huck wasn’t around that particular Saturday.

          1. Thank you. I only plea I did not like Tom Sawyer the way I fell in love with Huck.

  3. And he can have someone else write it, just like that joke.

    1. wait, you can get other people to write your jokes?

      1. You guys aren’t heading to “Aristocrats” territory again are you? My eyes still hurt from last year when John T. posted it.

      2. Just pretend like you don’t know the answer, asshole. A-S-S-H-O-L-E. Every Body!

  4. Man. I used to rock Encyclopedia Brown back in the day. Ah, fond memories of the library’s summer reading program. I’m just pissed he didn’t get any poon from that chick-assistant.

    1. The G. Gordon Liddy episode was the best!

  5. Any one else remember the “Alfred Hitchcock presents the Three Detectives” kids series? Those beat the snot out of Encyclopedia Brown.

    1. Sorry — The Three Investigators.

      1. Because of those books, I spent my pre-adolescence under the impression that Alfred Hitchcock was a children’s writer. Imagine my surprise when I encountered his movies.

          1. I’m not sure about this, but it’s possible that I starting reading Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine because of his involvement in the Three Investigators series. Of course, reading writers in the magazine like Lawrence Block introduced me to new ideas about sex and violence.

            You know, the Three Investigators could make good TV. The production company could work out a deal with the estate to use a virtual Hitchcock, or they could Robin Masters/Charlie/Carlton the Doorman him.

            1. I took Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine to be a contrarian. Although Jupiter Jones was some good stuff.

              1. Read ’em both. But Jupe made me prefer Hitch.

    2. Loved them. Jupiter Jones, gold-plated Rolls, making shit out of junk found in the junkyard. And, of course, being the prot?g?s of Mr. Hitchcock.

      1. Holy shit, I can’t believe anyone else read these. I collected EVERY SINGLE ONE.

        “The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot” FTW!

        1. But by the time I was into them (this would have been 1987 or so), most of the ones I could find had been stripped of the “Alfred Hitchcock” brand and been replaced by “Hector Sebastian,” whoever the hell that was.

          1. Apparently the Hitchcock estate demanded a big increase in the fees for using his name. Hence Hector Sebastian. (As seemed appropriate, I did all my research for this on Wikipedia.)

          2. Nah, read the old ones.

    3. Don’t forget Hitchcock’s Spellbinders in Suspense, featuring the Most Dangerous Game.

    4. Yeah, Encyclopedia Brown never had a cool hideout in a junkyard and a chauffeur. They should make a TV show out of those books. It would probably suck, but the attempt would be cool.

  6. They occupied me for one entire summer — I probably read six or seven of the episodes that summer. And as fate would have it, we had an old trailer on our property, once used for storing hay and forgotten. It wasn’t buried under a pile of junk, but it was enough like Jupiter Jones’ HQ for the purposes of me and my friends.

    1. That was the summer of ’72. We were the kids who solved The Mystery of the Darby Skull Treasure and who put Woodward and Bernstein on the right trail. True story.

      1. Remember just before Nixon got on the chopper for the last time, when he waved the V-for-Victory signs and mumbled “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids”? Yeah. That was us.

        1. Only Hunter S. Thompson wrote the intro to our adventures.

          I think I’ve just written an outline for my own new series of juvenile/history/detective novels.

      2. You’re Kristin Dunst?

  7. “My next book will be ‘Wikipedia Brown’, about a boy detective who solves crimes by getting his friends to do all the work.”

    A detective that got his friends to do the work? That’s Nero Wolfe, isn’t it?

  8. Wikipedia seems like it would be a good place to start for research on many topics suitable to high school papers. Teachers should be demanding far more vigorous research than was acceptable “back in the day.” Papers in the 60’s were tough – schlep a mile to the library, check the Enc.Brittanica, then the card catalog. Locate the reference numbers for a few books and then try to find them – some other kid beat you to them and had taken them out. End up with a crappy paper that was about what every other student did. Now, one can sit at home at the computer, start with Wikipedia and then surf around and find all sorts of original stuff on the net. Killer history papers should be extremely easy to write these days.

    1. Instead, really shitty literature and history papers are bought off the internets with absolutely no attempt to disguise that they were bought. It’s amazing, the laziness and the chutzpah it takes to blatantly cheat when the resources a teacher has to find you out have developed at essentially the same pace.

      The problem is older teachers who don’t know how to use the resources and unwittingly end up letting shit go.

      1. Make ’em write the crap in class.

        1. And take up valuable and necessary curriculum delivery time, not to mention reinforcing the need for responsibility outside the classroom?

          /sarcasm

          I use this tactic to get around the plagiarism issue from time to time, but sometimes it’s necessary to assign independent research and writing. I’ve caught 7 kids plagiarizing papers this year despite oversight of the process. Parents try to work around the Academic Integrity issue by saying “Mary was confused about how to properly cite her research. It wasn’t plagiarism, it was something she never learned” (and is therefore not culpable for).

          1. I think one of the things that kids (and parents) have a hard time understanding, whether by true ignorance or lack of willingness to understand, is that you can plagiarize through sloppiness and an inability to adequately paraphrase.

          2. Mary was confused about how to properly cite her research. It wasn’t plagiarism, it was something she never learned

            If it’s a good enough excuse for Doris Kearns Goodwin, it’s good enough for those kids.

            As a math teacher the plagiarism issues are usually of a different variety, but when I get a homework assignment that looks “fishy”, I ask/require the student in question stop by my office after class. Then I hand them their paper, and tell them to look over their problematic answer for about 30-60 seconds, depending on how complicated it was, after which they will have to rewrite the solution on my chalkboard and explain it to me in excruciating detail, with the threat of academic dishonesty punishments hanging over their heads if I’m not satisfied. It only takes one before they realize that crime don’t pay.

            I don’t see why something similar couldn’t be done with English papers or other types of essays.

            1. We do something similar. Usually the plagiarism is so obvious we don’t have to try. When parents are confronted with blocks and blocks of text copied and pasted into an essay and being passed off as the student’s own writing, they are seldom willing to acknowledge it, which is where the “my kid just doesn’t understand the citation process” defense comes in.

        2. I think my wife did some of that. But you can’t do that too terribly often. Plus, research papers are tough to do during class, unless you want to dedicate all class time for weeks to it. Most teachers can’t do that.

          1. Make them cite everything, then, and do some cite-checking.

            1. That’s part of what made life so fucking painful for my wife (a first-year teacher). She expected some level of effort and quality. When that didn’t happen, she checked EVERYTHING. As a consequence, kids sometimes got hammered (and feedback was slow to come) and my wife (and I) had no life. And this is a good private school!

              Part of the problem is that one teacher did particularly little to combat this sort of thing, so she had a set of kids who were really bad at laziness and cheating.

              1. Yep. At my college, they have graduate students teaching most of the low-level math classes. Graduate students who are already overburdened with research commitments and their own coursework, and thus tend to give out A’s like Santa gives out candy canes, because that guarantees no troubles from students coming to office hours (and as an added perverse incentive, leads to them getting glowing student evaluations to place in their portfolio when they go looking for a job after getting their degree).

                Then they get to Calculus and have to deal with Dr. Teabagger, a fate to be wished on no one.

                1. You are my new hero, Dr. Tulpa. +internet

  9. Wikipedia is a fine place to START gathering general information on a project, and I let kids start there. But Wikipedia is not permitted as a source for their papers; they can use the legitimate sources linked at the bottom of the Wiki entry to do their own research.

    Wikipedia is sometimes unfairly stigmatized, but it does provide an easy way out for the lazy kids to just copy and paste an article and not do any reading outside of the Wiki article. Sometimes they don’t even read the full entry and are still clueless when quizzed or questioned on their research.

    My M.O., and that of many of my colleagues, is to thoroughly vet any Wiki entries and sources from it before a student can use it, to make sure the article provides decent general info to get research started. It is time consuming but necessary when allowing students to use open-source content to learn about a topic. By the time kids in my school are juniors or seniors, they know better than to use Wiki for anything other than a starting point. Freshman and sophomores have a more difficult time with the distinction.

    Anyone over 16 who thinks his or her teacher can’t tell the difference between his own writing and a Wiki entry is a moron and will always look for the easy way out. It’s as much about learning the necessary skills as it is about a student’s personality and drive.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with using wikis or other resources on the Internet for research, especially when first diving into a topic. The old rule for research is to start general, after all. But relying on unreliable sources is reliably a bad idea.

    2. To my eye, I lot of Wiki entries look like they were written by 16-year-olds in the first place.

      I used to clean them up, but burned out. I haven’t edited anything in almost a year-and-a-half.

      1. Were you the one who put all those “fucks” in the Bill of Rights?

      2. I was wondering where all the obscene fanfiction in the Nancy Pelosi article came from. And the citations leading to the feministing website.

  10. Research is a skill that must be taught, just like any other skill. Teachers who complain that the kids don’t have the skill should probably take the appropriate action.

    1. Teachers must be blameless. That’s the law.

      1. I know its tempting to bash, but that’s not really the case. Teachers get plenty of criticism for mistakes just as students or workers in other professions do. It’s just not generally made public, I suppose, or egregious errors by tenured teachers go unpunished so it seems that the teachers are infallible.

        1. Tenure protects teachers from the consequences some of them deserve. Ditto the unions and certain politicians.

          Don’t get me wrong–teaching can be a shitty gig, especially with kids that have discipline problems.

          1. Tenure is important for teachers because you’re in a business where pissing off about 40-50% of the people paying your paycheck is expected. Those of us who aren’t tenured are constantly walking the tightrope of avoiding trouble with the department for (a) failing too many students, possibly causing them to leave the major or the college altogether, or (b) giving out too many A’s and diluting the department’s reputation.

            1. And thats a problem why?

              Lots of jobs involve tight roping walking.

          2. don’t get me started…my school has placed a teacher on paid suspension for remarks he made in the classroom that were sexually explicit – he talks openly about sexual encounters with his wife, about how certain students should be hooking up with each other because they look “hot” together, and in general being inappropriate to the level where it makes kids uncomfortable to be in his class.

            Result? He was hired back next year, at least on paper. The board can’t just fire him, they have to try his case first in a hearing, and discovery could take years (no joke). His annual salary? $78,950. Almost 80K paid to a teacher who won’t be teaching. Add $47,500 for the teacher they have to bring in to cover him while he sits out and it’s big hit to the school budget.

            1. That’s only a $47.5K hit. Even if he were a wholesome individual they would still be paying him the $79K.

            2. Jesus. That’s about what I make as a 8th year software engineer.

    2. Another germane skill is patience/stick-to-it-iveness. However, by the time kids get to the research stage it’s difficult to unlearn the “needs” for immediate gratification and constant stimulation. “Boring!” 8-(

      1. “by the time kids get to the research stage it’s difficult to unlearn the “needs” for immediate gratification and constant stimulation”

        This is why there is a curricular push to remove the research paper/product from the game, and focus instead on short-term “research process” projects.

        I am not sure how it will work out. I would rather take a half a year to teach process and then expect some kind of product, but a finished product is no longer being required so kids can focus on the shorter and easier skill-building process, without ever really putting those skills to use.

    3. Research is a skill that must be taught, just like any other skill. Teachers who complain that the kids don’t have the skill should probably take the appropriate action.

      If you’re talking about Aristotle tutoring Alexander the Great for ten years, that’s a sensible attitude.

      If you’re talking about a teacher who has maybe 150 minutes a week to teach this subject to 30 kids at a time, when the kids have little external incentive to learn, it’s a different story. Yes, motivation is part of a teacher’s job, but it’s a pretty weak toolbox that we’re afforded.

      If a player on our college’s football team misses practice one day, the coach is totally free to go to his dorm room and bang on his door to get him to make up the time (and get yelled at).

      If I did that for a student who clearly didn’t study for a quiz on the chain rule, I’d almost certainly be fired and possibly even facing criminal charges.

  11. Research is a skill that must be taught, just like any other skill. Teachers who complain that the kids don’t have the skill should probably take the appropriate action.

    !!!!!

    I used to sympathize when people would moan about how hard it is to get “good help”. Unfortunately, most of those people are just too goddam stupid and lazy to properly TRAIN their employees, or even to adequately communicate to them what their actual responsibilities are.

  12. Curious, for those teachers posting here about wiki cites and everything. Do you require your kids to use and cite actual books for their research, or do you let them use internet sources for 100% of their research? IIRC, when I was in school (graduated HS in 1996) my high school teachers usually required us to cite at least three non-encyclopedia books in most of our research papers. This could be for history, english lit, science, any subject. Middle school papers usually required one or two books to be cited.

    Also, FWIW, the high school kids who get used to plagiarizing their work are in for a (hopefully) rude awakening if they try that in college. One of my fellow students in a Computer Programming class copied a program from another student and “covered his tracks” by changing variables, texts, functionality, etc…..but didn’t change the name found in the headers to his name. He got failed on the spot and was sent to Administration to determine whether or not he should be kicked out of school. Don’t hear much of that going on any more.

  13. The people who perpetuate the “praise for no reason” movement should be boiled in oil.

  14. There at least three different and unrelated parodies out there already called Wikipedia Brown, one by B.J. Novak of The Office.

  15. For all you parents out there, if you’re trying to decide on a high school, try to find an International Baccalaureate program

    It’s pretty brutal, but you’ll be more than ready for college when you graduate.

    I had a class in epistemology for two years. I wrote papers every year that were sent overseas to be graded by foreign, English speaking professors, and now I can write the pants off almost anything.

    I did oral presentations in both English and Spanish that were recorded and sent over seas to be graded.

    If done correctly, it’s an incredible program.

  16. Ack! For our improvised bedtime story last night I started to tell the Boy about Encyclopedia Brown. First I had to explain what an Encyclopedia was. I did reference Wikipedia and I may have have actually said “Wikipedia Brown.”

    We dropped this thread and he recounted for me an episode of Scooby Doo that featured a square dance and a villain called “the Creep.”

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