Saturday, January 8, 2011

Starting The Year Right?

The first few days of 2011 were very sluggish for me mainly because I again had this asthma attack which I tried to ignore.  And, as if you didn’t know, asthma is something that doesn’t like being ignored!  So the entire first week of my January was pretty bad health wise although I was able to do certain chores that I was happy about.  Some of those things I already reported about in my previous entries. 

Now, I got this invitation from the UPLB Environmental Science Society to be a resource person in their 11th Monthly Forum and they’ve asked me to talk about what I consider a very important and serious issue particularly for students: plagiarism, on 13 January at 3:30 p.m. at the School for Environmental Science and Management.  Indeed, I’m pleased to speak on the subject matter, but I wish this were no longer necessary.  I mean, I wish all universities make it a point to integrate plagiarism into their writing courses, including, specially, introduction to research courses, as well as in the basic, general education courses.  I’m still glad to be speaking on the topic before graduate students of environmental science at UPLB, though.

It is to my regret, however, that I shall have to limit my discussion to the most basic because it appears that many students don’t know, much less understand, what plagiarism is.  Which explains why our friend, Professor Jon Baggaley of Athabasaca University in Canada, mentioned to us that “if plagiarism was a serious problem two decades ago, it’s pandemic today.”  Many students today don’t know what plagiarism is, or perhaps refuse to know.  So I hope to be able to talk about why plagiarism is important to us, why students plagiarize, and how we might be able to avoid plagiarism.  In the process, I hope to be able to provide insights on how it feels to have been plagiarized (I have been there, myself).

I might be overdoing this, but I’m referring to plagiarism as some kind of “intellectual leprosy.”  Why?  Well, it’s chronic, stigmatizing, but curable.  Problem is, there’s no law specifically criminalizing plagiarism, hence it’s not a criminal offence.  It’s a violation of ethics and morals, which people have tended to pay less attention to.  Still, it’s a very serious academic offence and universities should be serious about it.

I’m glad that a UPLB student academic society in environmental science has thought of selecting plagiarism as a topic for their next Forum session.


My desire to being at least a pseudo-social psychologist wants to take over.  So here goes.

From the outside, I’ve been observing today’s students of UPLB.  I won’t make any comparison with those of the past because I could be very biased.  Today’s UPLB studentry, I’m told, is comprised of about 52% female and 48% male.  Even in the traditionally male-dominated areas of specialization at UPLB females are outnumbering their counterparts.  Nothing wrong with this – just a sign of the times.  UPLB female students are becoming very sexy today, taller, more beautiful body configuration, and bulges on the right places.  Of course, there are those who should avoid the tights that clearly show the bulges elsewhere like you’re watching a water bed being shaken a bit. 

In our time, no female student would think of attending classes even with tokong.  That’s for home and wet market use.  Today, students attend their classes in short-shorts and spaghetti blouses which, naturally, have plunging necklines.  Don’t get me wrong.  They’re all good to look at.  I can’t say for sure if their professors are not distracted now and then.  Again, that’s a sign of the times. And that’s as far as I shall go.


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