Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Such

I consider myself a pretty good writer. I don't know if I'm a great one, but I think I can definitly say "pretty good" without hesistation. Being a good writer is useless if you're not doing anything about it. Over the years, I feel I put it into good use. I used to write "A" stories in JHS. My research papers were well written and organized. I took it upon myself to edit my friends papers, and eventually one of my friends got me into the business of writing papers for this one guy, who owes me $200 now. Bleh...

One of the hardest forms of writing, in my opinion, is creative writing. Mostly because I feel that one needs talent to write a work of fiction, not so much in writing, but in creativity. If you have no creativity, no amount of proper grammer will help you in writing fiction.

Earlier this night, I heard the most marvelous work of fiction, but not in writing, in a speech form. A creative speech is also hard work. The time, the preparation, the lie (why they call it fiction).

The story goes something like this:

Last week a guy entered our wonderful shul for a Friday night. He came in by accident. He had long hair, and was completely irreligious. Our program invited him to stay and eat a meal. While we spoke to him, we realized that his mother was a Jew 4 Jesus, and she tried to turn him into a Christain with her. And he wasn't sure what he wanted, so he walked into a church, and he didn't like it. Then he thought about many things, and eventually found himself in our shul. By the end of shabbos, he chose to become frum. All it took- one shabbos-.

***

I thought that story was marvelous. Absolutely the greatest work of fiction. If only I would've thought to prepare some of my writing works into speeches, I might've inspired a few souls too. I'm tearing up at that story. Really, truly am.

***

52 comments:

Child Ish Behavior said...

speaking from Jesus' point of view, I think i'd be very upset. 1st you put nails in my arms now you make a fight between a mother and son, oy I loved my mama, and my adopted father.

frumskeptic said...

:)
yea, poor Jesus :)

DYS said...

and eventually one of my friends got me into the business of writing papers for this one guy, who owes me $200 now.

Please explain what you mean. Do you mean writing school papers for someone else? Basically cheating for someone else?

frumpunk said...

I think you might be too much of a skeptic sometimes. I can believe that story, its not that impossible.

Jay said...

The door swings both ways. Truth is one imagines and believes

frumskeptic said...

DYS- yes. I "cheat" for him.
I don't believe its fair that all these damn colleges feel everyone should be well rounded.
he's in the nursing school. I don't know about u but I couldn't give a damn if my nurse ever took literature or english comp 1/2.
I don't help ppl cheat in things relevant to their majors. Ill edit though.

punk- the story supposedly coincidently happened one week before the shul was to discuss the programs future.
I don't believe the story.

DYS said...

DYS- yes. I "cheat" for him.
I don't believe its fair that all these damn colleges feel everyone should be well rounded.


It doesn't matter what you think is "fair" or not. What you are doing is extremely unethical. My respect for you just plummeted. You're not a "skeptic", you're just a cheater. It puts into question all your judgements on everything else you write about. Not to mention the chillul Hashem that such behavior causes. If you have any self respect at all, you won't take the money he "owes" you. It's just as bad as stolen money.

frumskeptic said...

I'm sorry u feel like that. but to each his own.

DYS said...

Each to his own is about subjective things. This is objectively wrong, in so many ways, no matter how you spin it.

frumskeptic said...

actually its very easy to spin.
I browse craigslist every once in a while and every few months there are grad students who ask for writers to help them with writing and organizing their research.

this is totally legal. as the grad student is doing the research. not his fault he cannot write.

yet society views it as different for undergrads. I find that hypocritic. the first time I ever saw that guys writing I had to walk awau fromthe computer, take a few deep breaths, and then begin editing.
what would be the point for him to do any writing after that point if -as an editor- I would have to completely reorganize everything. from sentence structure to overall structuring.

argument 2- as a writer I was given an assignment. is it my fault he's putting his name on my work?

frumskeptic said...

actually its very easy to spin.
I browse craigslist every once in a while and every few months there are grad students who ask for writers to help them with writing and organizing their research.

this is totally legal. as the grad student is doing the research. not his fault he cannot write.

yet society views it as different for undergrads. I find that hypocritic. the first time I ever saw that guys writing I had to walk awau fromthe computer, take a few deep breaths, and then begin editing.
what would be the point for him to do any writing after that point if -as an editor- I would have to completely reorganize everything. from sentence structure to overall structuring.

argument 2- as a writer I was given an assignment. is it my fault he's putting his name on my work?

DYS said...

FYI - I just posted our exchange on my blog (no, I didn't identify you or your blog.)

agoodjew said...

Shimon Peres kicks hecklers to the curb during appearance at Oxford University

"It's not too bad to open the ears and open the eyes, and keep the mouth for later occasions"

abandoning eden said...

um, as a grad student, I can tell you any grad student asking someone else to help them write a paper or write up their research is DEFINITELY considered cheating, and if any grad student was caught doing that they would probably be kicked out of their program. As would the student you helped, if he is caught.

And it's not up to you to decide what parts of college are "fair." College is about more then learning a trade (that's what trade school is for!), it's about learning the skills that make you able to better work in a professional setting. Writing is one of those skills. In the end, this dude you helped is actually just cheating himself, since he is just staying stupid and wasting his money and time.

I see why you would have no problem with that on a personal level, since it's not you being cheated and you get money out of it. But that only works if you don't have ethics or morals.

Dave said...

argument 2- as a writer I was given an assignment. is it my fault he's putting his name on my work?

Given that you are aware that he is doing so, and have a commercial relationship predicated on that, yes.

Although I am not a lawyer, it sounds like tortious interference to me.

David said...

I'm completely with dys on this. You just made yourself into Exhibit One for any Jacob Stein wacko who wants to point out that people who abandon Orthodoxy have no ethics.

You may not care if your nurse understands literature, but I sure care if the people who get paid to provide health care for me are ethical. I also care if they can express themselves in writing, as my nurse may need to provide vital information to my doctor.

Writing someone else's papers for them is utterly despicable and completely dishonorable.

frumskeptic said...

I spoke to grad students and as long as the research os there's and they are present they are legally allowed to hire someone. not everyone has the talent to write a paper.

I didn't read all the books so on my own I was unqualified to write the paper. he directed me to notes and helped me in contributing points.

I wrote a n essay about his dreams for the future. all his ideas. I can't dream for him.

the concept of what is or is not ethical is absolutely relative. Aristotle beleived in infantacide, yet he's practically the father of Western philosophy.

I could go on further but I'm not seeking an argument nor am I seeking anyones approval. I see nothing wrong with it. As you pointed out it is merely a business transaction from my side.

frumskeptic said...

Dave- I am not straying from Orthodoxy.

abandoning eden said...

you are 100% wrong about grad students being allowed to hire people to write their papers for them "as long as they do the research." Whomever told you that is a liar.

frumskeptic said...

ae- are you sure this qualifies for all subjects? b/c you may have a point. but I was told that its legal.

eitherway, business transaction from my pov.

mlevin said...

Nurse's writting is very dry. No skills necessary to write "Patient had blah blah blah, I gave him blah blah blah. He reacted in blah blah blah manner." Any idiot can do it.

mlevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You know i check your blog very very rarely lately. I've been very busy with work, I disagree with a lot of what you write, so unfortunately I maybe check it out once a month when I get a chance...
Low and behold, I walked in on this. :)

I don't know what or who you are talking about - my eyes and ears are closed :)

anony, fav.

mlevin said...

Ignorance is not bliss, regardless what you may think.

jessica said...

I don't know that you were cheating for a student at one of the CUNY schools, but if you were they have that whole "Academic Integrity" thing. You can read it here: http://web.cuny.edu/academics/info-central/policies/academic-integrity.pdf The second thing on the list is exactly what you did. Whether you think this kind of cheating in itself is unethical or not becomes a non-issue because the fact is that the institution where the cheating is taking place has decided that it is.

Anonymous said...

I totally have to disagree. We avoid these meetings because we believe that the lack of this ignorance is assur.
a
n
o
n
y
:)

citizen of brooklyn north said...

you know you could just give a crash course in writing skills or "how to write and edit a grad paper" and then accomplish the same thing and get paid the same amount, and your critics would be proud of you ;-)

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- I'm sure the "integrity" thing is not exclusive to CUNY schools.

eitherway, its a business transaction. Even though I KNOW he'll be using it in school, I feel its none of my business that he does that. Thats his problem, not mine. If for whatever reason, this were to become a court case, he would NOT be able to prove that I wrote those papers KNOWING that he'd submit them as his for school. Plus, I really don't care.

Anony- Dont tell me you think that its "assur."
Who are you kidding? Its the day after the meeting, you seriusly don't know me well enough to figure out that my post would be on it?

Puh-leeze. You did this ON-Purpose. heck, andother guy (the friend of the one I work w/) at shul purposely checked out my blog today to see what I'd have to say.

So please. Don't go telling me how frummy you are, when we BOTH know you're...well...you! :-p

citizen of brooklyn north- lol. that is a great idea. I retired from the paper writing thing (this blog, work, and life exhaust me), so maybe, if I choose to "help" another time, I'll consider the critics. :)

Jessica said...

FS - I know CUNY is not the only school, pretty much every school now has a policy on cheating. The fact that you know he'll be using it for school proves that it is wrong. The school doesn't allow it, therefore it is wrong.

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- When you saw kids cheating in HS/college, did you tell the professor on them?

Jessica said...

FS - I never have seen anyone cheating. I can tell you that whenever anyone has asked to copy my homework, I've said no.
"If for whatever reason, this were to become a court case, he would NOT be able to prove that I wrote those papers KNOWING that he'd submit them as his for school. Plus, I really don't care."
Re-reading what you wrote from before though, are you saying that because you can't get in trouble from doing cheating, you have no problem with cheating?

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- You seriously never saw anyone cheat?

I mean, as a philosophy major, I imagine its not common (how can you SEE someone cheat on a paper) but in like a required science class or s/t, never, really?

I used to see it all the time. And I just never said anything, becuase its not my place to be the one to get students into trouble if the professor isn't catching them him/herself.

So I view the paper as the exact same thing.

I'll explain why its not hte same as "copying"...

As a philosophy major, you know the papers can get insane. Well, I knew a few students in one of my classes at one point.

I had like 5 essays/papers due at one time. All of which were hard. I wouldn't ever pay someone to write my paper. I like writing too much, and I like to research. But when you have ALOT going on, help is needed.

So for one of the classes (we had a paper taht was 3 questions- 2 pages per questions) my friends and I decided we'd each tackle a question. Then we called each other and discussed where hte best place to look for the information would be for each. ANd which quotes would be best to use. Basically, we helped each other, without actually doing each others work, or giving away questions.

As you know, hardly ever in philosophy do you choose only one side to write about, so its not like "answers" were given away by the quotes.

Helped a TON. And I foudn it was common.

With this kid, he cannot write. Period. I figure, I'm writing him a paper, he can either use as a backdrop (like you do with cliffnotes) or he can hand them in.

I technically KNOW he's going to hand it in, but I don't care. But I view it as a drop more than what my friends and I did. As in he did do the research, and he did know what he was talking about. he just couldn't express himself.

Moshe said...

It's people like you who are ruining this country. Because of people like you, we have all of our presidents and vice-presidents and various other government officials who should've never been allowed to graduate.

frumpunk said...

I once got caught cheating on a metaphysics exam. I looked within the soul of the guy sitting next to me.

I eventually got kicked out of college for cheating. It was a very sensitive issue, because it was with the Deans wife.

Moshe said...

Lol
If you gonna go, do it in style

Jessica said...

"I foudn it was common."
Because everyone else is doing it, it makes it right?

"I technically KNOW he's going to hand it in, but I don't care."
By that logic, as long as you don't get caught and punished, then it's okay to anything.

"As in he did do the research, and he did know what he was talking about. he just couldn't express himself."
There are free writing centers at nearly every college. Rather than just writing him a paper (which is cheating), he should have gone there to get help with writing his papers.

frumskeptic said...

Jessica- I can understand why you would argue writing pplz papers for them is unethical but I don't understand how peer-researching could be argued. its like a study group. we each had our pwn question and we called and discussed why we chose quotes we chose. we did NOT write nor did we read each others papers. nor did we even come up with our own premises or conclusions for arguments.
like when you study for a science in a stduy group. you each are assigned a chapter and you tutor it to each other. then you go take the test. ure not cheating. ure studying together.

with this kid. I clearly wasn't in a study group with him but he did have the info. I just took the extra step of writing up the stuff he told me.

I didn't see that as anything bad. you do. I don't take school seriousl and I don't care.

he knew the assignment. he took finals himself.

not everyone can write.

my point was not that since I won't get caaught its alright. it was that since I knew I'd never get caught I didn't care even less.

even if I could get caught I see nothing wrong with it. the system sux and unforunately we gotta get thru it. he's learning to be a damn nurse wtf he need to write for? felt bad I wrote for him

frumskeptic said...

how is it that if a kid gives a draft to a tutor ethical than if he has them write it out? you can't tutor sentence structure to a college student not in ESL. by then they're a lost cause and you're directly showing them line for line what's wrong with their writing.

a week later they're back because it didn't stick. they don't learn anything.

frumskeptic said...

da Vinci said s/t like "study without desire spoils the memory and retains nothing it takes in"

no point. formal education is stupid.

Don't allow education to interfere with you learning.

now...since I believe that stuff...i ethically have no problems writing essays for those who cannot.

it totally works out with my principles. and like I said before to DYS - to each his own-.

jessica said...

FS: "I can understand why you would argue writing pplz papers for them is unethical but I don't understand how peer-researching could be argued. "
I wasn't arguing that...

Turning in a draft to a tutor is ethical because 1. The school allows it. 2. The tutor isn't writing the paper for him. They are showing him where his writing is weak and what to focus on. Most likely he can write well enough, he's just not taking the time to try out his skills because he has someone (who he hasn't even paid...) to do it for him.

jessica said...

"now...since I believe that stuff...i ethically have no problems writing essays for those who cannot."
This isn't about your beliefs. It is the school' beliefs. They set up these rules and if you break them you are wrong for doing so whether you agree with the rule or not.

frumskeptic said...

the kid Cannnnnot write. literally cannot write.

I used to edit my friends papers for her and once she sent me one of his papers to edit. and he had no idea. he wanted my friend to just fix mistakes.

the paper was awful. absolutely awful. I gave it to my mom to read. we weren't even sure what he was saying - btwn the two of us- I fixed his sentence structure and overall organization and my friend emailed him a few pointers.

the next time he did not write better. and he asked my friend to fix it again. she can't write well herself. so she sent it to me. so I asked since its not for her and I'm busy I wanna get paid.

he said he's not paying if he's writing the paper. so I didn't edit it. and next time he just sent me a bunch of research (btw at this point friend gave him my email). and I just wrote the stuff.

even the research was not clear in explaination most of the time. had to email back and forth.

he CANNOT write.

will it make u happy if say ill never write stuff for ppl again knowing its for school?

DYS said...

he CANNOT write.

So he won't graduate. It's not your place to help him get an unearned piece of paper.

Is his writing problem only in English? Or in his native language as well? If he has trouble writing in his native language too, he may have a learning disability, and there are resources ay most schools for helping with that. THAT would be the way to go, not cheating.

mlevin said...

anony: By closing your eye you are allowing this travesty and injustice to go on. There is no such a thing as nutrality.

mlevin said...

dys - what you just said is stupid. In today's society they require college degree for many jobs where college is not necessary.

Here are some examples:

Nursing
Garbage collectors
dumb coorporate clerks
Programming

This college stuff is just a way to suck money out of people. Explain to me please why does a doctor need a college degree. (BTW, most people don't know it, but half of the medicals schools do not require college, just a few related college classes).

And you are willing to sacrifice this young kid's future as an exellent nurse, when he is willing to dedicate his life to prolonging life of others and to take away pain from others. Nursing is a very demanding and respected proffession, but these lit classes may rob us of excellent nurses.

I would rather have an excellent and caring nurse, than one who is knowledgable about Sheakspare and Poe.

Anonymous said...

fs - if i wanted to know what the meeting was on, i would have went or at least called you - that was not the reason i checked your blog.
:) anony

Anonymous said...

mlevin - first of all (bh!) it eyes (plural), second - there is no travesty, we totally disagree on this, remember?

Jessica said...

FS: DYS said pretty much the exact same thing I was thinking.

mlevin - Nursing shouldn't require a college degree?!

frumskeptic said...

thats ridiculous. That a kid who cannot write cannot graduate a nursing program.

By far the dumbest thing in the universe.

I'm awful at chem. Thank Gd the college system is run by liberals, that they dumbed it down so much, that only a complete jackass wouldn't be able to pass it.

B'H I passed.

Otherwise why the hell would my passing chem have anything to do with my Ba in PHILOSOPHY?

The system is full of crap. If they really wanted you to learn stuff to help you in the future, they'd require classes like economics and finance, not classics and 3 writing courses.

the system is so broken, it can't even be fixed. it needs to be bulldozed and rebuilt.

The Babysitter said...

Ok, time for me to chime in...

1- about the actual post, about the story, I don't get what your trying to say? did it really happen or did the Rabbi make it up?

2- about cheating...

a) In FrumSkeptic's defense, Lot's of time's children have parents help them out with their papers at home, and the parents end up doing the children's HW, and there nobody considers it wrong, so perhaps this is the same concept, after all the student is doing most of the work.

b) It's like your putting the information in the computer and it spits out a research paper for you based on the information you put in. Sounds like a great computer program if they can make one like that, and if they would, then would it be considered wrong to use?

c) I do think citizen of Brooklyn north has a great idea. The best help you can do is to give him the tools of the trade so that he can do it on his own.

d)it's interesting to see you put down the college system, so I know it's not just frum related, there's something about systems you don't like, where you feel you can judge what's right and wrong.

e) Mlevin, sounds like your giving into the career system yourself, by saying it's necessary to go to college these days to get a job, but really you don't need the degree. There's a contradiction there.

f) Frumskeptic, sounds like you agree with all those who go to Touro and just take the classes they need for their major, and the rest they get from a "Rabbi", by paying for them.

g) if the kid really can not write, then I'm sure he can speak to the professor and work things out, and a tutor would be able to explain it to him so that he can learn from his mistakes.

David said...

"the concept of what is or is not ethical is absolutely relative. Aristotle beleived in infantacide, yet he's practically the father of Western philosophy."

Wow. Well, with all your impressive classical education, and your complete lack of ethics, you must write really great papers.

By the way, if they guy for whom you wrote the paper never ponies up the $200 because his ethics don't require him to pay his debts, would you say that's "subjectively" or "objectively" wrong? What if, instead of paying you, he beats you and takes all your money? Subjectively or objectively wrong?

frumskeptic said...

Dave- you have a point. he can absolutely justify not paying me.
and then it'll teach me a lesson on dealing with ppl who don't do their own work.