Laura K. Krishna is Just a Dumb Kid With a Nice Mom

Alright, here’s how it ends, people. Brace yourselves for disappointment, because you’re going to find out where I failed to show you blood when you wanted it.

Also, let’s reiterate. Nobody call Laura or her school anymore. Everybody knows now.

Alright, this ends kind of how I figured it would, with me finding out everything I thought I would find out. I do want this to be over. Holy goddamn.

I had sent her an e-mail with a response to the original link, but she got to me on IM.

Let me correct the lie I said I was going to correct: It’s the one where I turned her in. I never did.

I had thought I could make her sweat (as had been my plan practically since the paper solicitation fell into my lap) by sending her the link to the original story sometime on Wednesday, after she’d handed the paper in. I expected to be able to find out on Wednesday whether the paper had been turned in, and wait until at least then to make a call about snitching or not snitching.

But the internet is full of beautiful freaks (I do love you so.), and the popularity of this blog came completely unexpectedly, meaning my little feint regarding turning her in was being taken as fact by way more people than I could contact. (To the cynics: Let’s be straight, the show we’re plugging is one in which we’re doing less than 15 minutes on a bill with about 10 other groups that nobody’s getting paid for. It will be a good show, and these groups are good, but you know, not such a big deal that I’d throw my integrity on the line frivolously. We have a show in May where we’re the headliner, but I’m not giving out the date quite yet, just to prove a point about something or other.)

So it became Monday, and instead of finishing off my nice prank I was going to share with two or three dozen real-life friends, I was faced with all of you people looking for blood. I didn’t want blood. What I wanted was irony. Perhaps to facilitate the founding of a scholarship at her school, or get her to donate Hinduism books to the library, or even just to get her to actually write the damn paper. But it was all happening way too fast, and I knew at that point that the site would come around to her way faster than my timeline had projected.

So the e-mail revealing the link went out Tuesday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning, while I still thought there was a slim chance of warning her. Hours later, she found me on im. There was lots I wanted to ask her, and lots I wanted to shame her about. At this point, I figured that the internet had punished her, and she’s already an example even if she doesn’t get expelled.

But I wanted to know a few things. Like whether she had been lying when she said she wasn’t Laura Krishna:

Laura K. Krishna: why are u doing this
Nate: Eh, seemed fun.
Laura K. Krishna: let me call u we can talk please i promise just give me ur number
Laura K. Krishna: please Nate : you shouldn’t be concerned, though, if you’re not Laura K. Krishna.
Laura K. Krishna: please sir
Laura K. Krishna: anything u want
Nate: are you laura K. Krishna, then?
Laura K. Krishna: i will do anything to straighten this out and i will never mention ur name we’ll drop it completley

Ok, mystery #1 solved. Mystery #2 is whether she handed in the paper. I was hoping for a no, because in my heart I wanted to report that to the blog. I would have considered it a mitigating factor in her favor that she at least read the paper and rejected it:

Laura K. Krishna: why is my dean calling me
Nate: did you turn in the paper?
Laura K. Krishna: please give me ur number so i can call u
Nate: I’d rather talk about it here.
Nate: did you turn in that paper?
Laura K. Krishna: listen jsut tell me what u want from me
Laura K. Krishna: anything
Nate: I want you to answer my questions truthfully.
Laura K. Krishna: what question
Nate: number 1, did you turn in that paper?
Laura K. Krishna: are you asking me to throw my education, I will be
Laura K. Krishna: expelled, please put an and to this. i can help you in
Nate: I am asking you to answer the questions that will help me help you.
Laura K. Krishna: anyway
Laura K. Krishna: yes i did
Nate: did you change it at all?
Laura K. Krishna: no
Nate: so you turned in a paper that had sentences like “I made a doody” in it?
Laura K. Krishna: i guess so please help me out here i made a very big mistake that could affect the rest of my life.

Oi. I think maybe about here is where I got a twinge, and I started to think about how I could help her out.

Laura K. Krishna: please
Nate: has your dean read the website?
Laura K. Krishna: yes
Nate: give me his e-mail address.
Laura K. Krishna: whose and y
Nate: I don’t know it, because honest truth, I never ever turned you in.
Nate: the dean’s.
Nate : I’m going to ask him with all my heart to help you out, and that’s a fact.
Nate: I’ll tell him exactly what I think, which is that you were just a dumb kid who did a dumb thing.

I meant that. Absolutely. This is a dumb, scared kid right now, and yes, I would help her in any way possible that didn’t involve lying to the dean. I fear, though, that there was never any way of helping her without lying to the dean, but i really wanted and needed to make the offer. Because what I was also finding out was that at least one someone had contacted him, and it definitely wasn’t me. That was mortifying to me, and not what I wanted, ever. It’s why I never posted an e-mail address or a telephone number, even though I had them (not her university address–I never even looked for it) and it’s why we’d been trying to keep a watch on the comments all day.

She wanted to get off of IM. Smartest idea she’s expressed since this whole mess started. As you can see, I tried to keep the conversation online so I could post it.

Laura K. Krishna: why can we please talk on the phone i can handle the whole situation if u and i can take care of this between u and i right now and then the rest with the univeristy i can handle
Nate: what can’t you tell me over im?
Laura K. Krishna: i’ll give u my number u call me
Nate: seriously, don’t beg me for anything.
Nate: how about you do what I ask you, and let me give you some generous help in the way that I want?
Nate: how do I write your dean?
Laura K. Krishna: i don’t need u to write the dean i have already talked with the dean. can we please talk on the phone and i can explain things better. i want to do whatever u need right now please can i call u
Nate: type for now. My free minutes haven’t started yet.
Laura K. Krishna: now can i call u
Nate: what’s your phone number?
Nate: I’ll call you.
Laura K. Krishna: (XXX-XXX-XXX) what time will you call me?
Laura K. Krishna: ?
Nate: I’ll call you right now.
Laura K. Krishna: fine
Laura K. Krishna: ok call

I called. Collect. Obviously what happens next will be doubted by some. I’ll try to describe it, and all I can do is promise that it’s real.

She picks up, and she’s glad to talk to me. Without pretending to remember her actual words, I will say that she:

  1. Acknowledged that she had put me in a strange position.
  2. Acknowledged that she understood why I was offended.
  3. Swore that she never did this before in her life.
  4. Swore that she sure as hell won’t do this again.
  5. Politely endured my spiel about my father and late grandfather, and etc.
  6. Asked what she needed to do to get this fixed.
  7. Declined again my offer to contact her dean.
  8. Cried.
  9. Told me what she needed from me.
  10. Freaked out about the dozens of calls that have been coming to her school and her house.
  11. Admitted wrongdoing. (Yes, that’s a relief to me.)

Basically, she wanted to have her last name taken off of the site, as well as any references to her college, and she wanted to have me make an announcement to stop the harassment. I told her the truth, which is:

  • Yes, fine, last name comes off the site, even though everybody knows it now anyway.
  • Absolutely, I will enthusiastically put out the order to stop calling.
  • There’s nothing anybody can do to get your name off of the entirety of the internet. (I repeated this about three times to make sure she understood the limits of what I could promise.)
  • No, I will not publish a retraction, but nice try.
  • Are you sure I can’t contact the dean?

At this point, she revealed that she had not confessed to the dean on the phone, but had said to him something along the lines of “Oh, I must get to the bottom of this.” Me calling the dean would ruin everything. Ah, I thought…she had not thrown herself on the dean’s mercy, so she sure wasn’t going to let me. I do think a confession might have helped her out in this instance, and at the very least, my two cents wouldn’t have hurt her.

And nothing would have stopped me from turning her in right then, except one thing…her mom turned out to be a nice lady.

I basically had the same conversation with her that I had with Laura. She also swore to Laura’s diligence as a student, and knew that I was not lying about the plagiarism. She asked whether this was for money or personal reasons, and I told her what I told you blog people, which is that I was legitimately offended on behalf of all the people I know who take their education seriously. Whatever I said, I’m embarrassed to say that I probably used the phrase “scourge of academia.” She expressed her dismay over the thousands of dollars this was costing her every semester for her daughter, and I agreed that that was a shame.

Argh, wrongdoers have mothers, apparently.

I explained another three times that I couldn’t erase her from the whole internet, and that everybody knows.

I explained what A Week of Kindness was, and subsequently had to explain what sketch comedy was, and why a sketch comedy site was running a journal anyway. I’m pretty sure she still doesn’t quite get it.

And I expressed my sincerest wishes that this turns out well, and my promise to do what I said I’d do to the site, even though it’s a long slow job, and might take two or three days.

They refused all the other help I’d offered them.

And I said good night to both of them.

From the moment she told me she hadn’t confessed straight away, I knew she was going to get the worst the dean could throw at her, because if the dean had seen the website like she said he had, the whole faculty will doubtlessly be on the lookout for a paper matching the one on the website.

So what I’m going to apologize for is the fact that I couldn’t convince her to tell the truth the time when it mattered, when it might have meant the difference between failing the course and expulsion. I failed there. And I will probably be sorry about that for a long time.

Bottom line: I had the right person, without a doubt, and she’s caught. No more or less caught than she would be right now if all I had done was write her a paper. No more or less caught than she would be if this page hadn’t been a phenomenon, and she’s no more or less caught than she would be if none of you had called her home.

But at least she maybe got one good night of sleep before the storm. I don’t expect to hear from Laura K. Krishna again after this, and I won’t seek her out. Just the same, I expect that whatever happens will get back to me. I’ll post whatever I hear, just know that I won’t be looking aggressively for it.

And don’t plagiarise, kids, because I think some of these hardcore blogreaders will get you even harder than I did.

Mike, Erica, Dan, Allysha, Devin, Chris, anyone–can someone post a goddamn album review or something for these people not to read?

Posted by Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 10:56 AM

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I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but YOU DIDN’T ACTUALLY TURN HER IN?!


Posted by: RandomName at March 30, 2005 10:45 AM

Plagiarism is next to Murder and Treason in that they are high crimes. It sounds dramatic, but the very definition of a crime is the breaking of a rule of some group, and a high crime is a crime considered so heinous it can lead to expulsion from that group. Murder is a high crime in society, Treason of nationality, and Plagiarism of academy.

One might say that surely plagiarism is worse than murder or treason, but it’s not true, because all crimes are relevant only to the groups whose rules they break. Committing treason might make you unpopular to your countrymen, but one country’s traitors are another country’s heroes. Murder will get you locked up pretty quickly, but they won’t revoke your nationality for it.

Similarly, you can commit murder and treason in one fell swoop, but you’ll maintain your degrees. Unless, of course, you’re a plagiarist. Plagiarism is worse than murder to an academic, and the punishment administered for committing it—expulsion—is in line with other groups’ high crimes.

That raises the question of whether you should entrap someone who tries to get you to help them cheat, and the answer is simple. If I asked you to help me kill someone, or to help me betray my country, you know two things. First, you know if you don’t help me, I will probably get someone else to help me. Second, unless you are a murderer or a traitor as well, you know I have to be stopped.

Or maybe I’m just draconian.

Posted by: Ryutaro Murai at March 30, 2005 10:50 AM

Hunh. Well, that’s that. Sounds like she failed to take the right course at the end there anyhow – full disclosure with the dean almost certainly would be met with more clemency than she’ll get pretending she didn’t know what was going on.

Thanks for the update. Now I guess I can stop checking this thing. 😉

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 10:51 AM

You don’t think that if she lied to the Dean about the paper she wasn’t lying to you about never having done it? She completely deserves getting expelled, and the thought that she might not depresses me and makes me feel like my own education is a little more worthless.

Posted by: Bobalope at March 30, 2005 10:51 AM

Nate… You didn’t seek her out to become a plagiarist, and it wasn’t your job to force her to ‘do the right thing’ once the fat was in the fire.

If everything you’ve said is true (and we have no reason to think otherwise), then you gave her every opportunity to make good decisions throughout this long ugly affair… and she has invariably chosen the wrong path each time.

Not. Your. Fault.

Posted by: David at March 30, 2005 10:55 AM

I would not be surprised if she was a serial plagiarist, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time. Let’s just say that. She sure went about this like an amateur, anyway.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 10:55 AM

I don’t know if plagiarism is a high crime, but BoingBoing says you’re liars:

Posted by: Mithras at March 30, 2005 10:56 AM

i hope that the series of events will not haunt you nate. i believe you sincerely tried to help the poor girl. but in the end, she just have to live with this. maybe she’s really a good student but she made a very stupid mistake.

the mother factor made me sympathized her plight. i’m actually glad no blood was spilled in the end. i hope students out there will learn something from this. don’t plagiarise or something even worse like this might happen to you.

Posted by: john at March 30, 2005 10:57 AM

Oh, well if Boing Boing says…

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 30, 2005 10:57 AM

*Shrug* I posted it to, and I’m not a fake name of anybody. I’ve never even seen Nate’s comedy troupe, though I acted in shows with all those guys in college, and they were pretty funny then, so they probably still are.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 11:02 AM

Bullshit on the hoax. I was talking to Nate on IM when she first IMed him and he was pasting the conversation to me with her IM name and everything.

And I got kind of turned on when I read that she cried. I bet she’s got a pretty mouth.

Posted by: Texas at March 30, 2005 11:02 AM

I’m sure that you could research the Dean’s contact information. Just to ensure that he sees all of the blog entries and gets the whole picture, of course.

Posted by: Dr Promethius Scheme at March 30, 2005 11:02 AM

Let’s face it, what has gone on here is the Scarlet Letter of the 21st Century.

I have no sympathy for plagierizers and feel she deserved every bit of laughter at her expense, and her public exposure.

I also tip my hat to you for trying to help her afterwards. Its what I would have done as well. Public embarrassment is all well and good, but afterwards, it takes a more gentle and compassionate touch to send them down the right path.

Good job, Nate.

Posted by: The Question at March 30, 2005 11:05 AM

And I just have to add: do BoingBoing know which month it is? I could have sworn that we’re still in March…

Posted by: Dr Promethius Scheme at March 30, 2005 11:06 AM

Right, Scheme, but please don’t. And I say that with the expectation that probably you or someone else will disregard my plea to stop harassing the school. She’s caught, and she’s under investigation, and if she doesn’t get expelled, then I am about 99.9% sure she will never even think about plagiarising again. And she won’t get the chance either, what with the scrutiny that will be applied to everything she ever hands in from now on.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 11:08 AM

Yeah, I love how when people “expose” this thing they like, “Oh, what a giveaway, it’s March 28, that’s like, THREE DAYS before April Fool’s Day. Must be a hoax.” Right.

Posted by: RandomName at March 30, 2005 11:10 AM


Glad she is going to get what she deserves. Obviously she is highly intelligent for going to a community college. If you are in need of advice for future issues like this, drop me a line (I run an advice website).


Posted by: Morris at March 30, 2005 11:12 AM

I find it completely unbelievable when she and her mother claim that she has never done anything like this before. Um. . . .right. She has clearly demonstrated that she is willing to lie and cheat when it will benefit her (not only the plagarism, but lying about telling the dean as well). If she’s wiling to lie about those things to save her, OF COURSE she’d be willing to lie about not having done it in the past. She probably has done it every time her paper writing assignments got a little too hard to handle (and judging from her ability to make good decisions, this is probably often).

Cheers, Nate. The public humiliation is probably over the top punishment that you never intended, but exposing this student for the serial liar and cheat she probably is, is completey reasonable.

The “I’m just a good little student who made a bad decision” act is tiresome. I’ve heard it before. She’s another student who is willing to lie, cheat, and take the easy way out whenever the going gets tough.

Posted by: Nate Smith at March 30, 2005 11:13 AM

Pfft. Who cares if her mom is nice. Be an asshole.

Posted by: Little Tarp at March 30, 2005 11:24 AM

Wait. I think that boing boing’s claim of this being a hoax is a hoax. boing boing is just trying to lure away readers to its site in hopes that, um, people may read it. (or something and besides wouldn’t this just be a really LAME april fool’s joke? I think that members of a comedy troupe would come up with something really grand.)

Nate, I applaud your efforts. The fact that you did it and tried to help her afterwards. Nice work.

Posted by: Dick at March 30, 2005 11:25 AM

For people saying she ought to be expelled, or that she will be expelled over this, it’s probably trickier than that. Usually it depends on the university and whether she’s done it before.

The three I’ve been at (undergrad, grad, and now working) say that the penalties go up to expulsion. That doesn’t mean expulsion is the first option. Where I am now, there are a few factors:

1) What level the course is. Plagiarizing in a first- or second-year course is less of an offence than plagiarizing in an upper-year course.

2) What year the student is in. Freshmen are expected to be dumber than other students.

3) How much the paper counted towards the final mark. Plagiarizing on a response paper worth five percent of the final mark isn’t as bad as plagiarizing a major paper worth thirty percent.

4) Whether the student had done it before. If the student has already plagiarized before, then the offence is more serious.

5) The degree of plagiarism. Plagiarism goes all the way from a few lines to copying a whole paper.

Penalties here go like this: flunk the paper, flunk the course, flunk the course with a note on the transcript stating that the F was due to plagiarism, suspension and F and note on the transcript, and finally expulsion. (No, this doesn’t mean that you get to plagiarize four times before you get kicked out, just that expulsion is the last resort.)

I didn’t see what level the course is or what year the student was or how important the paper was to the course. I assume, given the topic, that it’s a first- or second-year course. I assume, given this time of year and the length of the paper, that it’s a moderately important assignment, but not the final paper. If she was being honest when she said she’d never done this before, and if my assumptions are reasonable, I’m guessing she’s not going to be expelled, probably just flunked in the course and yelled at a lot. The school will probably keep an internal document about the incident, but no mark will go on her transcript.

She’ll get yelled at more than usual if she’s on the dean’s list, if it’s any comfort.

Posted by: Tullia at March 30, 2005 11:25 AM

So it really was Laura that you talked to the second time… when she denied it. Hmm, somehow, I don’t have much sympathy. Let’s reiterate what the wrongs here:
1. She paid someone to write a paper for her
2. She then lied when said person contacted her about payment
3. She lied to the Dean.

Yep, no sympathy here.

Posted by: Danyelle at March 30, 2005 11:27 AM

truly, you are an arrogant, self righteous, sadistic son of a bitch. i take great delight in the knowledge that life will deal with you accordingly.

Posted by: quonsar at March 30, 2005 11:28 AM

When we choose a course of action, we choose a set of potential consequences; intended or unintended; foreseen or unforeseen. We don’t get to decide. When Laura chose her course of action, she assumed certain risks. So did Nate when he chose his.

I personally do not disapprove of Nate’s actions.

Posted by: lomedhi at March 30, 2005 11:31 AM

Assuming the class is course 19-298 on the university’s online catalog, it doesn’t look like an intro course. Is there another likely candidate for which course it is that I’m missing?

As a university employee, I applaud the way this was handled by you, Nate.

Posted by: Kingfox at March 30, 2005 11:31 AM

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that not only did Ms. Laura plagiarize, but she didn’t even send Nate money? For some reason that bothers me more than the service solicitation…

Posted by: Jaclyn at March 30, 2005 11:31 AM

She is third-year. She did say that, but it didn’t occur to me that anyone would want to know.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 11:32 AM

Damn, she didn’t hang herself. What a wimpy ending. She deserved nothing less than death.

Posted by: Floyd Alvis Cooper at March 30, 2005 11:32 AM

Nate, What did she say about trying to stiff you for the cheque? Did she admit that she wasn’t intending to pay you at all? Did she express guilt about it? What did her mom say about that? Cus not only did she break the academic code by plagarising, but broke business code by stiffing you.

Posted by: Ravi at March 30, 2005 11:33 AM

You have caused hurt and anguish to another person. How does that feel? Good? The secret service is looking for people who love causing pain to others. Might be an ideal career move for you.

And please change the name of your blog. “A Week of Kindness” my ass. Nothing kind about causing unlimited anguish and pain to another human being.

Posted by: LexusNg at March 30, 2005 11:33 AM

And on top of all this, she planned never to pay Nate the $75 they agreed to. So she’s a plagiarizer and a cheat (and she made a doody).

Never done something like this before my a55.

Posted by: abf at March 30, 2005 11:37 AM

I’m commenting again?! geez.

Anyway, where do people get in their head this idea that Christian schools don’t teach about other religions??

1) They have to compete in a college market; they can’t just disregard large parts of the world in their entire curriculum.
2) Most students in a Christian college will have their beliefs affirmed and validated by testing them with new knowledge. If an argument must shut out all criticism or alternate views to thrive, it’s pretty worthless.

one more…
I don’t get why everyone called her and her Dean. Do they think they’re going to say something different than the 50 people before them, or get some kind of fame from it??

Posted by: Clara at March 30, 2005 11:37 AM

Great work, Nate. And it makes for a very compelling story. When can we expect to see the mini-series?

Posted by: the hippie at March 30, 2005 11:38 AM

Good job Nate. You did what was right, so don’t second guess yourself.

Posted by: brandon at March 30, 2005 11:41 AM

I’ve been reading the posts and comments with great interest. I’m disappointed that you didn’t turn her in, Nate. I taught college English and hope to again, and I am 100% certain that one of my students plagiarized her paper, but I had 0 proof and could do nothing about it. I wish that someone had sent me a copy of the proof.

I realize you feel there were mitigating circumstances in the mom, here, but I have to say that, when push comes to shove, mom will side with her kid every day of the week. Laura was probably lying to you about never doing it again, and Mom was probably covering her daughter’s ass.

I hope Laura gets thrown out of school for this indiscretion, but at the minimum, I hope she flunks the class.

As a writer and an educator, plagiarism really pisses me off.

re: boingboing: I have no idea if this is a hoax, though the claim that it’s a “Christian university” and that they don’t teach courses on other religions strikes me as somewhat foolish. But then, I’ve been taken in by Internet hoaxes in the past, and think either way the Laura Krishna posts can be great fodder for an academic study on classism and the Internet. I find it fascinating that the comments have shown that, had Ms. Krishna not said “money is no object,” that there might have been more sympathy for her. We all have sympathy for someone who is working two jobs and going to school and just *this once* can’t get her paper in on time. But we have no sympathy for a checkbook student.

Posted by: Mortaine at March 30, 2005 11:41 AM

This is just wonderfully entartaining, even though that was not your intention!

I hope she’s learned a lesson.

Keep it real!

-Stig, Norway

Posted by: Stig Eriksen at March 30, 2005 11:42 AM

Of course, to reply to Tullia, every institution differs a little bit.

To all the profs reading this (and I know there are a bunch of you out there–that’s how I found this, after all), the question of whether or not she is a serial plagiarist is why we need to report real plagiarism any time it happens. We need centralized reporting in our institutions (at my current one, everything goes through the Provost’s office) so that there is a record. At big schools this is particularly necessary, because I don’t know anyone in Religious Studies, and I’m in English, but people could plagiarize in both our courses.

Punishment in academics is supposed to be first about preventing the transgressions. Only when it fails to prevent does the punishment actually occur. Teachers are justified in punishing students for failing to do their own work, because that indicates a failure (or perhaps unwillingness) to learn. So we give them an F, either way.

For more on my take on plagiarism, see my blog:

If it’s not there yet, it will be later this afternoon.

Posted by: Gina at March 30, 2005 11:44 AM

Well, its technically not over. Her school still has to investigate and decide on punishment. Personally, I hope she gets a failing grade on the paper itself. I think with that, and with all the public humiliation already out there, she’ll have the appropriate punishment. Perhaps from this incedent, she’ll go on to be a great student. Maybe she will learn to study harder and become a great academic.

For those people out for some major blood, please, calm down. What she did was wrong but she’s just a stupid college kid who made a bad judgement call. Equating her act to treason and murder is nothing more than overkill, the screams for death from a blood thirsty crowd. There are much worse acts in the world at large than some dumb kid trying to cheat past one paper.

Nate, you could have handled this better, but at least you tried to help with damage control.You get points back for that.

Posted by: Winston Bolen at March 30, 2005 11:45 AM

Good story. Portugal is already expecting the motion picture. It’s a tricky situation for both the characters. Well, but the end was lovely, tears and all… Suggestion: Nate, you could try it on some journalists…

Posted by: PortugueseLady at March 30, 2005 11:45 AM

First off, I just want to say that I showed up quite late to this trainwreck, and after reading over quite a bit of the comments I’m gonna have to pull the hoax card on this one.

Decent. :golfclap:

If this whole thing does turn out to be true, then surely you understand you have generated so much bad karma from this you will undoubtedly suffer the same, if not worse from your actions.

First, you published her real name for all to see on the internet saying she is a plagiarist. I mean how stupid are you here Nate.. she lied about her school at the beginning of this, what makes you think that she didn’t lie about her name, and what if the she in question was actually a he this whole time. If this turned out to be a real person who was completely uninvolved with this whole fiasco and innocent (and very unlucky), then you should definetly be sued for libel and have the same done with your name. I mean it is just so appauling to me to think that someone with a college degree and educators all throughout his family, would make such a colossal fark up as this. Did you not even think for a second that the real name could be of an innocent farking person. Just for doing this act alone (posting a real name which you have never been completely positive of, not exposing a plagerist), which stems from sheer wickedness and nothing else, will reverse this all on you one day or another.

If it turns out to be true, I am glad you caught this plagiarist red handed, and I’m glad you informed the proper authorities to deal with her. I also hope she gets whatever punishment is in store by her university for what she has done. But it should have all been done so much more discreetly, not this public hanging it has turned into. At least then if it turned out to be a fake name pinned to a real person, you could have walked away knowing you still tried to do the right thing, but were just misled and wrong. This new punishment you have enacted upon her, far outweighs her crime. There is a reason scarlet letters are a thing of the past, there is always a chance for error.

The only other thing I would like to comment on, is the sad usage of ‘bitch’ to constantly degrade her and other women. I love how people keep using this word so regularly when referring to her, especially when attempting to sound so much more educated and more upstanding in our society. Are you that much better than her and women in general that you can call her a bitch. She may be contibuting to the degradation of our education system, but you are contributing to the degredation of society as a whole. Same goes for the comments on the fact that she appears to be rich (or her parents are for that matter). Due to the fact she is rich does that make her deserve this anymore that a poor person, if so then you are participating in a very very ignorant and unlogical social system. Does her being rich, make her more of a bitch? Please indulge me, show me how your bigoted brain works.

If anything this is a glimpse into the human mind, showing the crowds clear clamoring for a public execution and total disrespect (by some) for women in general.

Posted by: at March 30, 2005 11:45 AM

Here is my prediction…Laura will seek you out at some point in the future. You will become friends, date, marry and eventually have babies. She will become a very successful whatever it is she is going to school for, and you will ride her coattails hoping life doesn’t pass you by. You will become a raging alcoholic. She will leave. You will die alone on a moldy mattress.

But seriously…I think you handled this very well. I hope *she* doesn’t fuck it up.

Posted by: Rebecca at March 30, 2005 11:45 AM

I did not turn her in right away, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to. Had this thing not exploded on the internet, I might have turned her in today, as was my original timeline. As it is, though, lots of people beat me to it, way before I was ready to start making that decision.

I say might have because I just don’t know. There’s just too many variables for me to accurately predict what my attitude would be in that hypothetical.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 11:47 AM

“And I got kind of turned on when I read that she cried. I bet she’s got a pretty mouth.”

At least someone is finally honest about why so many people are getting such a charge out of attaching some “little rich college girl”.

Posted by: Soulhuntre at March 30, 2005 11:48 AM

Gwannnnn, you two are going to tie the knot, aren’t you?

Posted by: Jacques at March 30, 2005 11:51 AM

Maybe I have a twisted sense of morality. Cheating (including plagiarism) is ass but what Nate did was, in my opinion, worse. Laura came to him asking for help and if he had simply refused to write the paper, then maybe she would have buckled down and written it. The fact that she approached a stranger on the internet to help her in her assignment shows that she was pretty desperate, and not everyone is sensitive to virtual sarcasm. If I were the Dean I would take into consideration that although she made a cardinal academic sin, she was also a victim of someone who could have just minded his own business.

“I had the right person, without a doubt, and she’s caught. No more or less caught than she would be right now if all I had done was write her a paper. No more or less caught than she would be if this page hadn’t been a phenomenon, and she’s no more or less caught than she would be if none of you had called her home.”

You get an A for bullshit. Take some responsibility for participating in this whole mess. You clearly did it out of spite, nothing more noble like “trying to get her to see the light”. If you were really concerned with her doing what is right, then there are hundreds of better ways you could have taught her.

“Nate: how about you do what I ask you, and let me give you some generous help in the way that I want?”

Ohhh, now Nate is being ever so kind! Laura should be grateful. Umm, yeah.

Note that I have witnessed or heard of many types of academic cheating, such as the sharing of problem set answers, people using cheatsheets hidden in their calculators and test supervisors not doing their job, people SHARING calculators during tests and exchanging answers, and plagiarism probably is rampant in my arts courses. It makes me angry that there are people who take advantage of those things, often without a conscience and devalue my own genuine work. If I were to see someone cheating during a test, I’d probably point it out to a supervisor. However, if someone asked me to help them in a dishonest way, I would tell them no, not wait for the opportune moment to expose them. It’s conniving and dirty.

Posted by: Elaine (Biome!) at March 30, 2005 11:54 AM

I just wanted to add that my comment was started before this new update, and I just posted it anyway because I had already typed it before and during his new update.

Posted by: at March 30, 2005 11:56 AM

Nate, you’ve acted like a complete dick and you’re starting to realize it, hence your failed attempt at self-justification in the final paragraphs of this post. Is plagiarism bad? Yeah, sure it is. Does it warrant the extent of public humiliation you’ve subjected this young fool to? Not by a long way.

Posted by: None at March 30, 2005 11:57 AM

I called both Laura and the Dean. But not really for any reason; just cause I was lonely.

Posted by: tom at March 30, 2005 11:59 AM

I think you handled this very well, Nate. I work at a college with a strict plagiarism policy where getting the boot is usually what happens. The fact that she lied about who she was in that second conversation and that she wasn’t going to pay you makes me think that she’s pulled this before.

She deserves what ever she gets. And I’m not saying that to be mean, but, you play with fire…

Posted by: yesacs at March 30, 2005 12:02 PM

Nate, honestly, forgive yourself. It’s good that you took down her name, but the fact that she’s now a scared kid who cried shouldn’t manipulate you. Believe me, plagiarists ALWAYS:




Oh, yes, and they usually do have nice parents who are aghast to discover how their kids are pissing away the education that’s costing them a second mortgage.

Posted by: jp at March 30, 2005 12:03 PM

Funny how things get blown up and the links spread so fast. I found the link to this blog on a nerdy computer tech webstie.

It saddens me that you had no sincere intention of actually turning her in. You should learn to me more of an asshole, it’s fun. She has to learn she can’t be a rich priss that can pay her way through life.

And come on. She’s a third-year student at a univeristy and she can’t write a measly 5 page paper on Hinduism? That’s a joke, she should just quit now. They should kick her out of school. The school policy likely states it, I’m sure it’s in the syllabus (it is in my university classes) plagarism is a BIG deal and when schools don’t follow though with the punishment they threaten, they just open the door for even more plagarism.

No matter how terrible the subject or how long the paper, I have always managed to find info and come up with my own ideas with the most minimal effort. It’s not likley this was her first attempt at plagarism or just “one little mistake” that’s not how these people operate.

I’ll be coming back just in case someone finds out what happens to her in the end. I hope they stick it to her. /rant

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2005 12:06 PM

Oh, come now, LexusNG, and all the rest of the respondants who moan about Laura’s discomfiture and shame!

“…unlimited anguish and pain to another human being?”

How about the ulcerous pain that comes from being a successful plagiarist?

I’ve been on both ends of this issue: I substantially copied a paper from someone else when I was in junior high school, and I wrote three or four papers for friends in college, in all instances successfully, i.e. “getting away with it.”


I am forever ashamed of myself for not doing my own work, and for cheapening the meaning of education by doing others’ work for money. Me with two educators for parents. I cheated myself out of learning something, and cheated others out of their opportunity to learn as well. For convenience. For a few dollars.

I have since made a contribution to the college equal to many times the amount I made, but my shame, though somewhat eased, is intact.

Now, if someone had blown the whistle on me in junior high, I would have felt the blow then and there. It would have been painful, but I would have had the chance to repent (yes, I know, it seems an obsolete concept), learn something, and substantially redeem myself. And if someone had caught me in college, I may have paid a steep price then, but–and this is key–would have paid it THEN. Today, I have lost that opportunity. Even if I were to make a full confession, I couldn’t make it to the affected parties, because I don’t even remember who they were. The people who know me know what I did, because I tell them, and I tell them that I’m ashamed of myself. And that’s the best I can do now.

Laura has been given an opportunity to keep the secuctive addiction to moral plasticity and convenience from becoming a part of her. It may be very painful to yank a parasite from your body, but how much more painful to let it burrow deep inside you and become a part of you?

Someday, I hope, Laura will, in part at least, feel some gratitude to Nate. At least he has provided her with such an opportunity for healing and for growth.

Posted by: George at March 30, 2005 12:11 PM

You were nicer than I would have been.

Sorry, but I woke up at 4 AM and wrote a lot of papers that were due that day and back when I went to college, we only had Lynx and Gopher so you try to use either of those as a shortcut to research. Nope, you still had to go to the library (and walk there, uphill both ways in a foot of snow…well, it was Wisconsin so I’m not sure I’m exaggerating!)

Hell, it’s so easy now to do research that I seriously do not understand why someone would STILL try to cheat!

Posted by: Cathy at March 30, 2005 12:12 PM

Come on, people! It’s a hoax!!

Posted by: Hoax at March 30, 2005 12:15 PM

Kudos to you for standing up for academic integrity!



Posted by: Hannuman at March 30, 2005 12:16 PM

Mike, I couldn’t turn her in until I’d gotten some indication that she’d handed in my paper.

When she made it her business to shrug off the payment part of the deal, I knew that I’d never get that information without showing her the link.

In the meantime, she had gotten turned in by someone else.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 12:16 PM

One thing I find odd is that you chose not to turn her in because her mother whined to you. When I was in school, people’s whining parents securing them special treatment seemed to be itself a drain on academic meritocracy – yet you somehow let this whining mitigate your outrage at her initial more serious drain on it. Would it be more infuriating if this had been done by someone without a parent who was willing to fight her battles for her? I would have found it less so. The mother stuff just highlighted how spoiled this girl is, and how unwilling she is to accept consequences to her own actions.

Posted by: eli at March 30, 2005 12:18 PM

damn. i can’t believe all of your heartless bastards who said he should have turned her in right away! i mean, come on now! like you’re all so perfect. get off your freakin’ dorky high holy horses.

Posted by: becky w. at March 30, 2005 12:19 PM

I fail to see the point of the righteous indignation from the people wishing death and doom on Nate. This girl fucked up, short and simple. And Nate didn’t intend for it to reach this magnitude…we made it this big, not him.

Yes, this girl made a (big) mistake. Yes, this girl was embarrassed. Yes, she will probably be punished. Yes, it’s very sad for her. But the people who defend her and criticize Nate…what the hell are you defending her for? Just because she was made the laughingstock of The Internets makes what she did any less stupid and wrong?

I watched people cheat time and time again in college, and get away with it. I’m pleased she didn’t get away with it.

Posted by: Ali the Brat at March 30, 2005 12:21 PM

So you purposely allowed a naive little girl’s world to come crashing down around her for the sake of your (and your family’s) English degree integrity?

Unless your grandparents were beaten to death by an essay copied from Sparknotes, there is no possible way that this justification could not sound a) pretentious and b) stupid. You wanted to do the right thing? Then you should have declined and been done with it. Instead, you post her full name and university on the Internet in an attempt to teach her the most humiliating lesson you can.

If I am right in my assumptions, I fail to see how your sense of justice is superior to that of a small time cheater’s. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but this is not on, sir, not on at all.

Posted by: Biz at March 30, 2005 12:22 PM

Alright, you’re misreading what I wrote, eli.

By the time her mother whined to me, she had been turned in.

There was nothing I could do to stop her from being caught, and there was no sense turning her in yet again.

What she asked me was a favor that she maybe thought could take the heat off of her, which is taking her name off the site. I did that because of the whining, yes, but we can all agree that changing the name is futile, so why not do the only thing she’s begging for?

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 12:24 PM

Sure becky, we may not be high and holy but I’ve never paid anyone to write an essay for me. I do my own work and earn the grades I get.

Maybe publishing the ordeal online isn’t the nicest thing to do but she deserved to get caught and deserves to be punished. This is just the way it happened.

And I question the rest of you who think this is “too harsh”. Waaah, cry me a river. Perhaps you don’t know what it’s like to work hard on something and have someone rip it off and claim it as their own without even a second thought. Try that on for size.

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2005 12:24 PM

She didn’t pay you, never meant to, and then asked you to help her? What a rotten apple! I can’t believe you helped her! While I realise you figured she would never pay you and so weren’t factoring in any payment, she was trying to scam you. Rip you off. Steal from you. I know you feel badly that things got out of your control, but you are not responsible for the acts of others. You have kindness in your heart, mister. Sigh, I guess that’s a good thing. But Laura’s a thief and a liar. I hope that her future employers google her from now until the day she dies. I’m working on being a better person but it hurts to know that she might not learn a lesson from this other than: rely on the goodness of others and don’t bother being good yourself.

Posted by: isabel at March 30, 2005 12:26 PM

Well done, Nate. Your plagarism project has elicited more ethical/philosophical/moral observations than I could possibly have imagined. I bet it gets turned into a TV movie or at the very least, course material by professorial lurkers (with attribution, of course!) I am proud to be related to you.

Posted by: Big-Gal at March 30, 2005 12:26 PM

I loved the parts where people pontificated about whether Nate was too full of himself, while fluffing themselves up in an attempt to come off as an important person about whose opinion any of the rest of us should give a crap.

p.s. We don’t.

I also love the fact that a combination of quick reading style and skepticism developed through heavy use of the internet has led so many people to skim the details and come out with the declaration that this is all a hoax or viral marketing. Yes, the A Week of Kindness put in a few plugs for their upcoming show. Why shouldn’t they? It’s their site. It’s their bandwidth that this whole issue has hogged. It’s their name on the top of the page. They didn’t ask you to come here and read this story, did they? Viral advertising just doesn’t fit. Think about it. They are a local New York City based sketch comedy group. We are not talking about a national product like Saturday Night Live here, but a few people who occasionally perform comedy in a theater. What in the hell would be the point in advertising this to people all over the internet? If even .02% of you went to the show, most of you probably wouldn’t be able to fit in the venue. Aside from that, it strikes me as totally obvious that anyone in a sketch comedy group who was trying to advertise the group OR pull a great April Fool’s Day prank (even several days early) would at least TRY to be funny about it. So now you’ve read the end of the story. Do you think that was funny enough to be a big prank? Do you feel pranked? I don’t. Skepticism is a good thing when it comes to the internet, but come on people, sometimes a rose is just a rose.

Also, what IS it with people calling any number that’s posted on the internet? I bet those of you who called are the same sad weirdoes who called all those numbers from Paris Hilton’s sidekick. My friend’s name and number was in there, and he got hundreds of calls and text messages because if it. Why? Even if he was famous – which he’s not – what in the hell do you gain from calling? Is there some shitty little sort of life in which having called every telephone number ever posted in any hot-topic internet page gives a person bragging rights? Who are you bragging to anyway? If you had any friends, you wouldn’t need to fill your time doing something so stupid, meaningless and unoriginal in the first place.

So there, now I’ve added my pontifications. Please proceed to ignore them, because I am no expert, and won’t pretend to be by listing some fictitious career, hobby or degree that I purport hold.

Posted by: elwoodjones at March 30, 2005 12:27 PM

She lied to the Dean, she lied to you, she’s only sad because she got caught. She deserves to be expelled, but she won’t, so the fools here who think that academic dishonesty is totally okay will be satiated.

You have caused hurt and anguish to another person. How does that feel? Good?

Have you ever participated in the raising of a child, out of curiousity? Because that involves the causing of hurt and anguish, too, as they break rules set for their own good and you are required to enforce them.

Posted by: Kimmitt at March 30, 2005 12:27 PM

She lied, cheated and other assorted things – stone her! Give her a real lesson in Truth – Truth be told, lest ye die! Drag her thru St. Marks! Crucify! Crucify!

Posted by: Mr. DBH at March 30, 2005 12:31 PM

What I was responding to was when she appeared to be at a point where she could still protect herself, and admitted that she hadn’t come clean to the dean. You said “And nothing would have stopped me from turning her in right then, except one thing…her mom turned out to be a nice lady”

But regardless, you are right that it wouldn’t likely have mattered. Even if she thought she still had a sliver of hope of getting away with the plagiarism, she didn’t. So in that sense, yeah, my criticism was probably silly. Though I imagine that the dean will likely seek you out, as that seems like the kind of thing that would be standard operating procedure.

Whatever people may think about this, I don’t envy you suddenly having to juggle all the angry people and attention out of the blue when your initial thing was pretty understandable and genuinely really funny.

Posted by: eli at March 30, 2005 12:34 PM

Anyone who acts and then talks about it in public will be mobbed by folks who would have done different.

I think you did the right thing, Nate, but you might have been a little naive when it comes to the Internet — there are a billion people out there, all of them itching for a good story, some of whom want to BE the story. I know that my first reaction to your tale was to start Googling the girl’s name. But I lost interest after five minutes. Other people didn’t stop until they had her dental records.

Next time, use fake names from the start, and remember that anything you post online can (and probably will) end up in the hands of people you never even imagined would read it.

My employer has gone through my website, for example. Yes, even the dirty stories hidden way down at the bottom of the page. Thank god my employer has a sense of humour.


Posted by: Nik at March 30, 2005 12:38 PM

The post by George about feeling ashamed about cheating touchs on something I wanted to say. I’m not sure where I sit on the spectrum of arguments about the rightness of Nate’s actions and the appropriate level of punishment for plagiarism – but the ground has been pretty well covered by all the other comments. I also don’t care if this is a hoax or not – the story is interesting regardless of whether or not it’s true, and the discussions doubly so.

Whilst accepting that plagiarism is wrong and institutions should do all they can to stop it (for all the reasons that people have already outlined), I’m not sure how worried people should be if others “get away with it”.

By studying and working hard you have had a learning experience that a plagiarist has avoided. To me, what you learn on degree course is at least as important as the actual degree itself – both in terms of your personal fulfillment and the qualities you’ll bring to a job interview (and the job itself).

Yes, plagiarists should be formally punished by the institution but, if they escape that, they’ve effectively punished themselves by not learning anything or developing any skills. At worst, they’ll spend their entire lives painfully aware that they are a fraud and painfully stuggling to cover their own incompetence. And I don’t believe most of them will get through life without being found out at some point.

From that, you could argue that it’s in the plagiarist’s own interest to get caught and punished.

The terrible thing, though, is that these people may well be denying opportunities to the genuinely talented.

On the whole though, if you’re tempted to feel aggreived that the cheats have got the same piece of paper as you when you did the work: you’ve got the piece of paper plus everything you’ve learned.

The idea that people are their own punishment is much more interesting than karma, I think. It pops up in Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus Logico Philosphicus’ towards the end, in a brief entry, about morality, but I haven’t seen it much discussed elsewhere.

Posted by: Matthew McIntyre at March 30, 2005 12:40 PM

Yea, dude you are the baddest ass I have ever seen on the internet. Your family must be be proud of your incredible standards. I love what you did, if anyone has her number, post it and let us call her. “whatssup dumb bitch?” Let us scare the shit out of her and pester till she becomes a better student. Because we only want the best for her. Yea right!

I also think we should have several other people who should reveal all their fuck ups, cheating, lying they have done and then you guys should go about embarrassing them. Now that is some funny shit. The younger the better. If it is a girl, great. Because we have a lot of things to protect besides academia, we can change the world one laugh at a time.

Nate you are the funniest, most compassionate, most moral human being in the world. Don’t sell out now.

Posted by: crazyhead at March 30, 2005 12:41 PM

Yeah, maybe a little naive. This time last week, we were getting about 30 visits a day. We would have been surprised to see a spike at all, let along a million zillion percent spike. Someday soon, I’ll post a graph of our traffic for the whole month for some perspective on what came at us.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 12:43 PM

Quonsar –

I have been reading your bile and bitterness for years, on mefi and blort so on, and I can’t believe you have anything but adoration and admiration for this guy. What bug crawled up your butt over this topic? Were YOU at one point on the wrong end of social justice?

Posted by: Bloot Pooner at March 30, 2005 12:43 PM

I don’t care about the moral implications of any of this (ok, well, I do.. but it’s all been written dry).

The best thing, though, is that she turned in a paper that said, “I made a doody”. Come on, that act in and of itself is comedic gold.

I was once, falsly accused of plagiarism as a sophomore in high school, on a poem (as my teacher was a bit.. crazy), and her reaction just kills me.

I made a doody.


Posted by: Meredith at March 30, 2005 12:46 PM

The thing that fascinates me most about this story is that she did absolutely everything she should not have done, yet there are people condemning you as being too harsh. Some of her actions were dishonest, some were stupid, many were both.

1. She didn’t even try to write the paper herself.

To begin with, she had more than enough time to write the paper herself. Hell, I know nothing about Hinduism, but I could sure pull off a last-minute “C” paper if I had to. She could have even asked for some references from you if she didn’t know where to start.

2. She asked a total stranger based on a silly user profile to write her paper for her.

Really stupid and really dishonest
This act of stupidity alone shows that she probably isn’t smart enough to be in college at all. She must have had someone fill out her college application for her.

3. She sends a photo of a personal check to this stranger

Really, really stupid and dishonest
Even with the intention of cheating you later, she reveals her name and address.

4. She denies her identity when asked for payment

Dishonest and stupid
Did she really think that you would believe her? Or did she hope you would just go away?

5. She didn’t review the paper you sent.

Really, really, really stupid
The whole paper was obviously a joke. All it would have taken was three minutes to actually read it.

6. She doesn’t fess up to the Dean.

Stupid and dishonest
This might be the final straw. If I were her school King, I would kick her out immediately.

I have an immediate distrust of anyone that says you were too harsh. It shows the lack of depth of their character.

Posted by: g0d at March 30, 2005 12:47 PM

This is updating every three minutes, on average. Pretty impressive, might I add.

It still didn’t get me to look too hard at anything else here. Marketing sometimes is done less obtrusively. But like most people, I too am fascinated with the car crash story that is Mrs. Whatever her “real” name is, the hysterically titled Ms. Krishna.

Too funny.

Posted by: d.a. at March 30, 2005 12:49 PM

Nope. No feelings of guilt. She lied and continued to lie, is probably still lying now. No, I don’t believe this is her first time doing this. I really hope she’s failed for this; maybe with a permanent mark on her record, she might actually shape up.

Posted by: Magdaleina at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

oh Nate,

You are so hot!! You would be the perfect father to my child. if she ever did something wrong like that stupid girl, promise me you will make a fool out of her like you did with Laura. Promise.

OH, OH I love the hate and anger, I am turned on.

Posted by: sexygirl at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

God, I need to quit refreshing these comments.

My dad did call last night to tell me a story about a conference he was at. This is a story I’ve heard before, but I let him go with it.

He had the fantastic luck of having gone to see a paper being delivered out loud that had generous chunks of his very own words in it.

So, you know, that part about it hurting my dad’s livelihood? That’s not even in the metaphorical sense.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

Eh, it sounds to me like she was more worried about escaping the consequences of cheating than she was about the having cheated; and I don’t see why her mom brought up the point about how much she pays for her daughter’s education. Was that along the lines of, “I am disappointed in her because I am supporting her through school,” or was it along the lines of “well, she shouldn’t cheat, but education costs so much money that she was only trying to make me proud”?

Posted by: bitchphd at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

As much as you can feel sorry for a kid who burned her fingers, and badly, sometimes people can’t/won’t learn until they do.

Even then, occasionally, they need to burn themselves a few times.

I am one of those people, although, as bad of a student as I was (lazy, lazy…learned by osmosis, I swear), I honestly didn’t plagarize. Skipped class, didn’t do homework, sure, but I hate consequences, so I avoided the really bad ones! Hey, I paid most of my way through school, so I wasted my own money. Never did learn any better, though.

I can’t imagine Nate feels great either way. Oh, and I’ll certainly be heading to a show to check em out. They provided me with a few hours of amusement on their penny; may as well support the cause!

Posted by: lamoon at March 30, 2005 12:51 PM

I’ve never been more disappointed in my life. People like her should have no mercy (she’s a lying stupid sack of shit who does not belong in college in the first place) and had I dealt with this, I would have had her fucking turned into a Walmart Mum; which is what she really should be. She has learned nothing.

Posted by: anonymous at March 30, 2005 12:51 PM

First of all, the numnuts who called her home are idiots. You don’t give her that type of a warning. Let the school handle her.
Second, I’m inclined to believe that begining plagerists start out by copying sections from books, websites, etc. They don’t hire someone to do a whole paper for them. It wouldn’t surprise me if she got people to do her homework for her in high school.
And for her mom to defend her? That’s called enabling, and a good mom (or dad) doesn’t do that.

Posted by: Half Canadian at March 30, 2005 12:52 PM

so she’s a serial liar, no? still lying? which might be worse than serially subcontracting?

but you lied too? publicly?
and keep promoting some “tragedy for a week”, as if you have some other motive? which makes us think that you are serially lying too…

and you caused other folks to contact her and the dean, even if you didn’t mean to and regret that now. you might just have contacted the dean privately and left it at that.

and IF, IF you had somehow gotten the wrong innocent person, you would have been the poster person for irresponsible journalism, total lack of fact-checking.

commercial contracts can be based on verbal agreements, but are better based on when something changes hands. to protect yourself, it would probably be a good idea to refuse any check she sends you. or if you do accept it, you should write a real paper for her, as you agreed.

and a small correction, it’s not dharma and greg, it’s dharma and grog that will get you and her through times like this…

Posted by: x at March 30, 2005 12:53 PM


Allah has truly blessed with you with gifts. Where I am from, if someone steals we cut their arms off. I think it is fair punishment. This girl deserves more. Please do not stop this torturous behavior, you have surely found your vocation.

Posted by: arabguy at March 30, 2005 12:55 PM

In addition to being a cheat and a liar, she’s also cheap. She wanted a 5 page paper before midnight, said money was no object, then only offered $60?

She deserved to be screwed over just for that. And seeing how her real name is topping the charts at Google, I believe she has been.

Well played, Nate.

Posted by: anon at March 30, 2005 12:56 PM

you are no hero in this. Regardless of this young girls actions, you willfully took advantage of her stupidity and created this drama. Someone braver and less attention hungry than you would have asked WHY she needed to do this and helped her realize that she had other options: Deadline extensions, pointers to resources and topics and so on. 5 pages is not a big deal – you could have spent less time on helping her shape an outline and proof reading her paper than you did on posting these selfish “I CAUGHT HER” posts. But it is all about generating traffic to your site, isn’t it?

Plagiarizing is clearly wrong, but your blood thirsty sensationalism is a blogger’s disgrace.

Posted by: E at March 30, 2005 12:57 PM

As the graduate of a school from which the President had to resign over a plagiarism scandal, I love this whole thing.

Posted by: Lilitou at March 30, 2005 12:58 PM


good job kid. She showed through her comments that she’s lazy and deceitful. And if she found you on the internet that means she’s either too stupid to be in school or she’s so dishonest she exhausted all her usual avenues.

This girl does not belong in an institution of higher learning.

Posted by: slapshot at March 30, 2005 12:58 PM

I think you were too kind to her.

Don’t feel guilty, it’s making me sad. Find your inner asshole, boy!

Posted by: bri at March 30, 2005 12:58 PM

The part about the Boing Boing “hoax” claim led me back to the original boing boing post. Then to the “other blogs commenting” page and OH THE IRONY!! Every single ad down the right side of the page touted an exam paper writing service!

Posted by: Orionoc at March 30, 2005 01:04 PM

True or not, valuable lesson told.

“global domination”

Posted by: CZ-143 at March 30, 2005 01:08 PM

“you are an arrogant, self righteous, sadistic son of a bitch.”

That seems a bit out of proportion for what he did, especially considering how nice he was in the end. Methinks quonsar and anyone posting similar insults doth protest too much. Perhaps they are plagiarists themselves and fear being punished the way our dear Laura was?

Posted by: Alassra at March 30, 2005 01:11 PM


Posted by: i love it at March 30, 2005 01:13 PM

At first, I felt bad for the girl. To have her academic career, and in effect, yes, her life completely ruined because of one stupid mistake really is pretty harsh. Nobody here is claiming to have ever plagiarized, but you know that not one of us has never lied or cheated in *some* way or other in our entire lives.

But then I realized that, as other people have said, she really hasn’t learned anything at all. And as even more people have said, it’s extremely unlikely that she’ll suffer more than a slap on the wrist for this. She sought out a stranger to write a paper for her, she took the product of his time and effort and denied knowledge of it ever having happened when he requested the agreed upon payment, and then lied to her dean when she did actually get caught. The plagiarism was a sign of laziness and stupidity. Lying to the dean was a sign of panic. But theft? That’s contemptible, and crossing the line into an act that certainly *does* affect someone other than herself.

If Nate hadn’t posted this, she most likely would have been caught and given a second chance, or gotten away completely scot-free. Since nothing is likely going to happen to her to affect her academic career, I think public humiliation and exposure for the lying thief that she is is a pretty fair alternative.

Posted by: Shade at March 30, 2005 01:14 PM

Bloot Pooner wrote “What bug crawled up your butt over this topic? Were YOU at one point on the wrong end of social justice?”

nope. but as an arrogant, self righteous, sadistic son of a bitch myself, i am quicker than most to recognise another!

Posted by: quonsar at March 30, 2005 01:15 PM

Bitch didn’t know she was fucking with a comedy writer…

You are a self-righteous moron that turned a poor attempt at humor into a idiotic morality play. Thanks for being the poster boy for miserable fucks who can’t get laid and pulling all my prior postings…

Posted by: GH at March 30, 2005 01:16 PM

At this point, the important thing isn’t whether this really happened or who holds the moral high ground, it’s who’s getting the rights to the screen play. I see the casting as:

Nate: Tobey Maguire
Laura K. “Krishna”: Winona Ryder
Laura’s Mom: Goldie Hawn
The Dean: Dustin “The Graduate” Hoffman

This is high concept. Nate, let’s do lunch. I’ll call you.

Posted by: Lawrence of Suburbia at March 30, 2005 01:16 PM

I say anyone defending this girl is automatically found guilty of plagiarizing. And the rest of us (the good) should punish them in any way that we would like.

Posted by: dothhead at March 30, 2005 01:17 PM

I have been following this story with great interest, as an academic and as an ex-student of a school with a very strict honour code, and I can no longer stay silent in the face of the egregiously inane and foolishly sentimental comments that have been left here.

There has been a lot of talk about Nate viciously ruining the life of an ‘actual person’, and of those of us who express satisfaction with or approval of his actions being ‘vultures’, ‘witch hunters’ and generally not-nice, inhuman types, who probably spend our spare time torturing small animals and collecting for the ‘Reinstate the Roman Colisseum’ Fund.

Let me make something very clear: this ‘actual person’ you are all so concerned about has ruined her own life because of her doltish laziness. I don’t understand why people assume that paying tuition entitles them to a degree and a cushy job. It doesn’t. Paying tuition gets you access to certain services and amenities – it is YOUR JOB to make use of them in ways that lead to your degree. And you know what? Your value in the workplace has *every right* to be contingent on your abilities and your ethical standards – and people like this are one of the biggest reasons why degrees don’t count for much in determining either of those things anymore.

The kind of person who plagiarises, like this, intentionally and without remorse (unless he or she gets caught, in which case they are plenty sorry) is exactly the kind of person that no society should desire to have within its echelons. It is lazy and dishonest and shows a lack of concern for the time and work of others. It reflects a complete lack of understanding of the work ethic, and a complete buy-in to consumerist culture.

This girl is not a victim. A victim is a stupid freshman who has never been taught how to cite sources, or even a panicked student who copies a chunk of writing off the internet into a paper given on Tuesday for Thursday with an unreasonable minimum word count. This girl solicited, at the last possible minute, someone to WRITE A PAPER FOR HER, and at no point in this process has she shown a shred of integrity. Of course she’s hurt. Of course she’s upset. BECAUSE SHE GOT CAUGHT.

And it is typical of the corrosive consumerist approach being fostered in colleges across the country that the first thing her mother invokes is the amount of money she’s paying for this education. In that case, she ought to have taught her daughter to value the tenets and mores of that educational system accordingly. As it is, Nate is not responsible for Laura’s decision to fritter away her mother’s money on an education that is obviously doing her no good.

You know what else? Let’s stop playing the ‘Oh, she’s just a dumb kid’ card. Because she is a college-age student, a young woman, past puberty and the ‘age of reason’ (though it seems some of us never get past that hurdle) and would be held responsible for her actions in any court of law.

In conclusion, let me ask all of those who are so concerned about the emotional scarring and dark future of this young con-artist – oh, sorry, I mean this poor innocent lass – how would you feel as a student in that class who had spent their time poring over library books and straining their eyes on the tiny print of online journals, realising that there are people who actually have the temerity to say that this girl has been in some way VICTIMIZED because she was caught out in her dishonesty?

Shame on you. On all of you.

Posted by: sengira at March 30, 2005 01:26 PM

I notice a lot of people saying that Nate caused all this drama. Nobody could have expected this sort of a reaction. I think the best case scenario for publicity on this post would have been for it to make its way to a few friends of friends, and maybe get 10 or 15 comments. A quick look at the previous posts on the blog proves that it’s not exactly the most heavily visited site on the Internet.

Of course, this is not to say that the potential wasn’t there for this to happen. But I mean, really, what are the chances?

Posted by: Chris Coleman at March 30, 2005 01:27 PM

I agree with Sengira. This girl is evil. Please continue torture. Academia needs all the help it can get.

Posted by: sengira is great at March 30, 2005 01:31 PM

Mike here- AWOK member. I love the idea that this is a hoax. Lord, if we really wanted to make money on this, we would have sold advertising space on our site, which we clearly do not have. And as for promoting our new show in the wake of this sites new-found popularity–Hell yes! Come to the next show! We have the showcase at The Funny, which is being advertised, and then a show of totally new material at Galapagos Arts Space on May 7! Mark it on your calender!

But truly, this unexpected internet infamy isn’t going to help our our group’s noteriety… our non-Krishna pages have not seen much of a bump, and during this whole time, with tens of thousands of visitors to the site, only seven new people have signed up for our mailing list. So if this was a hoax designed to drum up publicity, it wasn’t a good one. Besides, we play small bars in New York City… our capacity is usually around 50 and we usually advertise by throwing fliers everywhere. Internet-wide publicity is a bit of overkill.

I tried to keep up with posting in the beginning, before it truly balloon yesterday morning, and once it started getting insane I backed off, realizing how large it had become. I’m no blogger–I have trouble keeping up with the echo-chamber of the internet. Watching this unfold from behind the scenes, I tip my hat to everyone who runs a good, tight blog.

As for people who are out for Laura’s blood– Comeon’! She’s already has joined the ranks of such infamous internet flash-celebrities as Mahir Cahdri (that spelling is probably wrong, but remember the “I like sex” guy?) and that Romanian dancing guy. I can only hope that her 15-seconds of bad fame is almost over–it certainly wasn’t my intention for our site to become a place to come and stone Miss Krishna. Personally, I doubt she’ll be expelled–I hope she’s not expelled. Failure on the paper is good enough for me. Remember, an eye for an eye is about proportionality, not cruelty–everyone should get another chance.

There, that’s my addition to all of the moralizing.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 30, 2005 01:33 PM

I think she got what she deserved. As a prof, I’ve busted more students than I can list for liberating papers from the shackles of the internet. Every time, unless they have a record, most universites just ‘warn’ them to never do it again. It’s a harsh and embarassing punishment, but I bet many students will think twice (for at least the next week or two) about committing similar offenses

Posted by: jointhenoise at March 30, 2005 01:33 PM

I agree with Chris Coleman

Nate cannot see into the future thus should be held accountable for his actions. Please have some compassion for him!!

Posted by: Chris Coleman is right at March 30, 2005 01:34 PM

Just in case my trackback isn’t going though, here’s the URL:

Posted by: Elliott Bäck at March 30, 2005 01:34 PM

In response to Lexus NG’s comment about changing the blogs name from “Week Of Kindness”, why the hell should he? HELLOOOO!!!…..This website already existed before this whole drama happened. Obviously this went WAAAY out of control. Like Nate said this was only posted for a few people.And for everyone who’s getting all pissy at Nate for “ruining Laura’s life”,….back off! He handled the situation beautifully before, during AND after.

Imagine a person cruising down the road, listening to music, chillin’ out and puffin’ on a cigarette. When he’s done with his smoke he throws it out the window.He continues on his merry ol’ way. 9 times outta 10 it wouldn’t be a big deal….the cig would harmlessly burn itself out ( yeah it would be polluting and it’s a bad habit, but stick with me will ya?) And then theres the chance that it ignites and starts a wildfire. Meanwhile, the guy in the car is still just puttin’ along not knowing how huge a mess his lil’ cig has caused. If he knew, he would feel bad and try to help what damage he has done, and feel remorse for the harmless little act that he has done.
That’s kinda what happened here.Many of you will argue,….well, he shouldn’t have been smoking anyway or he shouldn’t have thrown the cig out the window…. true and true,….but that’s NOT MY POINT! the point I’m trying to make is that Nate does seem to have compassion for how out of control this thing has gotten. He offered to help her. This wasn’t meant to be super-sized. We all got sucked in and fed the flames that turned this into a wildfire. If it’s a hoax and an April Fool’s Day prank, then it was a damn good one and I can’t wait for the next. Congrats on a job well done.
If on the other hand, if all we read here is real….Laura is still a dumbass who got what she deserved. And of course the Mom is gonna be nice and placating. This is her daughter we’re talkin about. I bet Charlie Mansons mom said he was a good kid too. That’s how parents are…….I’m a parent and I am guilty of turning a blind eye to some things my child does. So what if her mom is nice….the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. hmmmmm……………….

Posted by: Dee Dee at March 30, 2005 01:34 PM

“I failed to show you blood when you wanted it.”

Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” comes to mind. (

“I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.”

Posted by: Eric N at March 30, 2005 01:37 PM

I agree with Professor Join the nose.

Harsh and embarassing punishment is the way to go. Nothing else seems to work.

Posted by: i join with prof. noise at March 30, 2005 01:38 PM

“If you must write prose and poems the words you use should be your own. Don’t Plagurize or take “on loan”. There’s always someone – somewhere – with big nose, that knows – And will trip you up and laugh when you fall” – Morrisey

wise words.

Posted by: Droop at March 30, 2005 01:40 PM

I agree with dee,

Cigarettes are dangerous in real life and as metaphors.

Posted by: dee 2 at March 30, 2005 01:41 PM

This blog has really snowballed into it’s own living entity. For those of you who continually criticise Nate for his ‘lack of compassion’ I don’t think that you realize that he never thought it would receive this sort of attention. Naive, yes, but not intentionally cruel. He did say that the site (of which the blog is only a subsection) was only getting about 30 hits a day; to think that he accurately predicted the level of publicity and then proceeded with defamous intentions is just ludicrous.

What I really wanted to comment on is the coming repercussions from her school. Many commenters have said that it’s likely that nothing will happen, as schools are more likely to let such a transgression go than to open themselves up to litigation. However, with the current popularity of this story, I’m sure the school will feel a lot of pressure to make an example out of Laura. I mean, I keep expecting to see this story pop up on CNN the way it’s been popping up everywhere on the internet. As we’ve learned from the Martha Stewart trial and the majority of the bloodthirsty comments on this blog, people want to see people punished for their bad behavior, even if the punishment doesn’t necessarily fit the crime.

Before I get flamed, I’m not in any way saying that Laura doesn’t deserve punishment for her stupidity. If she is made into a high profile example of ‘why not to behave this way’ for other college students, then bravo. I just feel that we’ve all had our fun, and it’s time to let the proper authorities take over. She’s (hopefully) learned a hard lesson, and will very likely learn a few more based on what her school decides to do with her. It’s time for a bit of compassion.

Posted by: oddpenguin at March 30, 2005 01:42 PM

I agree odpenguin, with the CNN thing. This would make a great news story even if it were a brief one. However I have a feeling the journalist would have a difficult time getting any comments from cheaty mc cheats a lot or her mother. The story would probably be killed.

And in response to one of the wack job commenters up there talking about “poor journalism and lack of fact checking” you have to be joking. This is a blog that doesn’t claim to have any journalistic value, it’s online, certainly not held to the same standards as a published newspaper or magazine. Lighten up or get off the internet.

Posted by: Mike again at March 30, 2005 01:52 PM

I can’t believe someone here is defending Laura because the fact that she IM’d some random person shows that she was “desperate”…and so Nate took advantage of her “desperation”.

Fuck that. She was lazy. Collossally fucking lazy and with a checkbook that said “money is no object” in terms of getting out of doing actual work.

I don’t believe for a second that this is the first time she’s done this. And, BTW, unless she started college when she was 14, a third year college student is not a “kid”. She’s an adult – a young adult, perhaps, but a junior in college is not some innocent 6th grader. Just because she’s stupid and her mom is nice doesn’t mean she should be treated like a child. She’s an irresponsible, dishonest adult.

As was commented before, if she was so “desperate” she would have buckled down and spent the night writing the damned paper herself. She said herself that the topic was completely broad and could have been about ANYTHING related to Hinduism — how difficult is *that* for a third-year college student? The fact that she couldn’t churn out a decent 5 page paper on anything at all related to Hinduism within 12 hours shows that she likely hasn’t written anything substantive at all in her first two years in college.

Besides, if she had some serious situation in her life that truly made her “desperate”, she wouldn’t have had all that time to seek out Nate’s random IM profile or correspond with him about the draft. She could have approached her professor and asked for an extension.

On top of that, to not even take the time to proofread the damned paper before turning it in shows how preposterously lazy she is.

And on top of that, she lied when Nate tried to get payment for his paper.

She’s no kid. She’s lazy, she’s a liar, she’s a cheat.

Posted by: No pity for Laura at March 30, 2005 01:53 PM

HOAX OR NOT, this is a great litmus test of how we feel about cheating and punishment. It’s been a pleasure to read. Thank you, Nate.

Agreeing with jp, the first things any miscreants do when caught are:

(1) deny,

(2) swear it’s the first time it’s ever happened,

(3) lie some more to evade being caught

Laura, the thing you should have done instead is try being honest with the Dean. Contrition would have shown you off in a much better light.

Posted by: mickey at March 30, 2005 01:53 PM

Disconcerting remains the impression that this student, having used the miracle of IM to hire a ghost writer without a second thought and having intended to scam him the $75 she promised for the work, does not appear to be very unusual.

Whether LKP learns a lesson or not is not the question. The lesson needs to go to the Dean. In all probability LKP fairly accurately reflects the moral leanings of many of her contemporaries at the school, a fact that Lewis (and probably most every college on the planet) really ought to address.

Posted by: Otto Schweigenthaler at March 30, 2005 02:02 PM

I want to marry Laura, she sounds hot as hell, kinda like a chick that cries. I know your reading this Laura, you should post a link to some pics;)

Posted by: i love laura at March 30, 2005 02:02 PM

There are two levels on which you can review this event. On the individual level, the girl was dumb, dumb, dishonest and dumb. Grist for the great Darwinian millstone. Nate was bloodthirsty, and has benefitted greatly from it. Chum for the great white shark of Karma. (I’d start lighting incense if I were you, Nate.)

But on a social level, Nate has provided a great service. The sheer volume of exposure of this event has provided an object lesson not only for stupid college students, but stupid people everywhere who steal ideas. Well, the stupid people won’t get it. But the episodically stupid–those who otherwise know better but are tempted from time to time–will get it.

As a person who makes a living writing, I have found, more than once, people stealing articles I’ve spent hours writing and posting them on their own sites with their own byline. If Nate has prevented one person from ripping off my own livelihood down the road, he can have a tablespoon of whatever good Karma I can offer.

Posted by: Scribb at March 30, 2005 02:05 PM

I teach engineering and I get students lying to me about stupid stuff every year. I have not yet found a way to get them to stop doing it. They lie about missing class, they lie about doing homework, they lie about owning the textbook. Some of these kids will just happily lie about anything if they think they can get away with it. I have no recollection of going through a similar phase myself, and I don’t know how common it is, but I would say at least 1 out of every 20 students has no personal integrity.

They of course get genuinely upset when caught in a lie or in cheating, and genuinely beg you for forgiveness, but then they continue to lie to you while begging. If a parent gets involved, they don’t lie nearly as well, and usually the parent knows full well the kid lies, and has little sympathy for the state they are in. But they still want you to help their kid…

Posted by: Faculty Guy at March 30, 2005 02:05 PM

Nate, Nate, Nate. Even if you hadn’t stated it plainly at one point in your blog, it would still be obvious that you are only in your early twenties. Throughout this sad tale, at least until you spoke with her on the phone, you showed no self-doubts about your role in meteing out judgement on her for her actions. This is not about Laura Nate. I do not dispute for a moment the wrongness of what she attempted, or whether she deserves to suffer for it. But this whole thread is about you. It reveals more about you than about her, Nate. About your character, and your presumption that you were somehow appointed by history, or by god, or by the internet, or by your by your own intellectual superiority, or by your duty to your family’s educational heritage (spare me), to be the policeman, the enforcer, the prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner of this poor dumb shallow girl. In my experience, only twenty-somethings and tv evangelists have so little self-doubt. So what if she plagerized? How does that cheapen my degree? I studied and gained knowledge for it’s own sake, not the piece of paper.
Why did you study Nate, so you could despise people who go to community college? The meaningless of her degree does not lessen the meaningfulness of yours. So don’t try and shill that crap about your noble motives to me Nate. The fact that you didn’t really turn her in is irrelevant. It is your pleasure in toying with her, judging her, that I am addressing. Only people still under the illusion of their own righteousness take such pleasure as you did in exposing another’s. You will grow up one day. Hope that you recieve more mercy than you showed Laura.

Posted by: cetacean at March 30, 2005 02:10 PM

I hope you aren’t going to feel overly guilty about this. I think this girl has far greater screw-ups in her future, because it’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t listen, she doesn’t think, and she doesn’t learn. The saddest thing is that her mother has a lot more heart-break in store for her over the years, what with being a well-meaning enabler and all.

It’s interesting that it was Laura’s statement “money is no object” that precipitated so little sympathy for her from so many people, as they dubbed her a little rich-girl bitch. Ironically, the reason it was no object wasn’t that she was a rich-girl bitch with a big bank account, it was because she apparently never intended to pay you in the first place.

Plus, she didn’t just (as you wrote in a post, earlier) whine to you to take her name off your site — useless, as you pointed out — she also asked you to lie and publish a retraction. I assume she wanted you to publish that you’d made it all up? That would have taken the heat off her and onto you, as you would then be dubbed a liar and a meanie, attacking an innocent girl this way. Or maybe she expected a retraction would magically make it all go away as if it never happened. Which is nuts, because this girl turned in a paper with the words “I made a doody” in it and you don’t just walk away from that.

She’s no mere plagiarist; she’s a thief, a coward, and a chisler, too. And a moron, because even a plagiarizing, chisling, thieving coward with more than a single brain cell in her head would have read the paper she’d just purchased from a complete stranger on the internet before turning it in. Also? She apparently doesn’t handle stress all that well. So maybe she should stop putting herself into potentially stressful situations, like soliciting strangers on the internet to write her papers for her.

There are kids who screw up and deserve sympathy and a second chance, and there are people like this dim young woman, who pick the wrong and easy answer every single step of the way, over and over, without remorse (unless they get caught. Then, remorse a-plenty. About getting caught.)

Posted by: Telzey at March 30, 2005 02:10 PM

I agree with “No pity for Laura”
1) We cannot accept laziness. It has to be punshed. Even acts such as responding to blogs should go unpunished.

2) Liars and cheats lose rights to privacy or justice. Just my opinion, if you have problem, feel free to waste your time and respond to me.

I also agree with Mike
Nate is not a journalist and should not be accountable for anything, ever.

Posted by: i also have no pity at March 30, 2005 02:12 PM

In brief response to Elaine (Biome!):

You said: Maybe I have a twisted sense of morality. Cheating (including plagiarism) is ass but what Nate did was, in my opinion, worse. Laura came to him asking for help and if he had simply refused to write the paper, then maybe she would have buckled down and written it.

Laura did NOT come asking for help. She came asking for someone to do the work that she was responsible for doing herself. ‘Help’ would be more in the nature of asking someone to proof-read your paper. ‘Help’ would be asking to bounce ideas off of someone so you can better put them into words. ‘Help’ is not paying someone to do all that for you.

You also said: The fact that she approached a stranger on the internet to help her in her assignment shows that she was pretty desperate, and not everyone is sensitive to virtual sarcasm.

Did it show desperation, or did it show laziness? An act of desperation is meeting your professor in his office and begging for an extension. Contacting someone and offering to pay them is not desperation; its stupidity based on the assumption that you can pay to get out of your responsibilites. That should have died with scuttage in Medieval Europe, yet somehow it always makes it back in, and people wrongly assume that it is justifiable.

Note also that I to have seen cheating in various forms, and have been asked to ‘help’ people to cheat. I turned them down, with a stern lecture. I even offered to help them learn or do their assignments in legitimate ways, just as you suggest. And in EVERY case, the person found someone else to help them cheat. Some things require a less gentle touch, that is nevertheless meant to teach.

Posted by: The Question at March 30, 2005 02:17 PM

Yay, another two cents.

I’ve seen a couple people complain that using the word “bitch” is horribly sexist. I don’t understand that, since the word is generally used as a generic insult against a female, much as “bastard” tends to be used with regards to men. If it was being used in a situation where its connotations involved “oh, she’s too independent and not womanly/feminine enough, blah blah,” then yeah, I can see how it would have been seen as sexist, but after reading through every comment on the issue at hand, I only noticed one that struck me as particularly sexist — and that one didn’t even use the word in question.

The funny thing is, LKK was being the OPPOSITE of the “sexist” meaning of bitch. She was showing an incredible degree of dependence on a strange man. And, uh, honestly I don’t think any of us know what her relative degree of femininity is, so that’s pretty well irrelevant.

Of course, it kind of gets at me when people whine about how things should always be perfectly politically correct, because that’s just veiling nonsense and idiocy under the guise of progress.

On a similar note, I doubt everyone talking about the “paying your way through college” thing is saying “OMG, she’s rich, persecute her!” Personally, I’d be even more pissed off if she was poor and pulled something like that, because poor people generally do not have cushy lives in which mommy and daddy come and save their sorry asses from the evils of honest work — they don’t expect that shit, so it’s even dumber if they do something like that without the expectation of someone pulling them out of it. This is not about sympathy for social classes, and I find it hard to believe that anyone is trying to turn it into something regarding that.

It’s not like the rest of us don’t get the opportunity to cheat, and sometimes by accident.. ex., my school’s chemistry department has the unfortunate habit of occasionally posting the answers to a test before the test. I’ve never used ’em, because that would fuck with my conscience pretty horribly. Luckily, I don’t think any large number of people have caught on to that, or that would screw the curve all to hell.

Posted by: Melody at March 30, 2005 02:18 PM

Nate, quit defending yourself. Whether it is a hoax or not, it’s a darned funny story to read. No arguing by you is going to change any nay-sayers minds.

Let people enjoy the ride.

And if it is true……Laura? Good luck when you fail at life and “mommy” can’t bail you out anymore. You can probably get by as a $5 blowjob whore once your top teeth fall out.

Posted by: Icehawg at March 30, 2005 02:20 PM

My first reaction (well, after laughing at poor, dumb Luara) was that Nate was an ass for fucking with someone’s life he didn’t even know. But in light his posited intentions, I find it funny and ironic. That’s what I would have wanted to accomplish.

As for all of you out for blood: get real. Take a step back. How important is this, really? Its bullshit, like any other youthful indiscretion. My advice to you: get over yourselves.
To those invested too heavily in acedemia to have a useful perspective: suckers! Y’all drank the Kool-aid.

Posted by: jack at March 30, 2005 02:20 PM

I agree with Telzey-

She is not just plagiarist, she stands against all that is good and sweet. Dumb girls are to be stripped and spanked in public like what you have just done.

Again, Telzey is great but Nate is greater!!

Posted by: i wanna be like telzey at March 30, 2005 02:22 PM

Even wading through the pompous, self-righteous who-ha, it’s been interesting and a hell of a ride, thank you Nate.

Laura, it could have been a lot worse. You’re lucky.

Posted by: moe at March 30, 2005 02:32 PM

Peupty peupty pants. It’ll all be o.k. in the morning. Laura will live on, and have kids, and grandkids, and teach them all about the evils of the internet, and plagiarism, and the birds and the bees.

Posted by: I gotta go get dressed at March 30, 2005 02:36 PM

While even I feel a wee twang of sympathy for the girl since I’ve pulled my share of stupid human stunts in the past…
I can’t help but feel bad for you, Nate.
You seem pretty genuinely upset that this got so out of hand and here you are STILL getting flamed for it.

Me, personally? Well I’m obnoxious. I would have eaten her alive and enjoyed the hell out of myself…esp. with such an impressive audience.
It really says a lot about you that you didn’t.

Posted by: henwhen at March 30, 2005 02:36 PM

The Nate haters screaming “karma this and karma that” are prodiving a great laugh, thanks guys.

Oh and lighten up a bit, get the stick out of your ass, have a drink, something. You must be the most boring people around, do you have friends?

Posted by: Mike, yet again at March 30, 2005 02:36 PM

Alright, Nate. Fess up. How much are they paying you to keep quiet and to tell the Dean it was all a huge hoax?

Posted by: Cynic at March 30, 2005 02:38 PM

I agree with i love laura. Can you post some pictures Laura?

Posted by: EYELOVELAURA2 at March 30, 2005 02:38 PM

Heh. You’re a damn cynic, cynic. If they’re paying me, it’s obviously not enough, because nobody has retracted.

Posted by: Nate Kushner at March 30, 2005 02:41 PM

I just hope that one day, Nate, smeone goes all vigilante on you because they discover something about you that offends their personal sense of justice, then goes all out to humiliate you in a public fashion. After all, people who violate parking laws or smoke dope or whatever the hell you do deserve what’s coming to them, right? Never mind that they sold you the weed, told you to park in that spot, etc. You’ll never know if your refusal to do this paper for her would have resulted in her doing it herself or not. But of course you’re totally blameless right? I mean even considering plagiarism is surely just as bad.

The lack of compassion and general cruelty expressed in most of these comments frankly shocks me, too. I thought higher of humanity in general, but here you leeches are gathering and cheering on this retarded vigilante justice and even harassing the author that he wasn’t as much of an asshole to her as she ‘deserved’. Life is tough indeed, eh? Maybe life wouldn’t be such an asshole in general if people like you didn’t use that as an excuse to act like fucking dicks all the time just to get your jollies.

Posted by: blah at March 30, 2005 02:42 PM

I agree with Mike (he truly is brilliant),

Please people, please, try to get the stick out your ass. I am trying to laugh at someone’s expense, please do not bring up Karma. Not fun. Go somewhere else.

Posted by: get it out at March 30, 2005 02:43 PM


Posted by: Dr. Eval at March 30, 2005 02:44 PM

Don’t torture yourself. The kid knew what a kettle of crap she was putting on to boil when she chose plagiarism.

She may have a nice mom, but so did Darth Vader.

Posted by: CheeseburgerBrown at March 30, 2005 02:44 PM

We love you Laura!! Simply for the fact that you have put some substance into our day. Nate, we love you too, for the same reason. Nate and Laura rock!

Posted by: I gotta go get dressed at March 30, 2005 02:46 PM

nate, i adore you. i worked my ass off to get two degrees and i didn’t cheat. ever. i can’t understand the teeming throngs who are attempting to castigate you for doing something just and thought-provoking. focus on the positive; a lot of us think you rock. ignore anyone who doesn’t.

Posted by: A N N A at March 30, 2005 02:46 PM

As a grad student TA who caught two plagiarists in my Intro into Women’s Studies class last year I have to say I’m pretty much in support if Nate’s actions. Women’s Studies is all about understanding outside circumstances, hardships, blah blah blah. However these women, both seniors, denied any wrongdoing until I plopped the Goggled results in front of them.

One of the seniors was only four days away from graduation. I pointed out my plagiarism policy in my syllabus (F for the course, letter to Dean). She said she hadn’r seen it before. I reminded her I had read the syllabus in its entirity on the first day. She told my (in a quite a snitty voice) that she hadn’t been there, she had been on a cruise with her family. She then said she would be “willing” to redo the paper. When I said no, she started screaming, saying I had “ruined” her life because she would now “have to go to summer school.”

I did feel bad. My F would substancially effect her GPA. The mark on her transcript would be there for possible grad school applications. But as a fellow TA poined out, I wasn’t doing this to her, she had done it to herself. She never expressed any remorse, only outrage that I wasn’t going to let her get away with it. I agree wholeheartedly with sengria. Laura was not victimized. she knew very well what she was doing. While I’m not 100% Nate’s actions (90% maybe)it is nice to know that he (and a good number of posters) have not forgotten academic integrity.

Posted by: gillyfield at March 30, 2005 02:46 PM

“So what if she plagerized? How does that cheapen my degree? I studied and gained knowledge for it’s own sake, not the piece of paper. Why did you study Nate, so you could despise people who go to community college?”

Cheapening your degree and cheapening your education are two different things. Your education is what you made of it and it’s “value” is up to you. Your DEGREE has very tangible social and monetary value, regardless of whether you use it for those things.

That people like Laura can attain degrees by cheating their way into academic success cheapens them. This is not some subjective myth, it’s a very simple fact. Degrees are supposed to be symbols that those who attain them are deserving of them.

Your argument is like saying that somebody becoming a high-ranking judge because their daddy got them the job doesn’t cheapen the judicial system. It damn well does.

*Shrug* Maybe only 20-somethings trying to go get jobs with those degrees are in a position to realize that, though they certainly shouldn’t be the only ones who see it.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 02:47 PM

I live in Chicago and I’m going to go to Illinois Lewis University with picket signs and start a movement to free Laura!!

Posted by: freeLauranow at March 30, 2005 02:49 PM

Who thinks Nate’s family is a bunch of raging maniacs?
Poor, poor family. Please somebody think about the cushioners.
If anyone knows this moron or his family, please make sure to make their life is a living hell!!

Posted by: nate cushion at March 30, 2005 02:49 PM

I think Laura is just representative of where society is at now. The liars, the cheaters, the assholes, the dicks..they are the ones who make it. They are the ones that get ahead in life. It makes you wish there really is a God, so that one day in the afterlife, all those who cheated their way to the top and put the honest man down will get some kind of grand punishment.

I truelly hope Laura’s mother chewed her ass for what she did. I hope that good old Mom didn’t teach her to do such things.

Posted by: Winston Bolen at March 30, 2005 02:49 PM

Dear Blah:

May our guilt eat away at our souls like kharmatic battery acid.

Posted by: the green glass at March 30, 2005 02:51 PM

I agree with Gillyfield (She is so wise, I think she is the Virgin Mary),

Nate’s actions are on the same level as a teacher displining their students. Same level!! Damn it!!

Posted by: Gillyfield rocks at March 30, 2005 02:54 PM

“Nathan is so brown, and Laura is so gray, kharmatic dreaming, on such a plagiaristic day.”

-the mommas and the poppas

Posted by: bored silly at March 30, 2005 02:56 PM

You did the right thing… too many cheaters sail through college (and through life) undetected. By the time they get caught, years upon years later, they have have not only harmed themselves but everyone around them. Just ask any employee of a company which went under because someone cooked the books, or any researcher who spent has wasted years of his life because of someone faking the data.

As for the rest of you who are condemning Nate, GROW UP! You might as well complain about the police because they punish criminals!

Posted by: Doc C at March 30, 2005 02:59 PM

Good for you. For the entire thing. Justice tempered with at least attempts at mercy.

Posted by: Paul Gowder at March 30, 2005 03:02 PM

I agree with Doc,

Police and Nate are one and the same!!

Posted by: what’s up doc at March 30, 2005 03:02 PM

Won’t somebody PLEASE think about the children!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: fonter at March 30, 2005 03:05 PM

“As for the rest of you who are condemning Nate, GROW UP! You might as well complain about the police because they punish criminals!”

Well, no. Firstly, police officers are trained and paid to go apprehend criminals. If someone approaches you asking you to help them rob a bank, you would hopefully notify the authorities, but you certainly do not apprehend and mete out punishment to them yourselves.

Secondly, the police do not (anymore) hang offenders out to dry in public where everyone can laugh and pelt them with stones. But Nate did not do this intentionally. He meant to use this site as a scare tactic with her, and for a laugh with his friends. He did not go around and post it on link sites for the whole Internet to find. We did. That part of this process is 100% our fault. Without our intervention, the site would have gotten almost no attention at all.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 03:11 PM

Something I’ve learned: University employees take plagiarism seriously! They’ve been the ones grabbing the torches and hailing this as a heroic action. I guess I can’t blame them, plagiarism is blatant academic lying.

Still, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Laura is not the problem, she’s only a symptom. I talked to my spiritual advisor about this (he’s indian, so he’s legit), and by placing so much attention on Laura, we’re just fueling our somewhat scary human drive to create faceless scapegoats. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that if you go to any of the blogs that link us and have sponsored links, all of the links are to things like “Term Papers – No Monthly Fees. Over 50,000 exemplary model term papers. Low prices. Hundreds of topics…” Don’t spew hate at Laura, spew it at any one of the hundreds of sites like those on the internet.

And come to our next show.

Posted by: Mike Still at March 30, 2005 03:13 PM

Tell her it was an April Fool’s joke on Friday. She’ll fall in love with you and your witty self.

Posted by: CalZ at March 30, 2005 03:17 PM

BTW, the name of the HTML file for the initial Laura post still uses her surname.

Posted by: jeffalbertson at March 30, 2005 03:18 PM

What’s with the sympathy for the guilty here?

She is not a victim. She deliberately and specifically set out to commit academic fraud. She deserves to be expelled, period.

I’m sure her mom is very nice, but that doesn’t mitigate what Laura did.

Posted by: Caporal X at March 30, 2005 03:21 PM

You can say hi to Nate if you ever see him. His friendster pic is at

Posted by: BleuRhino at March 30, 2005 03:22 PM

Mike Still, I hope you’re joking. If not I laugh in the face of you and your “spiritual adivsor”

She is part of the problem, not just a “symptom”
You can’t blame the websites that advertise the “50,000 term papers”. No one makes you use them, it’s a conscious choice.

I can find instructions on how to make a bomb and if I follow them and blow up innocent people or property I’m to blame, not the webstie. It amazes me how clueless some people truly are.

Posted by: Mike (not Still) at March 30, 2005 03:23 PM

Doc, my only problem with what Nate did was that he took it to a public forum BEFORE there was a conclusion to the whole mess. The right thing to do would have been for him to either tell her no at the start, or if he was set on doing the deed, at least telling the dean and reporting what happened afterwards.

I’m guessing Laura is 20 years old or so (please correct me if I’m off base), how many of us did stupid things at 20 years old? I’m 27 and continue to do stupid things from time to time. As humans, thats what we do. Its how we handle them later that determines what kind of person we are.

Honestly, we have no idea what drove the girl to go the lengths she did. Maybe there was some bad situation going on and it spiraled out of control.

Still, what she did was wrong and she’s going to pay for it the first time an employer Googles her. I’m appalled at the some of the comments from people that want to see more blood, though.

Posted by: Winston Bolen at March 30, 2005 03:24 PM

Part of the problem is this: stupid people should not go to college. The whole democratic ideal of absolute equality is crap. Some people are really not qualified to rise above janitorial work. Period. Which is good, because someone needs to be doing brainless work that bores the crap out of smart people. And dishonest spineless spoiled little cunts of all sexes should end up on the bottom ’til they work their way up. Get it? No? Don’t worry – you will.

Posted by: Ura Simian at March 30, 2005 03:25 PM

I get the impression that university employees hate students.

Posted by: LKP at March 30, 2005 03:26 PM

Ura Simian

spoken like a true bigoted male

Posted by: LKP at March 30, 2005 03:28 PM

aaaah, thanks for the update Nate. Now, the only thing I wonder about here is when Nice Mom[tm] said: “expressed her dismay over the thousands of dollars this was costing her every semester for her daughter” did she mean the money spent on bought term-papers? 😉

Posted by: dabitch at March 30, 2005 03:34 PM

Winston sweetie, I might have done some silly things when I was twenty, but plagiarizing wasn’t one of the dumb things. After working a few years to save up for an expensive college abroad I sure as hell wasn’t going to throw away my time and money on not studying.

The tequila races however, they were really dumb.

Posted by: dabitch at March 30, 2005 03:37 PM

“Still, what she did was wrong and she’s going to pay for it the first time an employer Googles her. I’m appalled at the some of the comments from people that want to see more blood, though.”

Winston – you would be seriously surprised how far people can get with a little charm and fake certifications/diplomas/degrees. People aren’t usually suspicious, and the cheaters take advantage of that. Google a fellow by the name of Eric Poehlman, who managed to fake data for years (at around 3 million dollars of taxpayer money), and still slid into a job at the University of Montreal while under fraud investigation in the states.

If the public hanging of Laura makes you uncomfortable, think of the favor we are doing her by driving home the message that plagarism has consequences now when she’s 20. Eric Poehlman, on the other hand, is looking at 5 years in prison.

Posted by: Doc C at March 30, 2005 03:39 PM

Actually, I am a college employee… And I actually *like* college students – especially the ones who came from nothing, worked their asses off in high school – or in community college – to get out of whatever bad scene they were born into, and are talented and hard-working enough to get somewhere without expecting anyone to hand it to them. I also like the lazy ones who are satisfied to coast by with lower grades so they can maintain their peace of mind. I like the rich ones who recognize that they have it easy and try to be gracious about it. And I like non-college students who figured that, since they weren’t very good at reading, writing, or ‘rithmetic, they should find a better way to serve themselves and society than by sucking money and energy out of an already over-burdened education system.

But, yeah, I don’t particularly care for anyone who gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar and then complains that they have crumbs under their nails.

Posted by: Ura Simian at March 30, 2005 03:39 PM

It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment she gets. It’s a very unique situation, a public outing of this magnitude. It could work both ways: they could lessen her punishment, saying that the humiliation was bad enough; or, they could decide that because so many people are watching this case, it is an opportunity for making an example that they can’t pass up.

Posted by: K at March 30, 2005 03:39 PM


Calling women “bitch” is degrading no matter what context, just like calling African Americans n-. “Bitch” is a degrading term to call a woman a dog, it’s disgusting no matter what.

Posted by: Garrett at March 30, 2005 03:39 PM

Bitch is degrading, so is naming someone Garrett. I called this dude ‘Garrett’ once…man, I got the beating of a life time! Learned my lesson though 😉

Posted by: Ephithet? at March 30, 2005 03:41 PM

Ura Simian, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

LKP, saying people should work for what they want, whether it be a good grade or a good job, involves neither hatred of students nor bigotry. I know that it’s a pleasant ideal to hold for some people — the idea that the stupid, lazy, and morally depraved can rise up to be equal to the smart, ethical, and hard-working — but it’d do the world good if people would realize that pretending it works that way screws things up.

I’m a minority female, so I understand full well what it’s like to be the underdog, but I choose to distribute my compassion to those who are neither willfully stupid nor morally depraved.

Posted by: Melody at March 30, 2005 03:46 PM

“Ephithet?”, what is your point?

Posted by: Garrett at March 30, 2005 03:54 PM

Nobody’s posted anything for a while

Posted by: Friend at March 30, 2005 03:55 PM

Nate, some told you it wasn’t your job to force her to ‘do the right thing’ once the fat was in the fire. But it wasn’t your job to force her to ‘do the right thing’ before the fat was in the fire. Your job was to write her a paper on hinduism. That’s what you were commissioned for. You frauded her. She had every reason not to pay you, you failed to deliver. Your fraud was was commited before hers, and your fraud was for a monetary sum.

You come up with the excuses that you have family that are teachers, and that’s why you commited fraud. Bullshit. Your reasons for committing fraud is that you had an opportunity to be an asshole and you couldn’t pass it up. Your family’s occupations aren’t reasons to commit fraud, they’re excuses. You are exploiting your family when you offer them up as reasons why you frauded this girl.

You mentioned a couple times that you didn’t realize the affect your actions would have, and that’s why we should have sympathy for you. That sounds like the exact same excuse Laura is using for her actions. Except her motivations were just laziness, whereas your motivations were to malicously harm another. So ontop of being a fraud, you are also a thoughtless prick.

Posted by: Mr. K at March 30, 2005 03:59 PM

Dude, Garrett. Calling anyone anything that they don’t want to hear is degrading. The only real solution is to take things in context, and to not be so damn sensitive about things. I think comparing “bitch” with “nigger” might be a bit extreme, though. Really, the only problem I have with bitch when used as the standard female counterpart to bastard (hasn’t anyone else heard of that logic? girls are bitches, guys are bastards? maybe I grew up in a weird part of the internet..) is that using it as an insult regarding people is probably more insulting to dogs, in general, than it is to the people it’s used against.

On the other hand, “bitch in heat” — now THAT’S offensive. 😀

Posted by: Melody at March 30, 2005 03:59 PM

Nate Kushner, you are truly an evil human being and I hope you realize that yes you really have ruined this poor girl’s life forever and ever. Judging from the fact that she has managed to make Dean’s list while yet being unable to form a coherent sentence, we can conclude 2 things. Laura is:

a) Hot
b) Dumb

What exciting career options present themselves to a young girl with this particular skillset, once she’s been shown the door out of academia? That’s right, fast food or pornography.

I can only hope that one dark autumn evening in the not-too-distant future, Mr. Nate Kushner feels a whisper vulnerable and decides to take a porn tape back to his lonely apartment. Perhaps entitled “Anal Plagiarists vol. 5”. To his shock and horror he sees the face of Laura staring back at him from the TV screen as she takes a 10″ black cock in the ass, and mouths the words, with venom and deep bitter resentment etched on her face, “I H-A-T-E Y-O-U N-A-T-E K-U-S-H-N-E-R”.

Posted by: SOS at March 30, 2005 04:01 PM

Especially given the person’s record of lying on other points, I doubt this was a first offense — plagiarism is a habit. The ‘net has also made it much easier to buy papers, so there’s a certain rough justice in the way the ‘net also shames one particular plagiarist, even if the frenzy is a little weird. If this episode makes people more hesitant to buy papers, it’s a good thing. And it’s interesting to see the almost complete lack of interest the student had in the assignment, or in reading over the paper before handing it in. “I made a doody” indeed!

Posted by: perfesser at March 30, 2005 04:03 PM

Some of you should take off your executioner’s hoods and think about what you would do if this were someone you loved that had done this…and hope that if YOU were to ever do anything wrong that nobody is so cruel to YOU over a simple theft. (which is all plagiarism really is, no matter what you’ve heard)

Posted by: Dave at March 30, 2005 04:04 PM

Just wanted to let you know, I blogged this story and I’ve gone back and edited my original blog taking her name off (not that it matters in the grand scheme of things). I think you handled things pretty well and you definitely should plug the crap out of your show. It’s your site, we don’t have to read it. Please post if you ever find out what the final punishment is.

Posted by: experiment33 at March 30, 2005 04:05 PM


I don’t want to be too hard on you. You are entitled to support the crucifixion of Laura if you wish. And to believe that her sort of behavior lessens your own chances of getting a job. But your critique of my argument lacks logic on a couple of levels. You are right that a “degree” has a fixed and recognized social and monetary value. But to imply that even one entirely faked diploma (not just a plagerized paper) cheapens YOUR degree in the eyes of society is spurious and ridiculus. That is like saying that the value of a dollar goes down every time someone counterfeits one. Secondly, to use your illustration, a person does not attain the level of “high-ranking judge” simply because they have a law degree. After you get in any door opened by a diploma, you will find that acheivement and the level of attainment has much more to do with work ethic, inherent intelligence, sound judgement and personal character (which includes not whining that someone less-qualified than you is successful).

To Doc C, and all those who so love seeing “justice” done to Laura: The public hanging of Laura doesn’t make me “uncomfortable”. I simply find your and others love for it repugnant. 🙂

As I said, I hope this doesn’t seem tooharsh toward you Eric. I am not flaming you. But I felt I must respond, as there is no shortage of those on here looking for ways to justify their bloodlust.

Posted by: cetacean at March 30, 2005 04:14 PM

“Your job was to write her a paper on hinduism. That’s what you were commissioned for. You frauded her. She had every reason not to pay you, you failed to deliver. Your fraud was was commited before hers, and your fraud was for a monetary sum.

You come up with the excuses that you have family that are teachers, and that’s why you commited fraud. Bullshit. Your reasons for committing fraud is that you had an opportunity to be an asshole and you couldn’t pass it up. Your family’s occupations aren’t reasons to commit fraud, they’re excuses. You are exploiting your family when you offer them up as reasons why you frauded this girl.

You mentioned a couple times that you didn’t realize the affect your actions would have, and that’s why we should have sympathy for you. That sounds like the exact same excuse Laura is using for her actions. Except her motivations were just laziness, whereas your motivations were to malicously harm another. So ontop of being a fraud, you are also a thoughtless prick.”


Let’s try analogy again. Somebody comes to you and says “I hear you know about locks, I need you to help me rob a bank!” You can, at that point, simply say no and then refer them to the authorities who, having no evidence of wrongdoing other than your sayso, may do nothing. The crime may not be committed, in which case they will face no consequences, or they may find someone else to help them, in which case they might get away with it.

Your other option is to pretend to play along, and then notify the authorities that you are being complicit in an attempt to catch them. You don’t ACTUALLY help them rob a bank (as Nate did not actually write a believable Hindu paper) but you provide enough rope for the perpetrator to either hang themselves with, or not. In short, you have prepared a situation wherein, IF they do the bad thing, their capture is ensured.

To call the catching equivalent to the crime is ridiculous. The mistake Nate made was putting it where we all could see it, which made it a vigilante thing. He didn’t intend for us to ever see it, just a few of his friends. Unfortunately, nothing can go on the Internet without the whole world getting invited, and so society (you and me, not Nate) decided her fate before Nate, the dean or anyone else could have a say.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 04:19 PM

Nate, I think it was pretty naive of you to assume that no one beyond your circle of friends would see this blog and try to contact Laura or her university. But I do not believe that you acted viciously, and I think you did not intend for it to get this out of control. From everything I’ve read, it certainly sounds as if Laura regrets her actions only because she got caught, and it makes me very sad that there are probably many more college students like her.

Posted by: Bridget at March 30, 2005 04:24 PM

cetacean – No offense taken. I agree with you that the bloodlust is disturbing. I felt some of it myself when this first appeared, and I feel bad about that, though I really only forwarded it along because it’s been a great drama.

As for the logical error, though, I don’t think it’s an error. An oversimplification, maybe. Does the value of a dollar go down every time one is conterfeited? Not perceptibly. But does stopping counterfeiters every time we get the chance affect the value of a dollar? It arguably could. It isn’t that Nate saved the educational system by his actions, or vindicated every victim of plagiarism. But that isn’t required to applaud the attitude that when the chance exists, plagiarism should be stopped, and stopped harshly. As an aggragate, plagiarISTS do indeed devalue degrees in a real way.

Me, I’ve got my job. But it wasn’t any fun doing it, and it isn’t for anybody these days. Her sort of action puts job seekers in competition with people who shouldn’t even be in the running except that they cheated their way into the degree that got them the interview. That’s a real problem.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 04:26 PM

Jesus, Nate. Call the school, the dean, the school’s president. I have no sympathy for her if she gets kicked out of school and punished for cheating. Write the paper and write about the whole thing on the blog if you wish.

But WTF did you have to publish her real name for? You gave stalkers with no life a chance to hassle her and her family.

So callers, did it make you feel oh-so-very righteous to harrass a stranger? Did harrassing her make the integrity of your degrees that much stronger? Do you also attend stonings?

Posted by: Get a life at March 30, 2005 04:27 PM

And so the world’s attention briefly swings from its spreadsheets and texteditors to glance at another awkward Real World morality play with comments and cameraphones whose ending, as it is with life, is satisfying to very few.

Loose ends abound. Moral certitude found wanting. The blogosphere mirrors humanity’s ache for a directive beyond reproach.

Is Laura an idiot?
Is Nate kind of a cock?
Do things unravel awful quick with a million eyes and a million tongues?
Does human social discourse inherently reward cheaters or the self-righteous?

And will it be Laura’s selfishness or Nate’s pride that first draws the unholy rage of Ganesha to magically teleport down from the heavenly vault to stomp and gore the living bejeesus out of all of us?

Posted by: the highlights in your hairdo at March 30, 2005 04:29 PM

I for one welcome our plagiarizing overlords.

Posted by: Thomas at March 30, 2005 04:35 PM

Hey… I got an idea!!!! Everyone go down to the AWOK show and protest Nate outside!!! Let the club management know just how much the public disspproves of Nate’s actions with placards and signs!!! If enough people show up they’ll never get a gig there again!! w00t!!! Since this has already spread like wildfire, lets burn THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN!!!!

Any daring folk can pay the cover and heckle Nate while he’s on stage… I can just hear it “LAAAAUUUUUUURRRRAAAAAAA” and “WE HATE YOU NATE!!!”

and so another troupe goes (not so) gentle into the night… stupid is as a stupid does….

Posted by: Raging Liberal at March 30, 2005 04:36 PM

Yeah.. thanks Boomer…. like that post isn’t going to get deleted… wow.. you’re so clever..

Posted by: Boomer Isa Turd at March 30, 2005 04:38 PM

Yes. I attend stonings every other Thursday night. Douchebag.

Posted by: Lindsay at March 30, 2005 04:39 PM


If people are saying that we should punish Nate for using her real name, by that logic, shouldn’t we also be punishing YOU for posting the link to the Googlecache and effectively saying, “Looky, here’s how to find her real name! In case you all missed it!”

Where do we draw the line?

Posted by: Kim at March 30, 2005 04:39 PM

The problem is that plaigarism (with the permission of the author) is not a crime. Though it is against university rules, selling and buying term papers is perfectly legal. Nate is guilty of non-fulfillment of contract. However, so is Laura.

Laura should pay him the money, then sue for damages, based on the punishment she receives. If she is expelled, she should sue for loss of future wages.

Just kidding.


Posted by: IANAL at March 30, 2005 04:41 PM

Eric. Please.

“Your other option is to pretend to play along, and then notify the authorities that you are being complicit in an attempt to catch them.”

Sounds like the plot of a lame sitcom.

For those of you you cannot discern the difference between the proper authorities and vigilante justice: Maybe you can still join John Ascroft’s junior neighborhood spy club. I hear he’ll give you a special badge.

“citizen’s arrest! citizen’s arrest!”

Posted by: cetacean at March 30, 2005 04:42 PM

Oooh!! We could also start a riot outside of the club instead of just protesting. That way, after I get out of jail, I can watch a 10 PM news report on the “emerging impact of blogs on the world” bullshit report!! That would be awesome!

Oh!OH! I know… let’s find out if Nate is employed by a corporation, and if so, notify his employer of his less than moral actions with this poor college co-ed… maybe he’ll even get FIRED!!! YAY!!!!

Posted by: Raging Liberal at March 30, 2005 04:46 PM

Yes. I attend stonings every other Thursday night. Douchebag.

Posted by: Lindsay at March 30, 2005 04:39 PM

umm… if you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic… one could say I’m writing COMEDY… w00t!

Posted by: Raging Liberal at March 30, 2005 04:48 PM

cetacean – Heheh. Fair enough. Yes, my analogy was cheesy. But then, the claim I was responding to – that trying to catch someone doing something wrong is just as wrong as them doing it – was ludicrous enough that it seemed warranted at the time.

The Ashcroft joke, I’m sure you’re aware, isn’t funny. 😉

Now respond to my other post, the one with the points in it. :-p

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 04:50 PM

If you look at the Google-cached version of the page showing that Laura made the Dean’s List at the now-unmentionable university, it states that Laura is a student in the College of Education. In other words, she is studying to be a TEACHER! I don’t feel bad for her at all.

Posted by: too chickenshit to post real name at March 30, 2005 04:52 PM


Posted by: سنی اسلام at March 30, 2005 04:53 PM

K THANKS! You’re not very good at spotting it yourself.

Posted by: Lindsay at March 30, 2005 04:53 PM

Am I the only one who finds it funny that a girl named Krishna who goes to the India Community College asked a boy with a nice Jewish name like Nate Kushner to write a paper on *Hinduism* for her?

Posted by: Kalyani at March 30, 2005 04:54 PM

You SFI.

Posted by: NBT at March 30, 2005 04:54 PM


O.K. yes. That last one was a bit of a flame. mea culpa. Forgive me, as you honestly seem like an intelligent, compassionate person trying to sort this out. I think I was responding to the general lynching tone of many of the others, but arguing with you for attempting to reasonably justify it. I repent. No hard feelings.

Posted by: cetacean at March 30, 2005 04:54 PM

Dave. “Executioner hoods” is laughable. Laughable because you’re defending someone who clearly doesn’t want to be either responsible or accountable for her actions.

If she can’t accept the risks, she shouldn’t take them. Too damned bad for her. If someone I loved was caught plagerizing, I’d give him or her so much shit for being dishonest that they wouldn’t know what hit them. Loving someone doesn’t mean being blind to, or excusing, their worst faults.

What has this country come to? Everyone’s a victim and no one is responsible? Disgusting.

Posted by: Caporal X at March 30, 2005 04:55 PM

By the Uniform Commercial Code, there is an implied warranty that the product will be useful, that it pass without objection in the trade. It’s unknown whether this condition could be met. Surely it passed Laura’s test, and possibly those of her friends, but not her professors.

There is also a warranty that the product is free from liens and encumberances, such as already being owned by someone else.

Part of the damage’s Laura may ask for are the difference between the price (not) paid to Nate and the market rate for a 5-page Hindu paper on 12 hour turnaround, as well as consequential damages.

Posted by: fonter at March 30, 2005 04:56 PM

IANAL (take it in the ass huh?)

There never was a contract, verbal agreements, especially regarding a college paper don’t hold up in court. She asked for a paper, he wrote (copied) and produced a paper to her. Even if he did receive a check and cash it there’s no “fraud” as some of you have indicated.

That’s one major downfall of the internet, evey idiot gets a chance to speak and it’s hard for some to sort through all the piles of crap spoken by the numerous asshats that abound.

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2005 04:57 PM

cetacean – Damn. A reasonable, calm person on the Internet. We should clone you and put you in front of other keyboards around the globe in an attempt to create balance. :-p

Still, I’d like to hear you say that yes, the attitude that plagiarism should be stopped and stopped harshly does in fact have the potential to influence the very real value of a degree. If Laura cheats her way into a degree and she gets an interview that Bill deserves, Bill just got screwed.

Multiply that by all the plagiarists in the world, and there’s reason to support doing something about it, even if people disagree with Nate’s method or – more reasonably – with our overeager response to his method.

Posted by: Eric at March 30, 2005 04:59 PM


Posted by: bob at March 30, 2005 04:59 PM

Ha! I officially love you. Plagarists deserve everything they get. They deserve double when they ask for help in plagarizing using chatspeak, especially when they’re supposed to be in fucking college.

Posted by: Guinastasia at March 30, 2005 04:59 PM

To the legal scholar who wrote this:

The problem is that plaigarism (with the permission of the author) is not a crime. Though it is against university rules, selling and buying term papers is perfectly legal. Nate is guilty of non-fulfillment of contract. However, so is Laura.

Huh? How did Nate not fulfill his part of the bargain? He sent her a paper (albeit a lame one) just as he said he would. She’s the one who didn’t live up to her side of the bargain. There was no condition in their agreement that the paper had to be good, or (happily, for Mr. Kushner) that it even be coherent, only that it be a certain length and contain some citations.

So, Justice Frankfurter, how is it again that he didn’t fulfill the contract?

Posted by: DTB2 at March 30, 2005 05:01 PM

Well…I would agree, that left unfettered, in the aggregate, plaigerism would in the end devalue all our degrees. But my response to your point would be;

a. It is not left unfettered, but the proper enforcement authority is not Nate, and CERTAINLY not the internet mob.

b. I am intrigued by a post suggesting that while plaigerism is illegal, buying papers is not. In which case NATE plagerized while pretending to offer an original writing service, and Laura merely availed herself of a legal means of dealing with a looming deadline.

I would be interested if anyone else knows more about the legality of this practice.

Posted by: cetacean at March 30, 2005 05:03 PM

I like the guy who commented with a link to Nate’s Friendster pic. You really outed him, sir! I tip my outing cap to you! Because, y’know, you wouldn’t be able to see a picture of him on THIS site if you actually took two seconds to look at it.

Posted by: Matt at March 30, 2005 05:11 PM

Congrats Nate on thoroughly buggering this up. You’ve managed to do everything you shouldn’t have, such as posting this girl’s true identity, while simultaneously failing to do the things you should have, such as discretely informing her school’s authorities. Might I suggest a modicum of forethought in your future endeavors?

Perhaps you should title your next scetch, “How I Made Pagiarism Pay” or “Why Outwittting at Least One Dumb Chick Makes me Look Good.”

Next time try and do it right.

Posted by: Sean at March 30, 2005 05:14 PM


Apparently my genetic makeup is not completely unique on the net, as your gracious response proves…Though I am pretty sure it is almost unheard of for both of us to be polite in the same conversation.

I must be off for now, but it has been a pleasure exchanging thoughts with you. 🙂
…Not something that can often be said about internet interactions.

When all is said and done, my best wishes to Laura, Nate, + Eric…and even Doc C.