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Re: SV: [mythsoc] Fwd: Watership Down

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/21/00 5:11:39 PM Central Standard Time, ... someone ... The excellent Austen site, Pemberley, has a crisp (but helpful) notice to all such
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 21, 2000
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      In a message dated 3/21/00 5:11:39 PM Central Standard Time,
      WendellWag@... writes:

      > Online research is increasingly becoming a part of
      > schoolwork, but there's a difference from online research and asking
      someone
      > else to do your homework.
      >

      The excellent Austen site, Pemberley, has a crisp (but helpful) notice to all
      such askers.

      Mary S
    • ERATRIANO@aol.com
      Hm, this is getting to be fun. Can someone please repost the question, or send it to me privately? To the person who first got the message from Tiffany, do
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 21, 2000
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        Hm, this is getting to be fun. Can someone please repost the question, or
        send it to me privately?

        To the person who first got the message from Tiffany, do you know this
        person? I mean, like Wendell said, there is a certain level of polite intro
        that should be involved here. Sometimes when we are zipping emails around to
        people we already kn ow, we're less formal than otherwise.

        Otherwise, I'm interested in what Steve said also. I initially dismissed the
        whole thing, but now I'm curious. And I've read Watership Down a few times
        (not recently, but), as well as the sequel (don't rush to read that one,
        IMHO). I'd be interested to see what the student has to say initially.
        Maybe a little dialogue would be fun.

        sheesh I shouldn't delete my mail so fast. But it piles up so!

        Lizzie
      • David S. Bratman
        Besides not saying This is my homework, and I would like some suggestions as to where to get information, T-----y also was asking for a flat answer to a very
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 21, 2000
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          Besides not saying "This is my homework, and I would like some
          suggestions as to where to get information," T-----y also was asking for
          a flat answer to a very complex, multi-faceted question.

          I like answering questions, and long ago volunteered to deal with any
          bibliographical questions coming in to the Mythopoeic Society that were
          too easy to have to pass on to Wayne Hammond. (My favorite was from
          someone who'd come across, in a rare-book catalog, an item by Tolkien
          called "The Devil's Coach-Horses" and wondered what it might be. Answer:
          an offprint of a scholarly article.)

          But I've been seriously burned once or twice by people who weren't really
          interested and didn't want to know, they were just collecting answers to
          their homework. So now if the question isn't obviously generated by
          genuine curiosity, as the Tolkien question above was, I double-check.

          But in this case it was easy to figure out what was going on, as the
          entire second paragraph of T-----y's query was written in high-school
          teacherese.

          David Bratman
          - not responsible for the following advertisement -
        • Matthew Winslow
          I m finally back at my computer and have waded through all the WT discussion. As the person who forward poor T s message on, I might as well give an apologia
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 22, 2000
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            I'm finally back at my computer and have waded through all the WT discussion.

            As the person who forward poor T's message on, I might as well give an
            apologia for my actions.

            First, I don't know who T is. The email came to an alias I use to screen
            emails. That means she found a reference on one of my Web pages to having
            re-read WT last year.

            As to how I think T should be responded to, it's a difficult situation. I
            sympathize with both sides of this argument. On the one hand, like Wendell,
            I'd like to say 'do your own homework.' On the other hand, I have dealt with
            many high school students as a tutor, and I have encountered way to many that,
            when approached with a question like this, have no idea how to answer it; that
            is, they have not had the critical faculties needed for such analysis
            developed in their educational career -- they can get really good scores on
            Doom and Quake, but can't answer questions about a text they've read. (I think
            I'm starting to rant, so I'll leave it there.)

            In forwarding it, I was hoping someone on the list might have some insightful
            way to help T answer the question herself; that is, teach her how to fish
            instead of giving her the fish, to paraphrase an old proverb.

            --
            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
            "No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's
            draft."
            --H.G. Wells
            Currently reading: Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation by David Rohl
          • David S. Bratman
            Matthew: I don t at all blame you for passing T-----y s message on: even realizing waht she was up to, your standards need not be as stringent as Wendell s and
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 22, 2000
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              Matthew: I don't at all blame you for passing T-----y's message on: even
              realizing waht she was up to, your standards need not be as stringent as
              Wendell's and mine and others', and that's OK.

              The problem with your commendably generous approach of "teaching her how
              to fish" is that this kind of fishing -- i.e. approaching a text
              critically and writing about it -- can't be even begun to be taught over
              a single e-mail. Either the student picks it up in the course of
              classwork and homework, or not at all. And I cannot escape feeling that
              T's problem is not so much that she doesn't know how to do it, but that
              she realizes it's hard, and prefers to troll the web looking for anybody
              who confesses to having read WD and see if she can nudge a paper out of
              them instead. Misplaced energy, and a pretty sad thing.

              I'd forgotten that my announcement that I sell a Le Guin bibliography
              (which has been on some other websites before I put it on my own) garners
              me occasional questions. Straightforward bibliographical ones, and
              general recommendations ("I liked LHD; what book should I read next?") I
              always answer; but most of them are from people looking for secondary
              sources on Le Guin, to which I have a stock response; or who actually
              want me to provide the key to understanding "The Ones Who Walk Away from
              Omelas", which, brother, you either understand or you don't. To these I
              provide either a short, elementary answer or, if they're really obviously
              trolling for free term papers like T-----y, I don't reply at all.

              If you promise that it won't get back to her, I actually feel like saying
              a little about society in WD. What struck me most about the book was the
              way the good guys interacted: Hazel leads in a fumbling, indirect, but
              effective way, and every principal character has his specialty: together
              they form a model of a good organization. In fact, as Adams reveals in
              his memoirs, it's largely based on the paratroop unit he belonged to in WW2.

              David Bratman
              - not responsible for the following advertisement -
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