A Week Of Kindness

What follows is the epic saga of a random instant message that came to me from a stranger this weekend, asking whether I wanted to be paid to write a college paper for her. Bitch didn’t know she was fucking with a comedy writer….

I had been convinced by my parents the other day to come home to Pennsylvania for Easter. After letting Mom feed me, and playing with her dogs, and all that stuff I have to do when I’m home, I go to check my email.

When I’m home, I connect to the Internet using the AOL account my parents have kept open for me since high school. And since I don’t use it except when I’m home, I just haven’t bothered to change the profile, where apparently, about 8 or 9 years ago, I had listed one of my hobbies as “Eating Hindu Sculpture.” That should be enough information for you to appreciate the instant message exchange that follows. Her instant message name has been changed to her real name, as has mine.:

Laura K. Pahl: hi can i ask u a quick question
Nate Kushner: what’s that?
Laura K. Pahl: i see in ur profile it says something about Hindu….i am a college student and i have to write a paper on Hindu is there anyway u can help me with that
Nate Kushner: I can try.
Laura K. Pahl: have u ever written a paper on it before

At this point, I made a bargain with myself that if I said something sarcastic, and she continued to ask me for help, that I would be obligated to fuck with her, so….

Nate Kushner: I am qualified, seeing as how it says Hindu in my profile.
Laura K. Pahl: well i am looking fro soemone to write me a paper i am more than willing to send u a check in the mail…money isn’t really an object to me
Laura K. Pahl: what do u think
Laura K. Pahl: if ur answer is no its ok just tell me

Wow. I thought she was just going to ask me a question about Hinduism (and having taken a college course on Indian history, I actually do know enough about it to make up some funny lies), but instead, I’m in charge of writing a paper, and she wants to pay for it. Continuing….

Nate Kushner: Yeah, that;s something we can talk about.
Laura K. Pahl: lets talk about it then
Nate Kushner: As long as you understand that plagiarism is not going to free you from the painful cycle of death and rebirth any quicker.
Laura K. Pahl: ok
Laura K. Pahl: so can u help me
Nate Kushner: I think I can. It is my duty, as we are all children in the arms of Chivas.

I reached one more branch out to her, in the form of misspelling the name of the god of destruction as a liquor brand. But it wasn’t enough to get her to tell me to fuck myself, so I started making up my plan. Which was real simple: Take her money and cut and paste a paper together from the internet that was so obviously plagiarised that she’d be guaranteed to get caught. And then, if I was able to get the information out of her, I’d report her to whatever her school was, and who knows, maybe even pump her for double money in exchange for not turning her in. Either way, I’d eventually be writing the story up in this blog, and sending her the link to it.

Is this harsh? Eh, I don’t think so. She got the syllabus saying she’d be kicked out of school for plagiarism, so she shouldn’t be surprised. Plus, I have a nice little English degree that I did all the work for myself, so I find it a little offensive that this girl for whom money is no object is buying papers like that.

Laura K. Pahl: are u for real or not
Nate Kushner: What exactly is the paper supposed to be?
Laura K. Pahl: 5 pages on a topic in hindu either the gods or yogas or caste or anything about the religion
Laura K. Pahl: i can pay by the page by the word i don’t care
Nate Kushner: how soon do you need it?
Laura K. Pahl: tomorrow….i’m willing to pay for that to because it such short notice
Nate Kushner: College? High School?
Laura K. Pahl: college
Nate Kushner: like for a world religions class or something?
Laura K. Pahl: yes
Laura K. Pahl: i will be back in 2 minutes i promise
Laura K. Pahl: ok sorry
Laura K. Pahl: so what do u think
Laura K. Pahl: can u do it
Nate Kushner: yeah, I think I can.
Laura K. Pahl: ur name
Nate Kushner: probably about the caste system would be easiest for me.
Laura K. Pahl: sounds great to me
Nate Kushner: Nathan Kushner
Laura K. Pahl: can u site sources like 3 per page
Laura K. Pahl: even if u don’t know exactly how to do it i can fix it
Nate Kushner: good, good.
Laura K. Pahl: when do u think u will be able to send me a copy of it
Nate Kushner: well, the hard part is finding sources for stuff that I know.
Laura K. Pahl: ok
Nate Kushner: you know what I mean, right?
Nate Kushner: I haven’t had to read this stuff in a book.
Laura K. Pahl: yes so when do u think i will be able to see it
Nate Kushner: I don’t know, maybe by 10ish tomorrow morning?
Nate Kushner: too late?
Laura K. Pahl: no chance by tonight
Laura K. Pahl: its ok
Nate Kushner: Well, probably not until at least midnight.
Laura K. Pahl: thats ok
Nate Kushner: but I want to be safe.
Laura K. Pahl: ok my email is XXXXXX@aol.com
Laura K. Pahl: so midnight tonight
Laura K. Pahl: or 10 tomorrow
Nate Kushner: probably sometime after midnight.
Nate Kushner: but I’ll do it before I go to sleep, for sure.
Laura K. Pahl: excellent
Nate Kushner: alrght, I have to run for a little while.
Nate Kushner: but what about $60?
Nate Kushner: well, send me an email.
Nate Kushner: I need to know before I start this thing.
Laura K. Pahl: thats great
Laura K. Pahl: hey

She had walked away from the computer for a while, but had sent me an email offering $75. I e-mailed back saying yes, that’s better than $60, and I got to work on the paper. I’ll paste the entire thing here, not because I think it’s particularly entertaining, but because I want this page to come up on google in the event that this girl’s professor is checking out this paper for plagiarism. I did get some funny fake words in there, and made up some citations to make it look real, but mostly told lies that were close enough to what I knew about the truth, plus I cited Wikipedia ferchrissakes… Anyway, the text of the paper is here..

********************Paper Starts********************

The principle of Varnasrama Vindaloo Dharma, also known as Yachti, or caste, is one of the most fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Its origins may be traceable back as far as 6000 BC, when during the course of the tribal warfare that was prevalent in the region, the complex hierarchy was devised as a system to facilitate the subjugation of the conquered people. It is thought by some that even today, the members of the lowest castes are descendents of those conquered tribes. (Wikipedia: Georges Dumezil)The caste system is based upon the principle that human society is like a huge, complex machine, with the individuals and communities being like its parts. If the parts are weak and broken, the machine will not work. The body can only work efficiently if its parts and organs are in sound and strong condition. And lubricated. But if there is pain in any part of the body, if there is disease in any organ or part of the body, this human machine will go out of order. It will not perform its usual function or work. Likewise, no organ can fulfill any other organ’s function.

And thus it is that Hindu society traditionally was divided into four main castes, with those castes themselves being divided into literally hundreds of subcastes. The function of these names is to quantify how close a person was to freeing himself from the cycle of death and rebirth. Being born to a higher caste was an indication that one had lived one’s previous lives in a holy manner. Likewise, the higher castes had to be careful to live holy lives themselves, less they regress to a lower caste in the next reincarnation cycle, or even worse, reincarnate as some kind of animal.

The highest class is the Brahmans, the priestly class. Their dharma is to study and understand the Vedas, Hindu’s holy texts, and bring this knowledge to others. 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 Shudahelupta class, are servants to the higher three classes.

Some upward mobility was possible, in that each of these castes has hundreds of subcastes within it, and it was possible in one’s lifetime, by marriage or economics, to attain different subcastes within your caste, but never to fully switch out of whichever of these four categories you might have been born into.

At first appearance, the Hindu class structure and the social laws pertaining to religious rights based on one’s class seem to be prejudicial, demeaning and exclusive to the point of abuse. The lowest caste, the Shudra, is not even allowed to hear or study the holy texts of Hindu based solely on their inescapable station in life as servants to the higher three classes. However, from a purely religious standpoint, you discover that the class system is not abusive in itself, and that the abuse may come outside their religious practices. They are not allowed to read or hear the Vedas, but they are allowed to participate in the Hindu religion. It may seem degrading to keep them away from the religious texts that at the same time are keeping them from raising their station in this lifetime. But Hindus believe that anybody who was born into a caste was born there for a reason. Karma, which follows you throughout your many lifetimes, determines which class you will be in for any given lifetime. You may be demoted to an animal, reallocated within the class structure, or even elevated to a deity. 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, perhaps elevating him into a class in which she will be allowed to study the Vedas and progress along its spiritual path.

There is a caste whose station in life is so low that they are not officially considered a caste. These are the untouchables. These untouchables are distinguished by the types of jobs that they are able to perform. These jobs typically involve handling dead matter and filth, and therefore the untouchable caste were often relegated to being street sweepers, butchers, latrine cleaners, and the like. They are outcast from society to the point that they may not come into physical contact with one of the four classes. If such contact were to occur, or even if the Untouchable were to touch a casted person’s possessions or furniture, the casted person would immediately be required to cleanse his person or property (Anand, 56). The phobia of casted members towards the untouchable caste is not unlike a germ phobia, and the untouchables are treated exactly like lepers.

Proponents of the caste system arfue that it actually provides many benefits to its followers. It provides humans with the main desires that a religion provides. It gives the people of this religion a social structure that encourages closeness with other members from your class and Jati. It gives the individual a meaning in life, even if that meaning is in the act of being a servant. There is a goal and a purpose. It also dictates what is right and wrong. The caste system has the advantage of laying it right out, and giving people a place in society that no one has to fight for. Though a person may not be able to raise his or her caste within his lifetime, neither can his or her caste be lowered. It enables them to spend their energy doing their dharma to the best of their abilities, to help improve their karma so that perhaps next time they will move up to a higher class. “Since it is accepted that one’s caste is determined by one’s past karma, there is no reason to be bitter about one’s lot or envy others” (Ludwig, 109).

However, due to the flawed nature of humans, the caste system has not been implemented as the Vedas instruct. The system has come to be a hierarchy wherein the lowest levels, are not given the respect commanded in the religious texts. (Embry, 27)

This could be one reason why, even with the caste system having been dissolved on the official level by the Indian government, caste-based discrimination continues to be a hardship on lower-casted Indians when it comes to employment, government, and economic upward mobility in general. Today, though things are undoubtedly better for the lower castes, due to the introduction in India of programs similar to America’s affirmative action policies, and the offer of free education for all Indian citizens, there is still a long way to go to ensure complete and genuine equality for those whose dignity suffers under this system.

Ludwig, Theodore M. The Sacred Paths: Understanding the
Religions of the World. Upper Saddle River:
Prentice Hall, 2001.

Ghurye, GS: “Features of the Caste System” in Social
Stratification (Ed) Dipankar Gupta. New Delhi: Oxford
University Press, 1991.

Anand, Mulk Raj: Untouchable. London. Penguin Putnam, 1940.

Embree, Ainslie T.: India’s Search For National Identity.
Delhi, India. Chanakya Publications, 1980.

Sivanada, Sri Swami: All About Hinduism. New York. Divine
Life Society, 1977

Wikipedia entry: Georges Dumezil:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Dum%e9zil

*****************Paper Ends***********************

Pretty awful paper, right? But it reads well. Too well. Plus, it’s full of lies and citations that are easy to expose.

Anyway, while I was working on this, she was bugging me for progress reports. She might as well have just written the damn paper for all the trouble she was expending to bug me, but over the course of conversations that I accidentally closed, I learned that her first name was Laura, and that she went to Eastern Illinois University. The only piece of information missing to nail her would be her last name, as there are 133 Lauras at that school.

One thing I had no illusions about was that it would be easy for her to just not send the check once she received the text of the paper, so I tried my darndest to get her to pay by paypal to my email address. No dice, as she had a story about having parental controls on her aol account.

Fine, I thought. I’d still consider this successful even if I didn’t get the money. The real prize is the last name. She had to go to bed, so after she was gone, I finished the cut and paste job, and promised her we’d finalize things at 10:30ish the next morning.

I sent her the following email:

Alright, the paper is ready. I’m going to have to ask you to either scan the check and send an image of it, or to pay me via that paypal thing I sent you. But it is ready, and I will send it as soon as I get one of those things. I’ll get online around 10:15, like you said.Talk to you soon!

She was not on when I got online around 10:30, so I walked away, and came back an hour or two later to this:

Laura K. Pahl: ok well i just got ur e-mail about the pay
Laura K. Pahl: i don’t have a scanner
Laura K. Pahl: how else could i prove it to u
Laura K. Pahl: ?
Laura K. Pahl: hello
Laura K. Pahl: ok what happened
Laura K. Pahl: nate?
Laura K. Pahl: ok i’m not really sure what u want me to do…..but u know that i need the rest of the paper so u tell me whatever u want me to do
Laura K. Pahl: I’m setting up paypal
Laura K. Pahl: well heres the thing i’m not sending u 75 dollars when ur not even responding to me for the last 20 minutes
Laura K. Pahl: well u email and let me know whats up
Nate Kushner: sorry.
Nate Kushner: I’m here.
Laura K. Pahl: ok…ur alive
Laura K. Pahl: good to hear
Nate Kushner: yeah, I walked away when you weren’t on at 10:30.
Laura K. Pahl: so what can i do
Nate Kushner: nothing now.
Laura K. Pahl: what do u mean
Nate Kushner: I meant it’s not a big deal, you’re online now
Laura K. Pahl: so are u sending it ?
Nate Kushner: are you?
Laura K. Pahl: yes
Laura K. Pahl: hello
Nate Kushner: yeah, it’s coming in a second.
Laura K. Pahl: ok
Nate Kushner: ok, it’s sent.
Laura K. Pahl: can u cut and paste it in an e-mail
Laura K. Pahl: then i will transfer it to word
Nate Kushner: I attached it.
Laura K. Pahl: i can’t open it
Laura K. Pahl: send it to me how u sent it last night

I sent the paper to her with password protection on it as a safety thing. I thought maybe if I sent the file first, and the password upon payment, that she’d find that agreeable.

Nate Kushner: I’ll send you the password when I get the payment.
Laura K. Pahl: what password
Laura K. Pahl: for what
Nate Kushner: for the file.
Laura K. Pahl: i can’t opened attatched documents because of my virus blocker
Laura K. Pahl: it doesn’t allow me to do that
Laura K. Pahl: hello
Nate Kushner: yeah, I’m here.
Laura K. Pahl: are u gonna send it to me through email
Nate Kushner: yeah, give me a second.
Nate Kushner: you understand how I’d be paranoid about getting stiffed here, right?
Laura K. Pahl: i completely understand
Laura K. Pahl: but trust me
Nate Kushner: ok, well, it’s ready to send if you’re ready to make the payment.
Nate Kushner: I literally just have to hit the send button.
Laura K. Pahl: yes
Nate Kushner: ok, well, go ahead.
Laura K. Pahl: send it
Nate Kushner: you first.
Laura K. Pahl: how can i send it first nate
Laura K. Pahl: do u have a camera phone?
Nate Kushner: I don’t.
Laura K. Pahl: i will take a picture of the check and send it to u right now on my camera phone
Laura K. Pahl: i can’t do the paypal thing because of the parental controls on my computer (its for my little brother and sister) and i don’t have the password for the master screename
Laura K. Pahl: what if i send u a pic of the check through and email
Nate Kushner: we can try that.
Laura K. Pahl: ok its gonna take me a few minutes
Laura K. Pahl: hold on ok

She sent me three different images of the check, one to prove that she’d written the right amount, one to prove that she’d written my name, and one of the top left corner, where her name turns out to be Laura K. Pahl. I couldn’t do anything except send the damn thing.

Whether the check is on its way, nobody knows. But that’s ok. I don’t want it. I want her to get caught more than anything.
For a minute this morning, I wasn’t sure whether that would be possible, though.

One of the things I had taken for granted like an idiot is that she wasn’t lying about what school she was going to. So imagine my dismay when, after I know the last name, and have sent the paper off, I do a search at the Eastern Illinois University website, and find that they don’t have a record of a Laura Pahl. I thought that I was screwed, and Laura was going to get away with this completely free.

Thank goodness for Chris Coleman, our fantastic web guy, who combed the google results for “Laura Pahl” more carefully than I did, and found out that she probably actually goes to Lewis University, and in fact has made the dean’s list there.

James Gaffney, their president, has already received a link to this blog entry. In a few days, after she’s handed in the paper, Laura Pahl will also receive the same link. We will keep you updated on where this goes from here.

Posted by Nate Kushner at March 27, 2005 09:23 PM

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Tracked on March 29, 2005 05:16 PM

» “I made a doody.” from Sepia Mutiny
The very awesome Turbanhead sent me the most deliciously evil link earlier today; it had to do with a college co-ed who needed to write a paper on “Hindu”. This stellar, morally upright young woman required a little…help. And boy, did she get some. L… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 05:47 PM

» Kids these days from witz.org
A funny read, a girl IMs a random guy to ask him to write her a paper, and he blogs the entire exchange. Read: A… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 05:48 PM

» Laura K. Pahl is in some trouble. from Wax Banks
If she isn’t pulling one of the most pomo Internet pranks of all time, Laura K. Pahl, student at Lewis University (Dean’s List!), is more or less fucked at this point. Why? Check out the knowledge, courtesy of a cat [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 06:54 PM

» Plagiarism is bad for the soul from Jake Savage
Laura K. Pahl is a plagiarist, and comedy writer Nate Kushner knows it because he is the one that she contacted (via instant message) and offered to pay to write her paper on Hinduism. Of course, being a comedy writer, [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:09 PM

» http://feralboy.com/log/links/archives/001438/default.aspx from FeralBlog Link Sideblog
A Week of Kindness Blog: Laura K. Pahl is a Plagiarist…. [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:12 PM

» How Not To Plagiarize On The Internet from pf.org
The first step, of course, is not to ask a comedy writer to write your paper for you…. [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:21 PM

» A plagiarist gets her comeuppance… from Pharyngula
Here’s a fine object lesson: a student solicited a term paper via instant messenger, and got more than she expected. Like her name up in lights on a web page and the information forwarded to the president of her university. I like it. It’s a… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:22 PM

» worth reading from Blog: Derek Rose
Here’s an amusing, epic saga of a college student who tried to hire a random stranger via instant messenger to write a term paper. It didn’t quite turn out how she might have planned it. Stephanie Klein walks out on a bad date. Veiled Conceit ta… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:24 PM

» Laura is a plagiarist, Nate is a …? from Furry Little Despot
Short version: Nate is on IM. He gets a message from Laura to write a paper for her for money. Nate agrees. Nate writes obviously bogus paper with easy search strings, posts that Laura is a plagiarist, and waits. What… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:25 PM

» Plagiarism from Blogging The Night Away…
There have been times in which you probably do not want to write a paper and the idea of plagiarizing someone else’s words has probably popped into your head. You should never ever dwell on those thoughts. For anyone who… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:32 PM

» Laura K. Pahl is a Plagiarist from If..Else Log
Nate Kushner punishes a plagiarist… [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2005 07:39 PM

Comments

I can’t wait to see this chick get her comeuppance.

Posted by: Jason Brazeal at March 28, 2005 11:26 AM

This is priceless. Great shit!

Posted by: Kingfox at March 28, 2005 11:53 AM

Not only does she go to Lewis University, it looks like she made the dean’s list in fall 2003.

It’s too bad she has to learn this lesson the hard way, but she has to learn it someday.

Posted by: Cate at March 28, 2005 12:04 PM

Man, too bad you didn’t get the course or something – e-mail straight to the prof.

Awesome blog post, though!

Posted by: Jenni at March 28, 2005 12:19 PM

Unbelievable that you’d go to such lengths to jack around some idiot college kid.

Posted by: Alan Fraser at March 28, 2005 01:07 PM

What can I say, Alan? I get bored when I go back home to Pennsylvania. If this had happened while I was in New York, I might have passed, and found something actually fun to do with the evening.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 28, 2005 01:37 PM

I dunno, Nate. I think we had a fun evening. Milk Chan and all.

Posted by: Ben Kushner at March 28, 2005 01:47 PM

Nate Kushner is the spiritual genius of the Hindu people.

Posted by: Tom at March 28, 2005 02:03 PM

I work at a university library and plagiarism is my biggest pet peeve. I hope this student learns her lesson … a lesson … anything at all from this.

(Great job on the paper, by the way. I especially liked the part about “Dharma and Greg”.)

Posted by: Halsted at March 28, 2005 02:17 PM

I now almost wish I had that much free time on my hands when classmates have asked me to “help” them with their papers. Although, it may be worth it to be able to include “I made a doody” in someone’s paper…

Posted by: Pin Monkey at March 28, 2005 02:26 PM

Any chance that she’ll actually read the paper before turning it in, and just decide to take the bad grade rather than turning it in?

Posted by: Charles at March 28, 2005 02:34 PM

I think your action is even more reprehensible than hers. She may have felt under great time pressure and needed help, even if she did go about finding it in the wrong way. If you had wanted to make some kind of moral statement and teach her a point about plagarism, you could have done so without torturing her. Her motive may have been need – your motive was cruelty and ego. You action is nothing tantamount to pulling wings off flies. Yes she should be ashamed of herself, but you should be even more ashamed.

Posted by: Keith at March 28, 2005 02:50 PM

A message to Keith: A Week of Kindness is all about good sketch comedy and academic honesty. We will not suffer a plagarist to water down the already declining state of the American university. Keith, would you give a terrorist quarter, or help a child molester do his or her thing? No sir! And neither shall the dishonest and morally reprehensible actions of a plagarist go unpunished here! For shame, Keith! For shame!

Posted by: Mike Still at March 28, 2005 02:57 PM

And you’re giving that money to a charity, right?

Posted by: Hannah at March 28, 2005 03:02 PM

Yeah, probably. I don’t think I’m getting it at all. But if I do, and if I can bring myself to cash the check instead of keeping it, then I will probably have to think of something nobler to do with it than beer or rent.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 28, 2005 03:05 PM

How exactly would he have made such a point without torturing her? Lectured her? If she’s in college, she must know that plagiarism is wrong. But she went out of her way to solicit a stranger on the internet to write a paper for her. I’m happy that Nate went ahead and did this, and even happier that he posted everything up to for our amusement. It made my morning a little brighter.

Posted by: Eric at March 28, 2005 03:09 PM

I suggest donating to the “Stop MBNA and their evil cohorts from breaking Chris’s legs fund.”

But I’m biased.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 28, 2005 03:09 PM

Kharma’s gonna get you!

Posted by: Funicular at March 28, 2005 03:13 PM

May Chivas curse you and smite you from the caste. Then elevate your chi ten levels above Cleric-Barbarian.

Heh. Nice.

Posted by: Ron at March 28, 2005 03:50 PM

This is absolutely wonderful!

She’s on the Dean’s List and still has the temerity to solicit plagarism? Wow. In a world with the ‘net, google, and Wikipedia? Why? A half-hour of searching and you have the basics of a researched paper.

I, too, am sorry that she’s going to learn a harsh lesson, but it’s certainly a lesson that someone on the Dean’s List ought to have internalized.

Perhaps you ought to take the money and open a legal defense fund for her, should she sue the university for not enabling her poor choices…

And thank you for a delightful read. (My favorite bits were “The body can only work efficiently if its parts and organs are in sound and strong condition. And lubricated.”) Well done, sir; well done!

Posted by: mickey at March 28, 2005 03:58 PM

Good read, yes, but you’re being unreasonably harsh on this girl. I would have given her my angle on what bullshit it is to solicit plagirism, and then refused to do it. That’s all. Your leveraging everything you can against this girl and you don’t even know her. Being a graduate student, I know the importance of doing my own work and would never seek anyone elses writing talents to create a paper I had to turn in for a grade. That doesn’t mean I’m going to screw over someone elses life because they have no problem with plagirism. Your so petty to be approaching this situation like you are.

Don’t get me wrong, I want this girl to get caught for plagirizing. She should be caught by an observant professor, not some self righteous english major. Yes I know that there is more than one way to get caught, and this is, unfortunately, one of them.

In the end the bad karma you are creating through this hateful act will far outweigh any self glorification you will feel and the bad karma will unleash itself upon your little life, kind of fitting I think.

Posted by: subatomicman at March 28, 2005 05:01 PM

Don’t worry subatomicman. According to the paper, all he has to do is watch Dharma and Greg and he’ll even out.

Also: “Being a graduate student, I know the importance of doing my own work”

Well, she’s about to learn this lesson. Apparently, she didn’t learn it earlier and needs a bit of harsh teaching.

Posted by: Bishamonten at March 28, 2005 05:05 PM

That Vindaloo Dharma sure is spicy!

Priceless account; good job!

Posted by: Ashu at March 28, 2005 05:40 PM

ROFL! Ha ha ha ha….and then some!

Posted by: Manjusha at March 28, 2005 05:44 PM

Awesome. Good stuff, Nate–here’s hoping there’s further updates down the road.

Posted by: Rob at March 28, 2005 05:54 PM

Plagiarism is wrong.

But she trusted you to do something, and you screwed her. I agree with the few people who actually called you out for being a horrible person. There were other ways to handle this. The end result may be good, but it does not make your actions any less reprehensible. Hope karma does exist. At least you would get back as awful as you gave.

Shame on you Nate.

Posted by: karmathis at March 28, 2005 06:01 PM

Nate, you’re the man. I applaud your virtual smackdown of Ms. Pahl and suggest that you fill your profile with random words (Japanese Civilization, Classical Philosophy, Modern Urban Development of Rodents) in the hopes of some other unsuspecting victim trying to get you to do their work. Hope you’re not bored in PA anymore.

Posted by: Matt Williams at March 28, 2005 06:03 PM

Is it my imagination, or did we hear from a couple of past plagarists in the comments section, here?

I think this says more about the Dean’s list than it does about anything else.

And who in the hell communicates like Laura does, anyway? A sub-literate perhaps, but surely any thinking being can actually send instant messages in English.

Posted by: Roger at March 28, 2005 06:04 PM

I hope you know that this girl will get kicked out of college, and probably won’t be able to get into any other colleges because her name will be blacklisted. I agree with making her pay for this obviously plagiarized paper, but I do not agree with emailing it to her professor. Hopefully she has half a brain and will pull an all-nighter to redo the paper herself.

Posted by: Alison at March 28, 2005 06:25 PM

this is brilliant! i hope she flunks out of college. it’s people like her who make college look like a joke…because it is!

Posted by: LOL at March 28, 2005 06:51 PM

Hmmm, your terminology is a bit out of date. “Untouchables” are now called “Daleks”. 🙂

Posted by: Aaron at March 28, 2005 07:20 PM

To all those who were whining above about Nate being too “harsh”, and that “she should have learned a lesson, but NOT THIS WAY” (then what way which would have made an impact, praytell?):

You do the crime, you do the time. She is absolutely getting everything she deserves. Academic dishonesty is a huge problem and it is unfair to those who do their own research, spend late nights in the library instead of partying, in short, actually do their work instead of cheating, to have someone like Ms. Pahl cheat her way to the distinction of Dean’s list scholar.

Posted by: J-Dawg at March 28, 2005 07:31 PM

IF its true its cool. If its an ex boyfriend or someone else its slander or defamation. A name on a scanned check isnn’t enough to prove it was her. You should have waited and tried to get conformation that this girl was indeed kicked out of school for plagerism
What really bothers me is bloggers are trying to get the rights and privleges of real journalist but there is also a responsablity part. If your wrong, and I hope your not, but if your are — thern I hope you get sued to hell.

Posted by: Rick at March 28, 2005 07:32 PM

Great story, but you probably should have waited to post after the paper was due. There’ll be a whiner who’ll contact the girl and show her this page, thus robbing her of her lesson.

Posted by: Ocsirb Shire II at March 28, 2005 08:08 PM

Note timestamp. Maybe we’ll know more tomorrow, but for right now we have no idea if there will be any repercussions for dear Laura. Because it works like this: the college is a provider of a service, for which they charge a hefty fee. This service, bluntly enough, is the diploma. As the fee for this service gets higher and higher, the people who pay it (the parents, that is) become increasingly intolerant of extra “conditions” hung on the service contract, like going to class, not plagiarizing, etc. So the whole system works to suppress anything that gets between the tuition $$$ and the diploma. At my school, I caught several students cheating, and was consistently told by administrators that bringing the Extreme Sanction out, which is what the students were explicitly promised in several student orientations, was out of the question, as it would lead to legal entanglement of the University.
It is still possible to learn a lot at college, but it is tough to swallow that every school is both an Institution of Learning and a Diploma Mill, and no paper trail will indicate which path any given graduate traveled.
So my $$$ is on nothing coming of this, even if she does turn the paper in. Which I have to say is unlikely, that paper is simply too precious, and I think she’ll want to keep it all for herself.

Posted by: Mario Incandenza at March 28, 2005 08:50 PM

Heh, great work. Though I wouldn’t cash that check, if you do get it… could open you up to all sorts of claims about fraud. And yeah, I reckon you might get sued anyway.

Oh well – better start printing those “Laura K Pahl is a Plagiarist” t-shirts.

Posted by: Flashman at March 28, 2005 08:52 PM

“But she trusted you to do something, and you screwed her.”

I came back to see the responses that came after mine, and this minority of moralist excuse-makers really fish-hooked my vision with their remarks along this line.

I’m sorry, but she trusted Nate to do..what, exactly? Her schoolwork FOR her? For a pittance of money compared to what a Dean’s List student probably gets in financial aid, grants, or money from her family and employers to go to school?

That’s like whining that you trusted me to be your lookout while you burgled somebody’s house, and I “let you down” when the cops showed up and I ran my ass off. Tough luck–don’t do the crime, then.

She was owed NOTHING by Nate. If anything, he at least delivered something and she was too stupid and lazy to proof it for herself or, God forbid, DO HER OWN WORK.

And for those of you who keep insisting this is too harsh, this is unfair, this isn’t the way to teach her, consider a couple of really sad but undeniable facts:

1. Life is a leprous whore. The world is inherently not obligated to be fair to anyone. Deal with it.

2. The best and most remembered lessons are the harshest ones to get. If Nate had been all quiet and meek and nice about it and told her “Look, I’m not going to do it and here’s why,” she would’ve just run off to some other source to try and get a paper. She would’ve arrogantly blamed him for not ‘coming through’ (as you’re doing here) instead of growing up enough to realize it’s all her own fault. Or she would’ve rushed to do it and STILL failed the assignment. So what would you have her do? Fail and learn absolutely nothing for the experience, or fail and at least nobody has to be taken in by her failure to fulfill her own obligations as a student?

By this same logic, it’s not the pedophiles’ fault when somebody poses as a 14-year-old girl and ‘tempts’ and ‘entraps’ them into talking hot-sex on AIM or wanting to meet them for ‘private time.’

3. Biggest issue: how is it somebody making Dean’s List is so absolutely stone stupid as to a.) IM people for papers, b.) not read their profile thoroughly or even make sure the people they are trying to solicit are qualified, and c.) waiting until the day before something’s due to make any effort, even a plagiarist one?

No, I’d say people who are given the opportunities to realize it’s a joke or done in irony and still go through with it, and the original act to begin with is this crooked, then they are open season to be screwed with to any imaginative degree. Maybe next time she’ll do her own work, which is only right since nobody else, including Nate, is getting a cut of the assistance she’s getting from all the sources available to college students (and don’t whine about how hard finances are–it’s hard for everybody right now, real world and college, and Dean’s List means she’s got somebody making her tuition payments somehow).

My only regret is that I didn’t get this opportunity to do a similar turn to a cheating student. I’m starting up school again after 10 years in the ‘real world,’ and frankly it’s tough all over. If she’s not willing to stand on her own, she’s complete prey to any and all degradations she’s culled for herself. If you’re going to flounder around on AIM looking for others to do your work for you at pathetic rates then you deserve to inevitably, sooner or later, get caught and Bite the Big One for it (and really 75 bucks for a rush-job on an important school paper in a relatively obscure study course is bullshit as a rate–I charge 50 bucks just to proofread short stories and I don’t even write them for the students).

Good luck, Laura–you’re academic career’s as dead as Liberace at the Apollo if you’re gonna coast through school this way. My bigger hope is not only that you get the serious academic smack-down for this, but also that it casts dubious light onto all your past accomplishments in school to date and whether you earned any of THOSE either.

Posted by: Ron at March 28, 2005 09:06 PM

haha you taught that dumb bitch a lesson.

Posted by: Peter at March 28, 2005 09:09 PM

For those who commented that Sir Nate’s actions were over the top, I remind you of this line:

Laura K. Pahl: well i am looking fro soemone to write me a paper i am more than willing to send u a check in the mail…money isn’t really an object to me

It’s about there that I lost all respect and, therefore, all sympathy for this girl. We all learned in our elementary years that copying someone else’s work is wrong.

Good work, Nate.

Posted by: The Poon at March 28, 2005 09:13 PM

I say get medieval on the bitch. Would you want her to be teaching your kids after she graduates? Practicing law? Working for a goverment agency? Anyone this stupid and dishonest does not deserve to be taking my tax money.

Posted by: Clifford Irving at March 28, 2005 09:16 PM

What would really be funny is if she turns out to be a journalist major doing a story about plagiarism. Your essay might turn up in the school paper as an example of the moral decline of America.

Or perhaps she sent your essay in to one of those sites that sell essays, and she got $100 for it while you get nothing but partial scans of a personal check.

That would be funny.

Posted by: KL at March 28, 2005 09:20 PM

“So the whole system works to suppress anything that gets between the tuition $$$ and the diploma.”

Hmmm, university is, in part, a service industry, but the commodity exchanged is meant to be an education, not the pass-code diploma which signifies an education.

In Australia, when I have tutored (‘teaching assistant’, I think it is called in the US??) students who get ‘googled out’ are more often than not first years doing their first assignment. So we give them the chance to resubmit with a reduced mark.

I think it is a problem to champion any sort of vigilante action. That is what Nate has done here. The proper authorities would have been the university prof or admin staff, so I am glad you sent it to them. Sure it is funny, but most of us have to worry about more in life than what is merely amusing.

Posted by: Glen at March 28, 2005 09:51 PM

Harsh? I can’t believe that ANYONE would think this is too harsh!! She fully deserves to get busted. She’s the type of person who will slide through college on someone else’s genius, and land a top entry level position somewhere. Think of this people…..harsh? Hahahah….I think not!! In the meantime there’s the rest of us who busted our asses and pulled all-nighters to do our work, and what happens to us? We get told that our applications will be kept on file because a slacker like this eased on in. And another funny thing to ponder is, that when she does get busted, she’s gonna be mad at EVERYONE else except herself. Congrats to you Nate for puttin’ this bitch in her place…..well done!!

Posted by: DeeDee at March 28, 2005 10:02 PM

Those sort of vapid bints annoyed the piss out of me when I was in college. Too fucking dumb and/or lazy to do the work herself, too fucking clueless to grok the inescapable fact that she’s been had, and “money is no object,” thanks to whomever is fielding her any-expense-paid joyride. Judging from her junior high school level of writing ability, as evidenced from the e-mail exchange, she’s going to be yet another example of why a diploma means jack shit when it comes to real abilities. She got what she had coming to her, or will in the very near future.

Posted by: Claudia Balzac at March 28, 2005 10:22 PM

I think she deserved it. My AOL profile says something about me being a rock star, but I don’t see Aerosmith im’ing me about joining their band. She is stupid for doing something like this.

Posted by: CrazyGirl at March 28, 2005 10:37 PM

I looked up this dude on Friendster. Here’s my message:

Nate, you fatass dick. You’re a total ass to do something like this. If I ever see you, I’ll be sure to give you a “thank you” present from Laura. Get your ass out of Hindu books and to the damn gym.

Posted by: Cantal at March 28, 2005 11:07 PM

Yeah Nate, I think Cantal has a point. If maybe for just one minute, you’d stop worrying about your fucking precious Hindu studies, and maybe think about somebody else’s feelings, you’d realize that you’re mean!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 28, 2005 11:23 PM

Sorry, absolutely gotta put my support behind Nate on this one. The “victim” sought *him* out and knew what she was planning was wrong; she was not singled out for random ridicule.

A college degree is not a universal right. It’s supposed to certify some real degree of achievement. Nate gave this Laura kid ample opportunities to save herself by displaying rudimentary knowledge of foreign culture, rudimentary ethics, or rudimentary common sense. Somebody so deficient in all three categories clearly does not meet the standards any undergraduate program should require of them. I’m glad somebody thwarted her attempt to make herself look like she’d met those standards by cheating.

Besides, as far as I can tell, Nate never actually *lied* about anything. He simply failed to disabuse Laura of stupid ideas, and allowed her to mistake blatantly sarcastic comments for helpful information. You can’t even seriously accuse him of being an accessory to plagiarism, since he deliberately set the plagiarism attempt to fail.

The only accusation people have left is “He wrote a bad paper on purpose for money,” but Nate obviously didn’t care about the money — and was hardly under any moral obligation to provide quality work. The “credentials” Nate gave were patently ridiculous; the trust Laura put in him seems purely the result of her own wishful thinking. There is absolutely no way she could have been ignorant of the risks she was taking or the wrongness of her actions.

Posted by: Hannah Kincaid at March 28, 2005 11:25 PM

Why won’t somebody please think of what poor Terri is going through

Posted by: Kim at March 28, 2005 11:28 PM

On the other hand, the guy who assumed anybody who stuck up for Laura is a “past plagiarist” is being a real twit. I don’t agree at all with the people who are defending Laura or accusing Nate, but it’s a pretty low blow to assume they’re only playing devil’s advocate because they must be guilty too.

That’s just the kind of presumptuous black-and-white bullshit that makes it impossible to have an intelligent political discussion in this country. Can’t you even imagine that somebody might defend someone else just out of plain principle?

Posted by: Hannah Kincaid at March 28, 2005 11:31 PM

Kim, that is sick. :-0

Posted by: Alison at March 28, 2005 11:35 PM

Oh… bad, bad karma for you!

Posted by: Christa at March 28, 2005 11:37 PM

It would be easy enough togo to Laura’s Univ. web site and see which profs are teach the world religions course. Then the prof could be notified directly.

Posted by: Ed at March 28, 2005 11:48 PM

hello my name is bronson i am 15 years old and have almost a beard but i should not have a beard because i am not old enough tough u know genetics lol i like loud music and making games for byond.com and my teachers are all amazed that i practicly never have homework

Posted by: bronson at March 28, 2005 11:50 PM

The woman deserve nothing less than to be expelled. She should also be made to feel all the embarrassment and shame that goes along with plagiarism. Some things cannot be purchased; one of them is knowledge.

Posted by: moe at March 28, 2005 11:53 PM

Bronson, you sound like you know a lot about beards. Would you be willing to write my doctoral thesis on beards for me? Let’s keep any arrangement we may come to on the hush-hush; I don’t want to pull a Laura K. Pahl.

P.S.: I can pay you high quality rupees.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 28, 2005 11:55 PM

Much respect Nate… Much respect for teaching that cheater that education may be bought but intelligence and common sense sure as hell isn’t.

Posted by: Mushroom at March 29, 2005 12:10 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

One Word:

Karma

Posted by: Scott at March 29, 2005 12:15 AM

Dale Earnhardt died for your sins boy. Remember that next time you fixin’ to sell yur writins to little ladies.

Posted by: Texas at March 29, 2005 12:17 AM

… and a heavenly snarkfest dies. Guess it survived a long time before the trolls moved in.

Posted by: Appalled at March 29, 2005 12:22 AM

Don’t be so sure, Appalled. Texas is a good friend of mine in real life.

Posted by: Nate at March 29, 2005 12:34 AM

Wonderful story. I’m still trying to get a response from some guy in Nairobi who wants help shifting funds from a locked bank account.

One day….

Posted by: Benn at March 29, 2005 12:45 AM

I’m tired and shouldn’t be up. But I think this is great.

Those that accuse Nate of being cruel seem to suggest that he has no standing. We forgive acts of violence done in self defense, right? This is no different. As a college graduate, it matters to Nate that the value of his degree not be diluted by freeloading spoiled bitches who are willing to pay any amount of their parent’s money to have someone else do their work.

It’s fair to question her motives, as someone has. Maybe this was a true emergency? Or, as it was said, “She may have felt under great time pressure and needed help.” Well, if she is such a great student and all, if she had legitimate reasons for being unable to complete the assignment on time she would have no problem explaining this to her professor.

So long as people like this (and, oh, I knew a thousand of them in the business college at dear ole’ State) cheat through school, it hurts Nate’s diploma and mine. Nate has a vested interest in stopping her. He is injured if he does not.

And like someone else pointed out, he gave this idiot bitch about a hundred reasons to bail. She made the bed, not Nate.

Posted by: deerob at March 29, 2005 12:54 AM

I’m going to have to go against the crowd here and agree with Texas about Dale Earnhart dying for our sins. Although in truth, it was less a death for our sins and more a death from a lack of a head restraining device.

Beyond anything else this episode may have taught you, Miss Laura K. Pahl, let this be your take-away message– Auto racing is a dangerous sport, and although tremendous improvements in its overall safety have been made, we cannot have such hubris as to not expect the occasional tragedy. While it may feel as though you are riding with the gods, in the end we are beasts of flesh and bone.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 29, 2005 01:05 AM

Good read, sounds like something I would do were I fortunate enough to have random people messaging me. Personally, I say she deserves what she gets as I doubt this is the first time that she has done this and with her method of doing things, an “observant professor” isn’t likely to catch her because the papers(provided she has done this in the past) aren’t ones she found in some repository somewhere just waiting for someone to copy and paste them. It is a harsh lesson, but one that is best learned now instead of later, or so I say.

Posted by: optikwhite at March 29, 2005 01:24 AM

Dharma and greg??!! LOL!!!!!! Bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! The other funny part? “I made a doody”! LOL. What a buffoon!

Posted by: Dave at March 29, 2005 01:43 AM

Teachers is tricky. Can’t fool them like you can Dale Earnheart. Never broke a bone in my life so I know nothin about them castes. I heard they itch pretty bad. Just think, a million billion Lauras will be running shit in a couple years… Who’s gonna die to be our healing salve then?

Posted by: nerd at March 29, 2005 01:46 AM

Yeah, sorry Dave, there’s a reason I warned people that the paper itself may not be funny. Of course, maybe you’re not being sarcastic. It’s really impossible to tell.

God, I’ve never been part of a “quasi-famous internet thing” before, and I’m afraid I’ve become addicted to refreshing the comments. I think I should lay off right about now. See you guys in the morning!

More Laura Pahl updates coming probably Wednesday, but come back here and see if anybody else from A Week of Kindness has something to post. I think the odds are yes.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 29, 2005 01:49 AM

You know, you probably shouldn’t cash that check. Taking money for a service you aren’t actually going to provide(even if the service isn’t legitimate,) under the pretense that you WILL provide it isn’t just an academic crime – it is an actual criminal offense, to say nothing of the civil liability. You can laugh it off, and maybe nothing would ever come of it, but if you give this girl no reason to keep quiet, you might easily end up one day writing humor about the time your cellmate decided to see how much of his arm would fit up your ass. Oh, and bankrupt too. I doubt that’s worth $75.

Posted by: Nobody You’d Know at March 29, 2005 01:56 AM

Oh ho ho, that was evil! As a former lazy college student who took a failing grade rather than cheat, I applaud you. A trained monkey could cobble together a paper from the ‘net with less hassle and detrimental side-effects and probably squeak by with a C. Honestly, kids these days! Do I feel bad for her? Yes, but mostly because she tried to take the easy way out and it gnawed on her ass. Tragic, but funny.

Posted by: Gem-chan at March 29, 2005 02:25 AM

Hey now Mr. Nate Kushner, did you ever think about what it would be like to be in Ms. Laura Pahl’s shoes right now? How would YOU feel if you tried to cheat on a paper and were caught at it? NOT TOO GOOD, I’ll bet! So maybe you should think about that next time you feel like exercising your right to HURT other people’s FEELINGS, just because they stayed up all night at the Sigma Chi bash and were a shade on the hungover side the next morning (and very probably promised NEVER TO DO IT AGAIN)! You know, the Nazi’s had a system where the Jews would turn each other in, too…

Posted by: SOS at March 29, 2005 02:36 AM

To Nobody You’d Know: I’d like to point out that Nate did provide a service as agreed to in his verbal contract with young Laura. He promised to write a paper and delivered on that promise. We at A Week of Kindness follow through with our promises, even if they are ill.

As for problems with cashing the check, if this girl follows through with sending the check, of which I’m suspect she’ll ever do, I don’t see any legal problems with cashing the check. This is my expert opinion as a PARALEGAL TEMP. I can’t stress the fact enough that I am a PARALEGAL TEMP and should be respected. I wish I could stress it more, but I can’t. Laura wanted a paper and she got a paper; that was the agreement, nothing more. Nate is not a student at Lewis University, has no established relationship with the school and therefore is not subject to the school’s rules of academic honesty. Laura does have a relationship with the school and therefore is required to maintain a level of academic honesty.

That Nate helped her break her honor code does not implicate Nate in any legal wrong-doing, because he wasn’t aiding a criminal act. He was aiding an unethical and stupid act, but not an illegal act. It’s like if I offer you lots of cream-based soups, and you get fat, you can’t say its my fault that you got fat because eating cream-based soup is not a criminal act. I would make you soups that were heavy, but left enough room to still enjoy an entree. Many would be seafood-based, perhaps a lobster bisque to get the party started, and then maybe a little experimental with a shrimp and broccoli cream. After that, we’d move through the range of cheese-based cream soups, ranging from a cheddar and beer soup, to a hearty brie-stock soup. Then we’d enjoy the vegetables, starting with a pumpkin cream soup and then working my way to a potato leek cream. Finally, we’d explore the meat-based creams, which, of course, are the heaviest of the cream soups. I’d toy with making a ham and bean cream soup, careful not to cross the line between heavy cream soups and chili. My point is, academic dishonesty breaks a school’s honor code, but breaking an honor code isn’t criminal. It’s the action of a douche bag, but its not criminal.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 29, 2005 02:58 AM

Unpunished plagiarists wreck the grading curve

Posted by: John Shaft at March 29, 2005 03:12 AM

Beautiful. The girl earned her grade, and maybe this story will teach others.

Posted by: Magistera at March 29, 2005 03:39 AM

Bloody hilarious, Nate!

I must admit, I found myself stressed and desperate enough to surf those paid essay sites and see what was available on my topic. Once.

I promptly removed myself from the computer and went to throw myself on the mercy of the professor, because that’s a DAMN STUPID thing to do. Pisses me off when people get away with it, too. It means both the student and the professor are lazy and/or stupid.

Posted by: lildutchgrrl at March 29, 2005 03:47 AM

In my opinion, Nate, you were more keen on having some fun rather than teaching a lesson to this girl. You obviously wont accept it now, but you were laughing at someone else’s misery! Though, I am not, in any way, that she was right yet you intentions were good either.

Posted by: Milan at March 29, 2005 04:04 AM

If you think this is bad, you should see what Nate did to Helen Keller.

Posted by: Chrissy at March 29, 2005 04:06 AM

LMFAO That is some funny shit.

Posted by: Meriah at March 29, 2005 04:16 AM

Hey… you are the fucking spawn of satan. I hope someone castrates you and feeds you your own bloody cock.

Posted by: anonymous at March 29, 2005 04:17 AM

Satanic? Hardly. Not enough is at stake.

It does have the ring of something otherworldy though, doesn’t it? Nate followed the letter of the law… yet he emerges from his part of the story aloof from the impending conflict and gleeful to watch it unfold, like some snarky fairie from a celtic folk tale.

Posted by: kirk thompson at March 29, 2005 04:34 AM

Nath,

You mentioned a sort of disclaimer that cleared your conscience before proceeding with your act of evil. She was wrong. There is no getting around that; but were you right? I remember times I acted as judge and jury in a real “christian” way to act out against people and now I would feel better not acting out the same way. I think you seem a little too proud of yourself for what you participated in. Legally I wonder if you are innocent from your actions as well.

also: ever wonder if she might turn out to be an evil bitch from what you did to her and go kill your mom and dad as you used their internet connection? What goes around comes around

Posted by: Albert at March 29, 2005 06:26 AM

Why are these stupid AOLers always mucking up the Internets?

Nathan, you’re my hero!

Posted by: illythia at March 29, 2005 07:39 AM

Nate, I knew someday I’d read about you online. I trust this is the first of many. Meghan would like to remind you that headstands are the spiritual genius of the Slavic people. 😉

And Mike Still? What the hell have you been up to? Well, nevermind, I guess I know now. :-p

Nate, IM me a paper sometime. Wait, no, I mean your address. Need to send you somethin. And hey, good show.

Posted by: Eric at March 29, 2005 08:01 AM

As an adjunct college professor, private tutor and struggling research scientist, I think this is a lesson that came .. very late for this woman. I have been approached several times by premed and (once) med students, asking me to do their homework for them. I always refused, despite being quite hungry myself on at least one occasion, and instead, gave them a free lecture about ethics and scholarly behavior. What was my reward? Nothing whatsoever. They went out and found someone else to do their homework. I think this is the perfect solution. Thanks for the story!

Posted by: GrrlScientist at March 29, 2005 08:04 AM

Just one word for you, Nate: “Schweet!” Have you considered 419 scammer stings ala the ‘Ebola Monkey Man’? You’d totally rock… 🙂

Posted by: thotpoizn at March 29, 2005 08:05 AM

Well done mate. Your story has hit Australia. Great work it was a good read.

Cheers again,
Chook.

Posted by: Chook at March 29, 2005 08:10 AM

“like some snarky fairie from a celtic folk tale.”

Then the world needs more snarky fairies, if but to stem the tide of academic dishonesty and the “money solves anything” mantra.

Good on you, Nate.

Posted by: orome at March 29, 2005 08:27 AM

Oh that’s wonderful! I work in education and I wish more stupid plagiarists were caught out in such a funny way. This should be shown to all students as a cautionary tale 🙂

Posted by: Girly Incognito at March 29, 2005 08:29 AM

To top it off, she waited until the last minute? Yeesh.

Posted by: Ann Marie at March 29, 2005 08:57 AM

I hope you know that this girl will get kicked out of school, and probably won’t be able to get into any other colleges because her name will be blacklisted. I think you’re right to make her pay for this obviously plagiarized paper, but I do not agree with emailing it to her professor. Hopefully she has some sense and will pull an all-nighter to redo the paper herself.

Posted by: Steve Park at March 29, 2005 09:14 AM

“Working for a goverment agency? Anyone this stupid and dishonest does not deserve to be taking my tax money.”

Do you honestly believe that any more than one in five government workers are honest? I certainly don’t, and I am completely confident that the politicans are far less honest than them.

It’s sad and wrong, but that’s the way the world is.

Posted by: Mitchell at March 29, 2005 09:24 AM

“snarky” is my favorite word. which is fortunate, since i’m also terribly fond of celtic folk tales & faeries–and i’m not sure there’s such thing as a non-snarky faerie (or, probably, a non-snarky celt).

i’m seconding the “students ought to read this” vote. i’ll feel twinges of guilt about laura if i show it to them–you really *could* have left her name out of it–because she’s real, and somehow telling even the truth about her behind her back feels mean (i think it’s that that bugs me, not what you did with regards to her paper–i don’t mind her getting screwed for being deliberately stupid).

for me, though, the real lesson–what i’d want to spend time with my students on–is in the range of responses you’ve gotten, in all the different ways people are taking this up, are viewing the issue, are revealing our collective value-range with their protests & supports. this is like a mini-seminar on issues-about-plagiarism that goes much deeper into implications than any canned lesson on the topic i’ve ever seen. it’s fantastic. so thanks for the story and especially for the forum. and for fighting for academic justice, of course!

Posted by: tto at March 29, 2005 09:26 AM

It’s quite possible that nothing will happen to this girl and the professor that brings the charges against her will suffer in the end.

My wife went through this when teaching a college course and the girl got off scott-free since colleges are loathe to open themselves up to lawsuits, no matter how unwarranted.

Another friend pretty much lost her chance for tenure because of her insistance that the plagurist get the justice she so richly deserved. The college refused to take action and insisted that the plagurist be given a grade on the paper rather than expelled.

I hope this college does the right thing, but don’t count on it.

Posted by: hbee at March 29, 2005 09:43 AM

I’m a firm believer that we cannot achieve justice through torture, lasting peace through war, or academic integrity through utter deception and bad faith, which is exactly what’s Nate’s actions amount to.

Imagine yourself in this girl’s position: even if you were to recognize that what you’ve done is absolutely reprehensible, would consider yourself redeemed by Nate’s vigilante behavior? This girl is going to be bitter, plain and simple. Nate’s actions may deter others from trying to do the same, but at what cost?

I am frankly disgusted by the holier than thou tone of many of the people that have contributed to this discussion. This girl may have committed a particularly egregious act of academic dishonesty, but who the hell are we to gather round and hurl stones? Are we all really so free of guilt? Now that this girl has become the object of our criticism, it is very easy for us not to think about potential examples of our own lack of academic integrity. But the fact is, if you’ve ever done homework or talked about an online quiz with a classmate, you’re a cheater, too. Less severe? Sure. But so much less severe that we should feel justified in trying to get this girl KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL?

In my mind, the ultimate question is this: what position are we in to judge others and to determine what is good for them, especially when our “help” actually leads to a tremendous amount of hardship for them? I think there are some particularly striking examples of this kind of behavior in the world today. No matter what judgment you personally make, I think it’s important to give this matter some careful thought.

Nate, I just hope that one day if you do something bad, no one is there to judge you the same way that you have taken it upon yourself to judge this girl. Yes, she is an absolute idiot, and she lacks integrity, but do you really feel like you’ve done something good for her and for the cause of academic integrity?

Posted by: Ravi Romel Sharma at March 29, 2005 10:16 AM

hbee ,

You have made the saddest point in all of this nonsense. There’s some funny stuff here but what you say is very sobering and likely true.

Posted by: moe at March 29, 2005 10:22 AM

‘like to field these questions, if I may:

“…should feel justified in trying to get this girl KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL?”

yes.

“…like you’ve done something good for her and for the cause of academic integrity?”

yes.

Life’s hard – get over it or give it up.

Posted by: moe at March 29, 2005 10:28 AM

Way to go man! I’m sorry but she deserves to atleast get smacked upside the head with this one. I’m a graduate student too and already have one Masters degree, but I’ve worked too damn hard for them and I don’t want anybody defiling the honor of a diploma for me.

If this young woman gets suspended or expelled from school then good. As far as I’m concerned, that is what she deserves. More than likely, she will only fail the course. She solicited this and has known since the beginning the repercussions of cheating, of which plagarisism is a form. She needs to learn that there are consequences for her actions, whether money is an object or not. So, I say go for it Nate! Let us know what happens.

I have some friends that go to Lewis and provided me with the name of the course Nate. They are pretty sure it is COURSE: 19-298 Christianity and World Religions.

Posted by: bluesgirl1978 at March 29, 2005 10:28 AM

This is a horrible-wonderful thing. Outside of the sheer cruelty of it, which I can’t help but quietly applaud, what are people really reacting to here?

1.That Nate is an elitist dick. Yes, clearly true; he’s in a sketch comedy group with known dicks like this `Mike Still’ fellow.

2.That he singled out the girl’s name. It’s sort of an unspoken fear – that your `anonymous’ actions on the panopticon internet will turn around and snack on your ass.

3.That you feel bad because what if Laura is hot? Come on, dude, she sounds hot! She’s on the Dean’s List, she’s evidently got money burning a hole through her purse, she waits to the last minute, she doesn’t know anything about Hinduism… could be hot!

4.That Nate made more money than you did Sunday. Hell, I bet all of you SPENT more money on easter candy and easter hookers alone this weekend. Meanwhile, Nate’s making the dough roll in, right from his home computer. And you can do it too! `New York One’ made me a bet that I couldn’t make $4,300.00 in one hour with only a gun and some tourists, BUT I PROVED THEM WRONG! And now I want to bring my knowledge of making money happen TO YOU!! (click here to start your dreams NOW)

Posted by: thommy no pants at March 29, 2005 10:32 AM

“and I don’t want anybody defiling the honor of a diploma for me.”

HA! Too late for that! I already have one! And get this – it’s in THEATRE. Yes, while you were all knocking your heads against the wall writing tomes on engineering and business and polymer science, I was running around in circles drunk with a teletubby costume on, and getting good grades for it.

Posted by: thommy no pants at March 29, 2005 10:36 AM

I teach at a college, and I wish that more students that cheat could be publically embarrassed in this way. Academic cheating is corrosive to our educational system and to society, since it teaches students that gaming the system is important, and being a productive citizen isn’t. I don’t know how this student expects to succeed in the “real” world, which, over the longer term, is entirely unforgiving to people who coast through life. It speaks volumes that people here seem to think that she was treated unfairly.

BTW, the cheater will not be kicked out of school–most likely it will be treated as a victimless crime, in the way that academic fraud usually is these days, and she will get a chance to redo the paper without cheating.

Posted by: stoney at March 29, 2005 10:44 AM

Hehee.
Poor girl.
Maybe someone can try to get a picture of her face when she finds out…
But honestly, only 5 pages is too much for her?

Posted by: Helen at March 29, 2005 10:50 AM

That is absolutely great. All these fools who think you were too harsh on her ought to back to hugging their stuffed animals, watching Carebears and shut the fuck up.

As someone who’s often on the Dean’s List and works her ass off to get there, I don’t want to see anyone on that list who isn’t working to be on it too. If your plagarizing your way through college, you deserve to get kicked in the pants and then straight out of school. Do not pass go and do not collect $200.

Posted by: ParadiseOrPoison at March 29, 2005 10:55 AM

Awesome read. I hope this bitch gets expelled. I remember when I was in college some people breezed through while I busted my ass to get stuff done on time. I remember taking nodoze and doing all nighters to get projects done. I sincerly hope this bitch gets expelled and blacklisted so she can’t go to any other school.

Posted by: William at March 29, 2005 11:02 AM

Thou art God.

Posted by: Darth Sidhe at March 29, 2005 11:09 AM

Oh, the harmless prank! I love it.

One way or the other, she’ll learn something!

Posted by: ben at March 29, 2005 11:19 AM

I only read a few of the comments… Sorry, but if she’s not only dumb enough to plagiarize, but also dumb enough to trust a complete stranger to do it for her, she deserves whatever she gets.

I’ll admit, I’ve faked a few lab results in my day, but I’ve never plagiarized any part of a paper. But if for some reason I were so incredibly desperate that I would consider doing so, I would at least try to use a source I could trust rather than some random person on IM. 5 pages, though? I can churn out 5 pages in under 3 hours. It might be total crap, but it’d be better than getting kicked out for plagiarism.

We teach people from the time they’re old enough to walk that you shouldn’t trust total strangers. If she’s gotten to college without that sinking in, it’s her problem.

Posted by: brandy at March 29, 2005 11:19 AM

I’m shocked at the suggestion by many that Nate is somehow wrong for doing this. Makes you wonder sometimes how widespread the practice of “papers for cash” really is.

That girl deserves whatever’s coming to her, I say. Then again from reading the original article I get the impression that this “Laura K. Pahl” might well be a blogger attempting an amateur sting operation on people who write papers for cash so she can report about it on her site…

Posted by: CleverShark at March 29, 2005 11:20 AM

This girl may have committed a particularly egregious act of academic dishonesty, but who the hell are we to gather round and hurl stones? Are we all really so free of guilt?

Why, yes, actually. I never cheated in college.

I’m shocked at the suggestion by many that Nate is somehow wrong for doing this.

Me too!

Posted by: Anne at March 29, 2005 11:30 AM

As someone who reads a lot of these papers (read: TA), THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS! Really. I personally want all of my students to succeed, and care a lot about them. That one of them is hosing the rest of them off through these types of shenanigans, trying to get a grade with no work while everyone else puts a shitload of effort into what they’re doing to try and get the grade – those people deserve the worst kinds of punishment. Bravo. And thank you, from Academia. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Posted by: redbeard at March 29, 2005 11:30 AM

There’s some serious issue with the comments, here. My name appeared on the comment below the one I actually made…

Posted by: Darth Sidhe at March 29, 2005 11:32 AM

“This girl may have committed a particularly egregious act of academic dishonesty, but who the hell are we to gather round and hurl stones? Are we all really so free of guilt?”

Yep. Never plagiarised in my life.

And for all the people bemoaning that she might get tossed out of school: remember, the reason she would get tossed out of school is for plagiarism. Nate just helped her get caught. If you have a moral problem with informing the authorities when you see a crime in progress, then you might want to reevaluate your own morality.

Posted by: Mike Crefin at March 29, 2005 11:33 AM

Darth, I made a change to the style of the page that may make it more clear who each comment belongs to. Let us know if that fixes things for you.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 29, 2005 11:36 AM

Life ain’t all gumdrops and rainbows. Making sure that she gets the appropriate punishment for the wrong thing she is doing is not evil, or bad, or cruel. It’s FAIR. If getting expelled is the punishment for plagiarism, and you don’t want to be expelled, THEN DON’T PLAGIARIZE. No one forced this fool to engage in acts that were punishable with expulsion.

Posted by: Erik at March 29, 2005 11:37 AM

No trouble is too much trouble to jack around idiot college kids, as said by Chivas him(or her)self.

Posted by: Anna at March 29, 2005 11:39 AM

No Nate, i wasn’t being sarcastic at all. I actually read the entire paper and laughed out loud both at the “I made a doody”, and “Dharma and Greg” parts. They were brilliance! Utter brilliance. Why? Because anyone who REALLY sat down to read the paper should catch both of those things…and I bet this dolt of a rich “I’ve got too much money to actually do my own homework…I’ve got to drink and snort coke off my boyfriend’s ass” girl didn’t notice EITHER of them. The paper itself wasn’t meant to be hilarious (otherwise it would give the joke away prior to her handing in the paper)…but for those of us who actually read it, looking for the inconsistencies, it was a good laugh. The rest of it is funny as all hell!

BTW, I was calling her a buffoon…not you. 🙂 Sorry if you thought I was taking the piss out of you…I wasn’t. I bow my head to your brilliance. Dharma and greg…the Hindu gods of canned laughter. 🙂

Posted by: Dave at March 29, 2005 11:55 AM

I guess a lot of you haven’t been to university recently.

I’ve been to three universities in two different countries on two seperate continents in the last three years. Despite all their differences of language, size and course content, they each have one thing in common, every last course:

The Plagiarism Spiel. First day of class, in every class, you get The Plagiarism Spiel. Plagiarism is bad, plagiarism is dishonest, plagiarism robs you of academic growth, plagiarism will get you expelled. They hammer on it for hours on end, sometimes. By the end of that first class, you know damn well that you’d better not be plagiarisin’ if you want to keep your ass in school. There is no possible way you could be ignorant of the consequences of this action.

So, Ms. Pahl took this action, knowing full well what could result. And now people have the gall to say she doesn’t deserve to reap what she sowed? A murderer knows he’ll get 25-to-life if he kills someone, and when he (or she) gets all stabby, what right-minded individual defends them when there’s so much evidence proving their crime? As has been repeated so many times, you do the crime, you do the time. I have absolutely no sympathy for her.

I tip my hat to you, Nate! Excellent work in defense of academic integrity. If only this happened more often, I might have some hope of getting a job when I finish my degree. Sadly it has been so devalued by idiots like Ms. Pahl that I’ll probably end up living in a dumpster.

Posted by: Randomus at March 29, 2005 11:56 AM

Absolutely brilliant. As a former graduate student who had to research and write countless papers, I completely agree with what you did (not the least of which is because I am some what evil myself).

To those of you who are whining that this was unfair and mean, I have but four words…

I made a doody

Posted by: Todd at March 29, 2005 11:57 AM

You know, I hate dumb people as much as the next guy but… This was a really fucked up sadistic thing to do. Certainly didn’t swing karma your way…

Posted by: Albert at March 29, 2005 11:58 AM

I mean, don’t get me wrong, i hated people as a general group long before i was ever shown this webstie, but the actions and comments represented on this page have refreshed my displeasure with humanity (or perhapps more aptly the lack thereof in America right now). As i understand it, being found guilty of plagarism offences will get you thrown out of college with no chance of return to any college, and will severely hinder your value in the workplace to the point where probably only service positions are available to you. That means that Nate has actually ruined the life of an actual person because of his idealism. Furthermore, the mechanism of his punishment was deception and deciet. most saliently, Nate has lost sight of “the golden rule” in his actions (a guideline that defines ethics and morality on a basic level) while pretending and preaching that his actions were based in a strict ethical and moral structure. i hope he’s a bush supporter.

Posted by: slicetronix at March 29, 2005 12:02 PM

I agree with most of what has been said above: it was entirely Laura’s fault what happened and she deserves any punishment coming to her. Nate did not *lure* her into plagiarising her paper, she came to him. And I think he did the right thing by forcing her to get caught for her actions — a lot of the time, that’s the only way people learn. If he had preached to her about how wrong plagiarism is, she would have ignored him. By making her — hopefully — get caught, he’s forcing her to own up to her actions. Kudos to you, Nate.

Posted by: Kyra at March 29, 2005 12:03 PM

*Moahahaha*! Nate, that’s wicked. If I weren’t spoken for, I’d so drag you out for a date, you must be a hoot to hang out with.

Posted by: dab at March 29, 2005 12:04 PM

Thank you Nathaniel, for providing the object lesson to this woman that it is morally wrong to not separate fools from their money. As a TA myself, I have had to “bust” students who took easier routes to plagiarism, and so as students, like cockroaches, adapt to the poisons and figure out new strategies to get around working instead of partying, we must use whatever roach retardants we can. Bravo. She should have not wrothed the gods.

Posted by: jaymo at March 29, 2005 12:07 PM

Everyone getting upset, I have to question what you majored in during your college stay? Obviously not something that required a lot of writing.

For a soon to be graduated ex-history major, a topic like this would be a blessing on par with “What are your favorite movies and why?” and “Whats fluffier, kittens or puppies?”

Anyone who cannot write an essay on a topic that vague deserves whatever can be thrown at them.

Posted by: John at March 29, 2005 12:07 PM

I completely agree with those of you who think she had it coming. It’s empty to say plagiarism is wrong but people should get away with it. If your issue is that expulsion is too harsh a punishment, then your problem is with the universities who determined that punishment.

And come on! “Eating Hindu sculptures”?! She couldn’t even be bothered to read the profile?

Posted by: Thaumaturge at March 29, 2005 12:10 PM

She’s right to get busted. I go to a mediocre state school because I fucked off in high school, and I see millions of bullshit papers just like this one turned in by my fellow students. I can assume that they haven’t plagarized them, but that’s based on the papers being poorly written and moronic. (Perhaps I should reconsider after this article…)
Not everyone should be in college, and you shouldn’t be there if you can’t turn out bullshit. C’mon. I had to write a 5-page paper about Hindu castes my sophomore year (for a bullshit Intro to Cultural Anthro class) and turned it out in under three hours.
And yes, it included internet “research,” but I was smart enough to cite the sources that they cited, mix in a couple books that I skimmed from the library, and a bunch of overlong block quotes. If I can get an A for my bullshit, her paper would propably have gotten her a C if the school wasn’t alerted.

My favorite comment? “Nate’s actions may deter others from trying to do the same, but at what cost?”
Do you listen to yourself? The cost? What, have we lost those halcyon days of yore, when you could randomly solicit internet strangers for complicity in plagarism? OH NOES!!!111 WE’VE LOST OUR INNOCENSES!

Posted by: js at March 29, 2005 12:11 PM

OMG this is awesome! That girl has to be a total social idoit to even consider plagarism. I hope she gets suspended and I hope you get that check framed!

I am dying for more details, what did the school say in response? Has she contacted you again? Please tell us more!

Posted by: nadalia at March 29, 2005 12:12 PM

A friendly reminder:

A Week of Kindness.com isn’t just a place to moralize about plagiarism, it’s also the website of New York’s most astounding sketch comedy group. Our next performance is on…

-Thursday, April 7th, 8:00 PM at The National Comedy Theatre
-With: Fearsome – The Scallywags – Skitch, Skatch, Scotch – Monkeys In The Atrium and more!
-347 West 36th Street (Between 8th and 9th Avenues), New York, NY – Cover $10
-Email thefunnynyc@gmail.com with your name and the number of people in your party to make reservations.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 29, 2005 12:15 PM

Laura K. Pahl has just enrolled herself in the School of Hard Knocks.

Posted by: Sully at March 29, 2005 12:20 PM

Hot child in the city!

Posted by: Nick Gilder at March 29, 2005 12:21 PM

Anyone who wants to can promote this story by heading over to http://digg.com/links/digg and “digging” it where I’ve posted it. Hint. Hint.

Posted by: Eric at March 29, 2005 12:23 PM

Actually, the most important thing about all this is that:

Dawghaus, the kings of court-ordered comedy rock, are also appearing Thursday, April 7th, 8:00 PM at The National Comedy Theatre in NYC. Just everyone keep that in mind.

Posted by: thommy no pants at March 29, 2005 12:25 PM

I have to say Nate, I think you did a good thing. What a stupid idiot to try to pull this off…if she had all night to do it she could’ve done it herself. She could’ve even taken a late penalty and done it well! She screwed herself.

Posted by: collegestudent at March 29, 2005 12:28 PM

http://digg.com/links/Laura_K_Pahl_is_a_plagiarist_ is the direct link to the digg story – “digg this link” to promote it.

Posted by: Anon at March 29, 2005 12:28 PM

“This girl may have committed a particularly egregious act of academic dishonesty, but who the hell are we to gather round and hurl stones? Are we all really so free of guilt?”

Damn skippy. I’ve never plagarized anything in my life.

All of you that think this girl shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of her actions should consider that perhaps academia isn’t for this young woman, and Nate might be doing her a favour. There are a whole range of careers from real estate agent to used car salesman that might suit her better. Or is dishonesty not so harmless when you think of it in that context?

Posted by: Jill at March 29, 2005 12:28 PM

This is bullshit viral advertising for some lame comedy group… What do I win? Go ahead, Google: “laura pahl” Lewis University… you get NOTHING… just a spoof description. And look at the courses available under theology and philosophy at Lewis Univ. WHICH IS A CHRISTIAN COLLEGE!!!!! I don’t see anything that would even CLOSELY require one to write a paper on Hinduism… I say this stinks of ass….

Posted by: Andrew Moorehouse at March 29, 2005 12:30 PM

Andrew, I assure you this is real. The blog was a bit of an afterthought for AWOK, and this is really just half genius writing and half dumb luck that it’s taking off the way it is.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 29, 2005 12:33 PM

“By the end of that first class, you know damn well that you’d better not be plagiarisin’ if you want to keep your ass in school. There is no possible way you could be ignorant of the consequences of this action.”

Unless, of course, she missed the first day of class…

Posted by: Dieter at March 29, 2005 12:35 PM

slicetronix: “That means Nate has actually ruined the life of an actual person because of his idealism.”

Err, no. If in fact this girl is punished, expelled and can’t get a job because of a plagiarized paper (which is very much in doubt), she RUINED HER OWN LIFE.

You may think Nate was harsh and sadistic, and did this out of a sick sense of humor and cruelty; you may think his actions were unwarranted or rooted in unrealistic and poncey idealism. But think what you want about that, if there are consequences, this girl brought them on herself. Nate didn’t ruin her life – she did. Fucking deal with it already.

Posted by: Jennaratrix at March 29, 2005 12:35 PM

Our comedy group is not lame! It is awesome! Go see our shows!

Listen, I wish that plagiarism didn’t exist, but it does. As I’ve always said, and have no need to attribute to anyone because it is my own work, a house divided against itself cannot stand. So let’s not start flinging accusations.

By the way, plenty of Christian universities have world survey courses. She’s not in seminary or becoming a monk. And even if she were, they do world survey courses in seminaries too.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 29, 2005 12:36 PM

If this thread is just advertising for their comedy group, then why is it so patently unfunny?

Posted by: thommy no pants at March 29, 2005 12:40 PM

We got the Lewis University part from a newspaper article where she made the Dean’s List there. We had to go into the google cache to get it. And not being able to find something on google is not proof that someone doesn’t exist. So, you know.

Ok, please, people. I have unfortunately had to delete some comments from someone who thought they had Laura’s e-mail address, and those of Lewis faculty.

Let’s please have nobody e-mailing her before I have. And the same with clogging up the emails of Lewis University people. We could ruin everything if we get too aggressive right now. Updates to this story will probably be up real late tonight. Keep snarking!

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 29, 2005 12:42 PM

What you are doing is wrong, deud. I write papers for people all the time. It is a substantial part of income. I’ve written everything from college admission essays to a dissertation.

There is nothing wrong with plagarism, so long as you have the writers consent.

There is something wrong, however, with a system that turns education into a a money making certificate. That’s the problem. Education should be pursued by people who genuinely want to learn, for no other reason than to get the information that they want to learn. Then there would be no plagarism, and I’d have to find other work.

Until them, fuck the bullshit systems in place to turn us all into good little cogs. Accredidation my ass! Anybody reading this wants a good and trustworthy writer to do their schoolwork for money, feel absolutely comfortable contacting me. Unlike this evil fucker, who masqueades as some sort of elightened and “educated” “comedian,” I’m a libertarian who respects your write to attend to your edu-scam responsibilities in whatever fashion you choose. If that means you want to sub-contract out the work, well then I’d like to put in my bid.

eric strauss

Posted by: mr strauss at March 29, 2005 12:47 PM

Most likely it’s for this course:

19-298 Christianity and World Religions (3)
This course compares the teachings of Christianity with the teachings and practices of selected non-Christian religions, possibly including Native-American religious traditions, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The aims of the course are to clarify similarities and differences between Christianity and other religions, to reflect on the problem posed by religious pluralism in modern culture, and to develop a Christian theology of world religions.

Posted by: collegestudent at March 29, 2005 12:49 PM

Interesting though, they aren’t offering that course this semester http://www.lewisu.edu/academics/pdf-files/2005SpringCourseSched.pdf
and the rest have to do with Christianity. So this is a POS…next time make sure you do something that is actually plausable.

Posted by: collegestudent at March 29, 2005 12:55 PM

damn. i can’t believe how many people have commented on this.

despite my bleeding heart disposition, i have to say that the moment i stopped feeling sorry for the girl is when Nate wrote, “I am qualified, seeing as how it says Hindu in my profile.”

However, I feel he should have bargained for more money! Started at 200 dollars or something and haggled with her a bit!!!

Posted by: becky at March 29, 2005 12:56 PM

I’m sharing this story with all of my writing students.

Posted by: Hurgle at March 29, 2005 12:59 PM

“Anybody reading this wants a good and trustworthy writer to do their schoolwork for money…”

“I’m a libertarian who respects your write… ”

Hee hee… I would question the credentials of any `good and trustworthy writer’ who mixes up `write’ and `right’.

Posted by: thommy no pants at March 29, 2005 01:01 PM

> Anybody reading this wants a good and trustworthy writer to do their schoolwork for money,
> feel absolutely comfortable contacting me.

How do I know you’ll actually write it? It’s not like you have any standards.

Posted by: Smudge at March 29, 2005 01:02 PM

The blog entry was interesting, but the comments are without a doubt the most interesting part of this whole fiasco. I submit to you several points:

1. It is a shame when any individual is potentially denied the opportunity to further improve themselves through education.

2. As Ms. Pahl was contracting a stranger on the internet to fulfill one of her educational requirements, I contend that she was already denying herself the opportunity to further improve herself through education.

3. Chances are this was not the first, nor the last time Ms. Pahl would engage in this sort of thing, however, even if by some miracle it was her first mistake and would have been her last, she was cognizant of the potential ramifications of her actions.

4. Despite being aware of the inherant risks of what she was doing, Ms. Pahl went through with it – and not only did she follow the thing through to the end, but she *did not even stop to read the paper and check it through*, which illustrates to me that she did not just choose to break the rules…she had such a blatant disregard for them that she couldn’t even be bothered to make sure she was breaking them with a reasonable chance for success.

Chances are good that whatever professor she has will view this as an object lesson, especially in light of the website and the additional impact I’m sure that all of this will have on her – it’s fair to assume that these circumstances are so different from the norm that this circus might be viewed as an adequate punishment. She will probably be placed on academic probation.

In an ideal situation, what Nick has done for her would be the catalyst that clues her in as to how valuable the opportunity to get an education is, and also how impermanent a privalege it can be. With any luck, it will light a fire under her ass, and she’ll actually make something of her time.

Posted by: guile at March 29, 2005 01:03 PM

collegestudent, it could be an anthropology class or a history class for all we know. She never told Nate the actual name of the class. Hell, she lied about her university, so I doubt she’d be entirely forthcoming. Fer chrissakes, man.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 29, 2005 01:04 PM

I have to agree with some of the other comments on here that this is a publicity ploy. There is no class that this paper would fit for this semster at Lewis University. Do some research. Obviously this comedy group (?) thought it would be a great way to get bloggers and readers of blogs to their site by, gasp, doing some comedy. Take everything with a grain of salt people.

Posted by: intersting but publicity at March 29, 2005 01:05 PM

collegestudent: Wow, you sure are a crack journalist. Are you really Morley Safer? Or are you a ‘real’ college student? I’m sorry, collegestudent? I don’t know how they spell it now; I haven’t been in college for over 2 years LOL!!! Either way, you really blew a hole in this ‘fake’ story! You are so smart! Get yourself a pair of the smarty pants, mister (or missus)!

Posted by: Matt at March 29, 2005 01:07 PM

Nate ,

You may have pulled the trigger on this too early. I hope she’s still in the dark but this thing is travelling faster than a brush fire.

This may be a blog about a comedy troupe but things can take on a life of their own, n’est pas?

Posted by: moe at March 29, 2005 01:10 PM

Moe,

Even if she has caught on by now, its still a revelation to her and big old shock that her name, paper and everything is floating around the internet….still a good lesson, and maybe not as harsh as getting blacklisted from college

Posted by: pepi at March 29, 2005 01:12 PM

so she’ll get in trouble. maybe what nate did, was in some eyes “wrong”, but like others have said, she should have had half a brain to proof read it antway. If she wasn’t gonna do the work, she should have at least made sure her ass was covered in other areas. Nate probably shouldn’t cash the check for several reasons, but hey men, keep us up to date on her situation!!

Posted by: kalyssaphus at March 29, 2005 01:15 PM

Brilliant! I’m about to graduate, and I’ve seen in the last four years more bull-shittery than you can shake a stick at. Classmates turn in papers that I would have been embarassed to give my high school teachers! At least someone is going to have their comeuppance… Nate, you have made my day! My roommate is going to bring this up for iscussion in her sociology class.

Posted by: Christina at March 29, 2005 01:17 PM

I love some of these comments. “Well, who are you to judge? You’d better hope nobody ever catches you doing something like this, buddy!”

Well, I’m perfectly willing to judge: this silly little idiot got precisely what she deserved. She did something stupid and reprehensible, and now she’s going to pay for it.

Lots of people do silly things in a moment of desperation — like, say, hold up a liquor store. Should they not have to pay for it, simply because, you know, they really, really just wanted the money?

It’s not the same thing, I suppose, robbing a liquor store and committing academic plagiarism…except that both of them show an utter disdain for any of the minimal rules we’ve set up in society. Clearly, Ms. Pahl thinks she’s above the rules that everyone else has to follow.

Who am I to judge? Somebody who’s never cheated on a fucking examination, or turned in a plagiarized paper, no matter how tired or ill-prepared or desperate I was. Somebody who stuck to the rules.

Also, I’m somebody who doesn’t have a college degree, who has to compete in the workforce with people like Ms. Pahl, whose degree (if she somehow manages to get it) will open doors for her that will not open for me.

So my sympathy for her plight is, shall we say, minimal.

If you do something you know is wrong, you deserve to get punished for it. Period. She knew the consequences, she just chose to believe that she could avoid them or they didn’t apply to her.

Clearly, she was wrong.

Posted by: Joshua Ellis at March 29, 2005 01:19 PM

As a graduate student and former Philosophy and Religious Studies TA at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I can pretty much assure you that this chick is NOT going to get kicked out of school.

All you whiny “this girl is going to get expelled” people are so clueless. I worked for a major Big Ten university and caught no less than 10 plagiarists. Not one was expelled. Not one failed the course.

Nate, you did great. Plagiarism sucks balls. She gets what she deserves…she’ll probably be unscathed academically, but the social punishment will be lovely.

Posted by: Bethany at March 29, 2005 01:21 PM

“Keith, would you give a terrorist quarter, or help a child molester do his or her thing? No sir!”

To use this (really rotten) analogy, what Nate did is like giving the terrorist the quarter and helping the child molester do his thing, then running and telling on them. To aid an unethical act is unethical.

Posted by: Derek at March 29, 2005 01:23 PM

Check out the related thread at MetaFilter: http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/40795

Posted by: Moi at March 29, 2005 01:30 PM

Why are people defending Laura K. Pahl? If she didn’t want to get kicked out of school, she could have read the class syllabus and done her own work.

Being pressed for time is NOT an excuse, as teachers usually give a good couple weeks for papers over two pages long, and they allow you to ask for extensions besides!

If she’s on the Dean’s List, or was at least in 2003, one has to wonder how many other times she’s bought her homework — it may be unfair to assume she’s been cheating all along, but unfortunately, it’s a possibility that has to be entertained, and will be if this is brought before any higher ups at her school.

If you plagiarize, you deserve to be caught. End of story. She chose to do it, and assuming she read the syllabus and ANY syllabus since going to college, she knows the consequences.

She also had a whole day to back out. I’ve written 10 page papers, free of plagiarism, unrevised, fully documented, in four hours, and it was B quality. She had to write considerably less. (That, and most teachers ask for double spacing. 5 pages is NOT a lot when you double space; it’s actually 2 and 1/2 pages.) So not only was she a cheater, she was a damned lazy cheater, too.

I applaud you, Nate Kushner. I can’t wait to see an update on this.

Posted by: Magdaleina at March 29, 2005 01:30 PM

Derek, you’re probably right, except that nobody got killed, and everyone’s butt is still untouched.

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 29, 2005 01:30 PM

Awesome job. Not harsh in the least. All students are made aware of the consequences, and she still went through with it rather than spending maybe 2 hours writing a simple paper.

If she gets expelled, she brought it upon herself. Like everyone else in life usually does, she’ll have to learn the hard way.

Posted by: Starscream at March 29, 2005 01:33 PM

Do you realize you’re causing more bad karma? You may think you’re being an instrument of karma, but you’re really just ruining someone’s life. I hope she decides to take vengeance on you (if not in this life, then the next).

So what if she has money? Maybe she has huge student loans or (god forbid) works for it? Granted, she needs to learn a lesson about plagiarism, but doing this to her is unfair and cruel. If this girl gets kicked out of school for the sake of your silly prank, I hope she uses her riches to hire a goon squad to hunt you down and plug you in the kneecaps.

Posted by: Lo at March 29, 2005 01:37 PM

An amusing potential plot twist: Ms. Pahl turns out to actually have been doing a research paper on internet plagiarism. ^^

Posted by: guile at March 29, 2005 01:39 PM

Well, let me be level with you. We may very well find out that we were mistaken about what school she goes to. I will admit that right now. The information we have is that she was on the dean’s list there at some point.

At first she told me she had gone to Eastern Illinois University, where I couldn’t find her on the directory. Surprisingly enough, she was smart enough to lie about that. I think I would have found it odd too, for someone to ask me that while negotiating a plagiarism transaction.

So, I guess I might not have said so explicitly enough, but where she goes to school, in my opinion, is “Lewis University, with a slight chance of Eastern Illinois.”

Whether I’m wrong about that particular point, or not, what I said happened to me did happen. Those IM’s I got were, with the exception of changing the screen names, totally real, and the grey area is not whether or not she is innocent, but whether we let ourselves get misled about what school she went to.

I have not accused Lewis University of anything, only Laura Pahl.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 29, 2005 01:39 PM

This stinks of commie cover up.

Posted by: Voiceoftheopposistionss at March 29, 2005 01:41 PM

I only read about half the comments posted here, but I can’t believe how many posters have taken the dippy bitch’s side, whining about how she made the arrangements ‘in good faith’ and other similar bullshit. Plagierisim is fucking wrong, end of story.
It’s like saying “I gave a guy $50 for a bag of weed and he just ran off with my money.”

Life sucks, wear a fucking helmet.

BTW, Re:Derek at March 29, 2005 01:23 PM
The cops do this all the time, just without the middleman…it’s called a Sting operation.

Posted by: KerouacZac at March 29, 2005 01:48 PM

Haha. Kudos to you! I think what you have done was brilliant (mean, but brilliant) and wholeheartedly agree with you. I can’t help but wonder if you’ve ever gotten the check, and what happened afterwards.

I really do think it serves her right for asking you out of the blue to write a paper for her. I hate plagiarizers. Thanks for sharing this awesome story!

Posted by: Tyr at March 29, 2005 01:50 PM

Okay, just took a quickie overview of the course catalog for Lewis University, and I do note that there’s … you know … an entire course called (creatively enough) “India.” There’s also a class on Hindi and she might be doing a paper for that. Then there’s the “Culture and Civilization” course. Clearly she could find some reason to write about Hinduism. She never did say precisely what course she was taking. So everyone who’s so certain that this is a hoax can lay off now.

As a college student, I have to say that I’m offended. I can understand how sometimes there’s just so much to do, but honestly, she should have tried throwing herself at the mercy of her professor. At the very least, you’d think she would read through your profile and realized you were having her on. I don’t think she will be (or should be, honestly) expelled. But I have to say I think it would be completely fair if she automatically failed the class.

Posted by: Widge at March 29, 2005 01:51 PM

Good job nate. I’m just a TA, but I catch a fair number of cheaters (all the marking the profs unload on me). It’s pathetic, and even when I report it, nothing happens. While I become bitter and jaded, I’m glad someone out there is sticking it to ’em!

Posted by: Stuart Thiel at March 29, 2005 01:51 PM

I, the Awesome Ray of Power, do not like the stealing of ideas from other people because that is plagaristic! I summon forth a 50000 foot tall monster of cancer and lava to give you punishment. I can do this because I have powers given to me by human sadness …and also ants.

Posted by: The Awesome Ray of Power at March 29, 2005 01:52 PM

LOL

Way to smack the Durga down on her ass. Money is no object indeed. Heh.

And as far as Derek’s analogy above, maybe if this analogous terrorist was Wile. E. Coyote and you gave him an ACME bomb that detonated in his face, I could then see how that mixed analogy works. But in this case, the terrorist is blowing themselves up… or in the case of the child molester, the only person getting f**ked is themselves… and rightly so.

Posted by: Pat at March 29, 2005 01:55 PM

You know, whether this is real or not, the ethical debate seems a little skewed when looking at this from the viewpoint of the people who say that this was an evil and unethical thing to. Let’s put a little bit of reality into this. A co-worker was just recently busted for attempting to meet a mother and her two pre-teen daughters for the express purpose of having sex with the kids. How did he find this person, why the internet of course. Was it really a mother, of course not, it was a cop that eventually had his sting operation pay-off. Was that an unethical thing to do? If you people with the high moral fiber say no, then how is this? In the sting situation, the cop was actively trying to find people who were pedophiles. Is that the case here? Nope, she ran right up to him.

Was it a mean thing to do? Possibly, it depends on your own social compass. Unethical or potentially illegal? Puhlease, go take your pompous selves to another room, so we can play.

Posted by: Todd at March 29, 2005 01:58 PM

I think I’m in love. Except for the color of the text. I had to hilight this whole fucker.

I wish you…into the sweet arms of Chivas. I’d say Holy Crap but I hate puns.

Posted by: lolaphilologist at March 29, 2005 01:58 PM

To ‘Ravi Romel Sharma’ and anyone else who’s trying to tell us that we have no right to sit here and laugh at/condone Nate’s actions, because we are not free of ‘sin’ ourselves…
Well, I don’t know about you, but I have -never- plagiarised any of my schoolwork, never cheated on a test, blah. And I’m sure as hell I’m not the only one either. Have I been tempted? Sure have. But my own personal morals drove me away from actually continuing with that temptation. I recognised it, and told myself it was wrong.

To ‘Derek,’ the last person to comment at the time of my writing, and anyone else who feels the same way: if you want to get technical, Nate hasn’t ‘helped’ this girl plagiarise at all. He’s helping her get caught, which is what -should- happen.

To any of you people who are concerned about this girl getting booted from college and being blacklisted… you know what? From this, I don’t think it’d be a stretch to assume she’d go out and try to cheat in other ways. If she was caught, the kicking-out and blacklisting would’ve happened anyways. -If- she was caught — not being caught doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have been. Boo-fucking-hoo, she might be blacklisted… you know what? There’s a reason for that. She was warned of the consequences of cheating from the time she started at that college, I’m sure. Besides, unless she has a huge history of these offenses, I greatly doubt she’ll be kicked out at all.

As for her name being posted here, I’m pretty certain that’ll help with identification. Not only is the essay here in its entirety, but so is her name and school — for better confirmation.

By the way, likening Nate to helping out a rapist or child molester is just sick. Not to mention demeaning to people who were actually victimized by those crimes. Shame on you.

Once again, I am not free of ‘sin’ or whatever you call it in my life. However, thank Bog I am free of the ‘sin of submitting something that isn’t my own work but claiming it is, in fact, written by me.’ *resumes pointing and laughing*

As a college student in Canada, I thank you for doing this. I think the punishments for plagiarism should actually be greater than they are in some places. A history of offenses such as this should definetly mean expulsion in some form. People who are so willing to claim someone else’s work as their own, especially more than once, do -not- belong in the ‘real world.’

Posted by: Surianka at March 29, 2005 01:59 PM

I’m definately staying tuned to this one! But change the yellow text, eh?

Posted by: Wenchie at March 29, 2005 02:00 PM

What all you people have failed to realize is that Nate is part fuckin’ Candian. Does that put this in better perspective for you?

Posted by: Matt at March 29, 2005 02:02 PM

Wenchie, sorry about that. You caught the site at the exact moment I was making some fixes for Internet Explorer users. It was just a temporary test. As you can see, the text is back to normal, and the menu is where it should be — in the sidebar. Thanks!

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 29, 2005 02:03 PM

I hope you know that this girl will get kicked out of school, and probably won’t be able to get into any other colleges because her name will be blacklisted. I think you’re right to make her pay for this obviously plagiarized paper, but I do not agree with emailing it to her professor. Hopefully she has some sense and will pull an all-nighter to redo the paper herself.

P.S. I wrote this myself. Any similarities to already posted comments is purely coincidental.

Posted by: L.K.P. at March 29, 2005 02:06 PM

I definitely don’t have any problems with the principle of the bust–i.e. everything you did before blogging. I too have come dangerously close to failing because of my utter refusal to copy a line of homework, and been subsequently screwed by the curve.

But I have to agree that you might have done a little more research, and waited a while, before you blogged her last name, at the very least. This is a story that would have kept and maybe even improved with marination and verification. Laura K Pahl could actually be the person’s good-as-gold roommate for instance–a plausible scenario for getting hands on the checkbook, and even on the screenname.

For your sake, and any non-cheating Laura Pahl’s sake, I hope everything is as you think it is, and the correct transgression will be pinned on the correct person. They say karma will find its owner through the most circuitious of paths.

Posted by: Saheli at March 29, 2005 02:09 PM

I have to say that I don’t find this to be as witty as some of the people here seem to. I love how it’s justified as “combatting plagiarism” in much the same manner as the the invasion of Iraq was justified (3rd excuse, IIRC) as “combatting terrorism”.
The situation could have been just as easily handled by promising the paper and not delivering, though that wouldn’t have given Nate the ammunition to show the world how clever and witty he is. I hope I never have to go to such extremes to make people think I’m funny.

Posted by: Martin at March 29, 2005 02:12 PM

Nate,
what you did was brilliant. it doesn’t matter if she got caught, although it would be a lot cooler if she did. it was a nightmare for her. she thought she was slick but you were slicker and she had to go through so much sh*t. i hope she got caught. some people don’t understand something. it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught. that is true, but if you get caught, you’re screwed. when they kick you out i don’t think it’s that easy to get back in. i never committed plagerism in school, but i was caught cheating in college. i didn’t get kicked out though. i got an F in the class and i couldn’t drop the class or else i’d be kicked out of school. i learned my lesson and i earned my diploma. thanks nate for sharing this entertaining story. i can’t wait to see it on the stage.

Posted by: Ken Rigberg at March 29, 2005 02:13 PM

Utterly priceless.

I would highly suggest that the detractors and naysayers commit suicide at their earliest convenience.

The American mind is now ridiculed the world over because of the ability of people like Laura to succeed, which can largely be attributed to our society’s desire to avoid “making people feel bad”.

To Hell with that, I say. It’s a shame that individuals such as that can’t be offered a shot at redemption through trying to learn, then cleared out of the gene pool entirely upon failure.

Good work, guy.

Posted by: Xi at March 29, 2005 02:20 PM

I dunno, Romel, I don’t want to see her kicked out of school, and I doubt that she will be, as others have mentioned. But if you’re a Dean’s List student who thinks it’s a safe idea to go on the ‘net and offer to pay a totally random person to write your paper, you’ve missed enough lessons that it’s probably time one catches you the hard way.

To those saying the whole story might be made up – sure, it might be. If it’s fake, no harm has been done and Nate’s gotten a little attention for a well-written story. If it’s real, someone trying to buy their way into a degree has been confronted, at least in part. The only potential negative I see would be if she faked her name as well as her school. That could really suck for someone who IS named Laura K Pahl.

Posted by: Eric at March 29, 2005 02:20 PM

Whoever keeps posting the comment starting with “I hope you know that this girl will get kicked out of school…” do stop posting, or say something else. You’re not fooling anybody. There is no “similarity” between posts; they’re identical, and copied and pasted. I for one have read it each time you’ve posted. It’s no more effective the fourth and fifth time around. In fact, it makes her defense even weaker.

Posted by: Jane Doe at March 29, 2005 02:24 PM

Nate, I haven’t had a hero in a long time, will you be mine?

As for the people saying Nate did something wrong and will get what he deserves cause of Karma, please actually research Karma and understand what you are talking about, for all you know it could easily be his Dharma to creatively and painfully teach lessons to those who want to take short cuts.

Posted by: Gesi at March 29, 2005 02:28 PM

Moderately witty, with a side of cruel. I commend your work, but think you must be rather sadistic to spend so much time and effort to get her busted.

Posted by: Dork McDorkson at March 29, 2005 02:30 PM

Dear Nate,

Imagine my surprise when I was emailed information from the President of my university about an accusation of plagarism. It was only a matter of time before I happened upon this blog and the cruel joke that you have played here.

I am an Engineering major with a full course load in engineering courses, so I can assure you that I am not taking anything that would require me to solicit your services to write a poorly written paper on Hinduism.

Please be informed that my lawyer, Mr. Edwin Shansky will be in touch with you shortly to begin proceedings for a civil case against your libel, and I will see you in court. Let this be a lesson to you and all other sadistical SOBs who have nothing better to do than to try to dirty the good name of innocents like myself.

Regards

Posted by: Laura Pahl at March 29, 2005 02:31 PM

I have mixed feelings about everyones comments and Nate’s actions in general. I paid my roommate in college to write a paper for me and used another friends paper, reworked it, and turned it in for another class. Was that wrong? Sure, but it was not the worst thing I have done in my life. I say this only to lend some credence to my view on what Nate did. I do not think he was wrong in his action, as he did not seek to entrap anyone and was sought out through no fault of his own. Would those of you against what Nate did be so hard on him if he went to a concert and someone tried to sell him drugs and he pretended to be really interested so he could then bring back a cop to bust the person? Or someone online asks how to build a bomb so they can blow-up a school? Would you give them a lecture and hope they learn their lesson, or help to bring about the justice that their particular crime deserves?
I am also of the opinion that if she were to turn in that paper without reading it over then she is even more responsible for getting caught than anything Nate did or is doing now. I am sorry, but to do such a thing is just downright dumb. I do not care how desperate you are for a paper, if you need it that bad then you need to find the time to look it over.
Finally, as to sound even more on both sides of this issue, I think plagerism has become a grey-area in some ways. An example of such is when you research something and come across to seperate sources that say the exact same thing, all but word for word, no credit given either way, no footnote, nothing. Is it plagerism to take that idea and wording structure, change a sentence structure here, a sentence placment there, pass it off as your own? Just a question. I wish university plagerism was the worst problem we had in this world. Finally, whether she is rich or poor (or more likely, her parents, not her directly) is immaterial, and classist to think just because she might have money then she deserves to get screwed more.
I myself would not have busted her because I believe she put noone other than herself in danger by her actions and thus I feel she committed no crime (ethical or legally), but I also do not condemn Nate for doing what he has done based on his moral code, and sense of comedy and irony. Imean let’s be really honest here everyone. A lot worse things could happen to people who illicit illegal/immoral/unethical things online and give out their personal information.

Posted by: MiguelSanchez at March 29, 2005 02:32 PM

Thanks, Nate. I’m posting this as a warning to my own students that plagiarism doesn’t pay.

Posted by: An anonymous professor at March 29, 2005 02:33 PM

To Laura Pahl: Sadistical is not a word.
–Lit Major

Posted by: Was a lit major at March 29, 2005 02:34 PM

Well, assuming that the above note from Laura Pahl is not someone pretending to be her, your only real mistake was picking a random Laura Pahl. It’s pretty clearly not the real Laura Pahl, if indeed that was really her (and the email might bear this out), since this person has much better command of the English language. (I mean, it was *painful* to read all those “u” and “ur”s…)

Posted by: Kenneth G. Cavness at March 29, 2005 02:35 PM

Oh, grow up, Laura. You got caught cheating and have the balls to try to sue. I bet you not only lose the suit, you also get thrown out of school.

Next time, do your own work, it’s simpler and it gets you out of having to pay for papers AND for lawyers.

Dumb. So dumb.

Posted by: Charlayne D. at March 29, 2005 02:38 PM

What world do all of you people who are chastizing Nate live in? If Nate tried to take the high ground with this girl, she’d have told him to f*** off and just found some other sucker to write the paper.

Does this girl benefit from cheating on a paper? What kind of lessons is she learning about life? That it’s ok to cut corners as long as you don’t get caught? What if this girl ends up being the engineer who designs some airplane in the future? What if she cuts corners then and the plane subsequently crashes and kills your family? Are you just going to say, “Whoops, sorry everyone’s dead but karma just didn’t catch up to this particular girl yet?”

Karma is just a mystically confusing way of saying cause and effect. Nate was the instrument of karma.

Posted by: Craig at March 29, 2005 02:39 PM

Laura, if you are actually innocent in this, and if you are actually the one posting this, I have some evidence I have not yet posted that will reveal that at the very least, someone else was claiming to be you and using your name and checkbook.

Having what I have, you will see that it was only logical that I made the assumption I made as to the name of the person who solicited this paper.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 29, 2005 02:41 PM

Sweating are we Nate?

This would truly be hilarious if you were sued over this, although I’d feel a bit bad for you if that happened given the effort you put into the set up. Will this epic saga twist in such manner? Let us know what happens.

Posted by: Harry at March 29, 2005 02:46 PM

Well, I’m not sweating that much, seeing as you have exactly the same IP as that other person that posted.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 29, 2005 02:48 PM

Well, “Laura”. A search of the Martindale-Hubbell law directory (everyone getd their name put there after passing the bar) shows nil for any Edwin Shansky. So I’m gonna have to assume you’re full of shit.

Posted by: Benjamin Kushner at March 29, 2005 02:50 PM

>Is it plagerism to take that idea and wording
>structure, change a sentence structure here, a
>sentence placment there, pass it off as your own?

Yes.

Posted by: ME-L at March 29, 2005 02:51 PM

Damn you, Nate, damn you. I can’t get anything done because I keep reading these damn postings because it’s much more interesting than what I’m doing at the current moment. You will be contacted by my lawyer, Mike Still, Paralegal Temp, as he will administer spanking after spanking after spanking until justice is served and I get those precious minutes of my life back. I’ll see you in “court”. Furry handcuffs and all.

Posted by: Tommy McPlagiarizingsucksmyass at March 29, 2005 02:52 PM

I hope you are, a.) logging the IP address of each person who comments here, and b.) doing ‘nslookup’, ‘host’, ‘whois’, traceroutes, etc. on any identifiable IP addresses in the email messages you received from her. This data — as any actual Engineering student should be able to tell you — can help you determine whether the person commenting here under the alias ‘Laura Pahl’ is for real or not, and whether this Laura is really an Engineering student. The ‘host’ utility reports lewis.edu as ‘204.248.57.x’.

Posted by: Engineering Grad at March 29, 2005 02:52 PM

XXXX@lewis.edu!!!

Lewis Middle School, San Diego, CA

Starting that engineering degree a little early.

[ED NOTE: DON’T POST EMAIL ADDRESSES. THANKS]

Posted by: mygoditsbob at March 29, 2005 02:53 PM

A 5 page, single spaced paper takes, at worst, an hour to type up for most college students. Obviously this girl was simply lazy, and didn’t want to put in the effort to do this herself. She knew the rules, and she broke them. Now she has to face the consequences. I fail to see how anyone can possibly defend this girl, other then if Nate were to cash that check. Good show Nate, its good to know that the few of us who don’t have rich parents and actually do real work in college, instead of buying our way threw, are thrown a bone once in a while.

Posted by: anonymous at March 29, 2005 02:55 PM

I’ve begged the college kids I tutor to not use tutoring notes I have written in their papers. It’s just too tempting to slip in a line or two here and there for these kids. I’ve sent links to the Student Code of Conduct, etc. Described plaigarism. Nothing works better than finding out you got caught. It helps the most if you can contact the prof directly yourself.

Posted by: isabellove at March 29, 2005 02:55 PM

tommy,
maybe you should get back to work then. or not because i’m sitting here infront of my computer and i can’t stop laughing. can i borrow the fuzzy cuffs when you’re done with em?
nate,
give this girl hell man. you’re doin great. keep it up.

Posted by: Ken R at March 29, 2005 02:59 PM

Lewis University does not have an Engineering program (they do have a Pre-engineering program, but not one that would require a “full course load in engineering courses”). And, as another poster pointed out, lewis.edu is not the web site of Lewis University in Illinois.

Nate, this is awesome. Thank you for stopping one plagiarizer.

Posted by: Algae at March 29, 2005 03:01 PM

ME-L – Then the majority of “art” and “essays” out there are plagerized to one degree or another, because I read and hear the same ideas over and over again in books and movies, in magazines and online, with very minor variations and no credit given. Oh this wacky world.

Posted by: MiguelSanchez at March 29, 2005 03:01 PM

i couldn’t have said it better myself isabellove.

WHAT BETTER THAN A PUBLIC HANGING!!!

Posted by: Ken R at March 29, 2005 03:02 PM

Man, what a dick.

Aren’t we the weblog superman huh? I am sure you really, really feel good about yourself.

Look at me, I be a weblog vigilante.

Posted by: Soulhuntre at March 29, 2005 03:03 PM

In case I wasn’t clear, the Laura posting here shows her email as lpahl@lewis.edu.

lewis.edu is the domain name associated with Lewis Middle School in San Deigo.

The domain name for Lewis University is
lewisu.edu.

Posted by: mygoditsbob at March 29, 2005 03:03 PM

Does the recent “Laura” poster know that www.lewis.edu goes to a middle school website…? Seems fitting.

Posted by: John at March 29, 2005 03:03 PM

Dude –

You’re a dick.

Get a life.

Posted by: Jeremy at March 29, 2005 03:04 PM

Algae, you are right, what I meant to say was that ‘lewisu.edu’ (note the extra ‘u’) uses IPs in the ‘204.248.57.x’ range.

P.S. – How weak is this blogging software that it lets me submit a fake email address?

Now I have to stop laughing and get back to work.

Posted by: Engineering Grad at March 29, 2005 03:04 PM

Stupid posting lag…

Posted by: John at March 29, 2005 03:05 PM

She got caught and now has a lawyer, what a loser.
too bad going to college can help you grow a brain.

Posted by: Lunatic at March 29, 2005 03:05 PM

This is funny and achieved its objective but I think it veers into the imoral when it names the principle participants. I start to doubt you are so stupid as to open her to unknown abuse and think this may well be a hoax.

She may have used your essay as the basis of her own (which differs from a real essay in no significant way), she may have thrown it out recognising it as junk. Who knows, maybe she was experimenting with the principle of karma in order to better understand Hindu philosophy.

Posted by: jimi at March 29, 2005 03:06 PM

Dear Laura,

I am a tax attorney who has never tried a civil case. I have never met with you or corresponded with you in any way. I will not be able to represent you, and ask that you refrain from associating yourself with my name, or I will file suit against you. Let this be a lesson to you and all others who have nothing better to do than to try to dirty the good name of innocents like myself.

Sincerely,

Edwin Shansky

Posted by: Edwin Shansky at March 29, 2005 03:07 PM

funny: all the people bringing karma into this discussion
pathetic: trolling for plagiary help via AOL
sad: all the people who need to refer to mark as a “bitch”

Posted by: xian at March 29, 2005 03:07 PM

Oh my god, I LOVE you.

Posted by: Mairi at March 29, 2005 03:07 PM

I know this gal —

Laura Pahl, XXX-XXX-XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

[ED NOTE- PLEASE DON’T POST PERSONAL CONTACT INFO]

Posted by: Matt at March 29, 2005 03:09 PM

Don’t sweat it, Nate. Almost certainly a troll. For one thing, lewis.edu is a grade school. For another, there is no lawyer named Edwin Shansky in Illinois.

Posted by: Mike at March 29, 2005 03:11 PM

Best viral marketing campaign ever!

Posted by: LaShawn Barber at March 29, 2005 03:11 PM

Perpetrator: “I made a bargain with myself that if I said something sarcastic, and she continued to ask me for help, that I would be obligated to fuck with her”
Comment: The only accusation people have left is “He wrote a bad paper on purpose for money,”

I disagree, I feel it is my duty to present another opinion of this sordid story so that other humans do not blindly applaud such cruelty.

IN MY OPINION, you have deliberately and with malice aforethought, made a conscious decision to harm another human.

You have been intentionally cruel to another human.

You exposed another person’s true identity on the Internet, as if she were a child molester!

You have affected her entire life from this day forward.

You publicized this human’s offense to the criticism of the universe as she knows it.

Then you publicized your cruel actions.

You can only be seeking fame and kudos’.

(Then he receives them, you thoughtless, hard hearted, illogical gloating unfeeling, viperous voyeurs!)

Yes, she committed a punishable offense by the standards of our education programs; Since when is this a crucifying offense?

You have exposed her to more shame than most popular murder trials create for a guilty criminal over ONE CLASS ASSIGNMENT. Why? Because you thought it would make you look good to your peers. It was FUN!

To find out her identity and her school is acceptable. To report her to the administration, a more appropriate handling of the offense, would be acceptable. They could have flunked or expelled her as they saw fit. With your logs as proof she would have been punished, case closed. Then you could truly claim the value of your diploma would be maintained AND that you had done a noble, if somewhat petty, deed.

To destroy her is unacceptable! How could you claim the power to destroy another person’s life? Who died and left you God?

To expose her real name, school and location has bared her to dastardly treatment by other evil humans everywhere. They will continue your cruelty to her.

That there are people who will let you think that what you have done is not only acceptable but appropriate to the offense and to be commended completely appalls me. We are obviously raising moral quadriplegics. You have no heart, no compassion, no empathy and no comprehension of another human’s suffering.

Do you even have a brain? Do the math for this equation: “Is this going to be fun later?”

This girl is going to know who you are. I will make sure of that!

The only possible correct behavior here is that You go RIGHT NOW, pull her real name OFF your site, CALL her, APOLOGIZE and beg forgiveness. Then YOU WRITE that apology in your blog. Then, under it, write one THOUSAND TIMES, I do not grok, I am not God!

May I have your mother’s snail mail address? I want to send her a paper bag to wear over her head and my personal condolences.

Posted by: Val at March 29, 2005 03:11 PM

Fan-freaking-tastic.

Nate, you are a genius. I am in awe.

This girl is a first class putz and I will be staying tuned to see what happens.

Posted by: Cheryl Pike at March 29, 2005 03:12 PM

Hey, everybody, let’s head on out to the main blog for a link to a new thread. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.