Thursday, March 31, 2005

Poor Laura?

I almost hate linking to the Saga of Laura K. Krishna, but, seeing as I've become addicted to it, I wanted to share it with you, dear readers.

Of course, the story--some say it's an April Fools hoax--is all over the internet, so chances are, you've probably seen it already. I myself found it at terminal degree.

Apparently, this really dumb college girl did a really dumb thing in asking comedian and blogger Nate Kushner, via AOL Instant Messenger, to write a paper for her in exchange for $75. He took her up on it ... and wrote a really awful paper. It included these lines:

“Your actions in each lifetime affect your karma, and if a Shudra watches dharma and greg, it will have a positive effect on his karma.”

“The second class is the Kshatriya, the warrior class, who acted as the protectors of the peace. I made a doody. Vaishya, the producing class, work as business people providing economic stability to the society.”

“The principle of Varnasrama Vindaloo Dharma, also known as Yachti, or caste, is one of the most fundamental aspects of Hinduism.”

He sent her the silly paper. And she turned it in.

Of course, Nate posted every step of this deal on his website, and the dean of Laura K. Krishna's school (both Laura's real name and her school name have been changed) contacted Laura. She's being made an example of what can happen if you try to plagiarize.

Whew. You know, she did a really dumb thing and is probably getting what she deserves ... but at the same time, I'm feeling a little sorry for her. Not a lot, but a little. I'm also glad that the dumb things I did as a college kid weren't broadcast all over the internet. (It helped that I was in college in the olden pre-internet days.) If the Hubster ever runs for president, I'm sure some of my dumb college-kid actions will come back to haunt me. (Lucky for me, the Hubster has no presidential aspirations!)

(Nah, I can honestly say I never plagiarized. I was the quintessential English-major nerd and loved writing papers far too much to cheat myself out of the opportunity to write them.)

I can see the Laura K. Krishna saga being required reading for college freshmen. The smart ones will at least learn that, if they try to plagiarize, they should at least read the plagiarized paper before they turn it in (duh!). But they'll all learn that, even though the internet has probably made it easier to plagiarize, it's also made it easier to get caught doing it.

I hate to sound so serious here. It's really quite amusing to read (not to mention addictive, as it's been updated several times since the original post).

Still, even though I'm glad she got caught, I can't help but feel a little sorry for her.

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