Culture

Graduation Surprise

A California Polytechnic State grad is surprised on stage by her brother who recently returned from Afghanistan:

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Culture

A Sign of Plagiarism: The Correct Use of a Semicolon

In those cases I was alerted to plagiarism by the sudden appearance, in a paper that is otherwise a morass of grammatical errors, of a series of flawless sentences with complicated structures. The correct use of a semicolon is a big red flag for me. As is the use—and often misuse—of specialized jargon or technical language that I’ve not discussed with them in class. Then I type those sentences into Google, and they all wind up being smoking-gun cases of plagiarism. My favorite case this semester was plagiarism within plagiarism. When I informed this student that I suspected her paper was plagiarized, she said to me, “I got my paper from one of the students who was in your class last semester. How was I to know that she had plagiarized?” Which indicated to me, along with a number of the other email responses I got from students, that many of them don’t even know what plagiarism is.

I’m also saddened by the instructor’s observation that “the correct use of a semicolon” is an indicator that a college student might not have written it…

Shocking isn’t it?

Church

US Catholic Dioceses to be Reorganised

Later this year, at least, that’s according to Vatican Insider:

The huge wave of child abuse scandals has dramatically altered the life of the American church. Not only from a moral point of view – as is obvious and right – with an examination of conscience that has been going on since the 90s when US bishops met in Rome in front of John Paul II and, at the time, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. But also, and above all, from an economic point of view.

The lawsuits brought forward demanding tens of billions of dollars in damages, which have enriched the victims of abuse from decades ago and the team of specialised lawyers in the field have forced several dioceses to seek judicial protection for bankruptcy. The first was a diocese of great importance, Portland, followed by others, including Spokane, Delaware and Wilmington.

There is great concern in the Vatican. Not just because the United States, historically, has always made large contributions to the Holy See’s budget, a budget which receives very little revenue and so is normally in the red without the contributions of the dioceses of the various donating countries throughout the world, among which the most important are the U.S., Germany and Italy. The Holy See, however, also fears that economic problems could lead to repercussions on religious life and even on maintaining the basic living conditions for priests, especially pensioners.

For this reason, the Congregation for the Clergy in agreement with other departments has prepared a specific document, which will be released after the summer, possibly in October, that is specifically dedicated to the reorganization of American dioceses. The document is currently being examined by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, chaired by Archbishop Francis Coccopalmerio. Obviously the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also interested in the matter. It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area…

There’s more here.