Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I'm sure he'll be fine eventually, but Rudy's spirit seems to be broken! The good thing about this is that he is not running around straining himself, which he shouldn't do for 3 or 4 days. But the alarming thing is that he is not at all his usual self. He doesn't care about going outside, he hasn't barked at all, and even today he doesn't want to eat, not even his most favorite treat, dried apricots. He was very thirsty last night, and so I let him have one ounce of water per hour, even though he really wasn't supposed to drink anything until today. I'm not sure how I am going to get the antibiotic into him, usually he happily takes it with food. He's easy to pill but I am not going to put him through that in his current state. Sometimes he sleeps but mostly he just sits or lays around staring into space. I know he had to have it done but I feel kind of guilty since he didn't act sick at all before this and now the treatment has turned him from a bouncy happy dog into a zombie.

I've been meaning to write something about the unethical New York Times reporter, because of my experiences with student cheating and plagiarism. I won't bother to link to any story, because this is kind of old news at this point, and also because a simple search turns up more than enough, choose what you prefer. The New York Times is charging to view its original finger-pointing article, though, which I think is low. I know it is now in their archives but I think this story ought to be accessible at their site for free, they owe that much to the readers. They owe more than that, but that's a start. Most of the other articles out there (at least it appears to me) focus on the race issue, either using the scandal to denounce diversity policies, or, on the other hand, bemoaning the fact that the scandal is being used to criticize such policies.

I think both approaches totally miss the point. I could care less about this from a racial perspective. What I see is one more piece of evidence that there are too many people who have no ethics, no pride in work, no sense of fairness, and that there is a club that promotes and condones these attitudes and behaviors, or at least helps to keep such dirty little secrets hidden. It is deeply in there in many eople, even among those who would not be dishonest themselves, and should know better: the distaste for ratting on others, the belief that everything is relative - there is no right and wrong, only shades of gray, and it is OK to use whatever ammo you can to get ahead. Be kind, cut someone a break, they just made a mistake, why are you so uptight and judgmental? So lessons are not taught, and the situation spins out of control. It's easier to look the other way. Honor means nothing, and someone's word is a joke. And if you are the guilty party and get caught, use charm, claim to be the victim, and if all else fails, litigate. Plus, there just might be a book deal, and a TV movie lurking somewhere, so for 15 minutes of fame it is well worth it. A win-lose-win!

I seem to have at least a few students every spring in my classes who share Jayson Blair's ethics. It really makes me sick.

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