Monday, May 29, 2006

Big bad RANT

I am shocked.
There has been wholesale downloading and cut-and-pasting for term papers for at least two courses taken by the present UG1s. Lots of people who deserved better have had to be penalised because of shameless and pathetic plagiarising. I want to know: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??? Granted, that given the wholesale nature of the problem it's a systemic failure: we haven't learned you good how to use material and quote/adapt in academic work. Only one or two people had any idea how to write a bibliography. Practically no one cited complete URLs for websites. 'The adventures of Tintin' is not a text and doesn't exist in any recognisable bibliographical sense. Listing five websites does NOT excuse lifting huge chunks from each of them and cut-and-pasting them into an essay. That is (read my lips) PLAGIARISM. Someone called Kaavya got caught, remember? I bet she produced term papers using exactly the methods you seem to think so cool. I also want to know: DO YOU THINK WE (THE PROFS) DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE THE INTERNET? Do you think we've never heard of Google string search? Do you think we'll give you marks for having broadband? I repeat: I really don't understand what's got into you. Even in my benighted UG1 I had some dim sense that if I copied stuff I'd look very dumb indeed. Hey, do you think just because your parents haven't a clue how to rip off wikipedia that we're the same? It's really sad because many of you chose really sexy topics that you could have had a ball with. Instead you found some obscure article on a uchicago website (say) and cooked it up. Removing lines like 'And I'll come back to this point later on in the lecture' does NOT (a) make it your own work or (b) stop us from finding the source on the web. And all this in spite of your having been warned repeatedly in class against doing exactly that.
Wise Up!
But there is HOPE (for the next batch at least). Having been collectively appalled we are changing the UG1 format. From now on, you won't have any options in your Sem 2. Instead in the optional slot you will have a core course called PRINCIPLES OF ACADEMIC WRITING (PAW). Hopefully this will teach you guys how to use on- and offline sources, edit stuff, quote, make notes and references, organise an essay, set up an academic argument, all that basic stuff. Sheeesh.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lest Auld Acquaintance....

Well, it looks like I'm blogging in solitary splendour here, for which I guess the exams are mostly to blame. BTW, does anyone know where the board for the meatspace blab has gone? It was used during the MAdmission but I can't find it anywhere.
People, do you want this to go the way of the other defunct JUDE blogs, or shall we continue to bless it with posts? For one thing, it's a useful directory to everyone's blogs, and still gets used as such. PLus, it could be a space for people (like myself) who have a blog presence but don't want to take on a whole blog, since most of the time I (to take a sample case) don't have enough to say to prop up a full time blog. Plus the thought of pontificating in solitary splendour is kind of off-putting. Also JUDE newcomers to blogs and their habits can start off posting here and graduate to their own blogs if they wish.
Since JU Arts has been deprived by dastardly conspiracy of the lobby, this is as close to a virtual lobby we'll ever get. As most of the people reading this blog have no idea what the lobby was, let me try to explain. It was kind of like the late-lamented bridge, except that khuchro prem/subs. ab./pnpc were only part of the lobby menu. There was also plenty of serious, heated discussion and idea-swapping. Of course, in those days JU was a very different place. Nearly all the faculty we have today had not shown up, with the exception of Supriyadi. We followed the annual system, in as must as we followed any system at all. JU was NOT a trendy place to be, that was reserved for Presi or maybe Xaviers. Presi was the ideological hotspot: people there aspired to be thinkers. JU English and Comp. Lit. (which were much more sister depts then than now) were more oriented towards doing, esp. Comp. Lit. which still had the shadow of Buddhadev Basu on it and turned out many accomplished actors, directors, dancers and creative people. English was the oddballs' haven (diluted somewhat by the homely convent-educated ujjol shyambornos) with lots of moffusil-refugees and people with no background whatsoever. Anyone who turned up in a car was subjected to long, slow scrutiny. The faculty were mostly either nice, flustered incompetents or completely insane, once again with the exception of Supriyadi who is and will always be in a class of her own (yes she's my favourite teacher: Swapanda was in England). Of course, I didn't experience JU as an undergrad since I went to Brabourne (yet managed to spend most of my third year in the lobby). To the credit of the Brabourne teachers, they quickly identified me as a nutcase and left me benevolently to my own devices, a privilege I would not have got at Loreto or even Xaviers. I even managed to act in a JUDE play in my third year (this was before DIP and ALal). Hence the importance of the lobby and the people in it: they and the old British Council Library are largely responsible for my education (in so far as anyone apart from me can be blamed for it).
But things have changed. The stuff we bootlegged on the lobby steps is now part of the syllabus. The annual system is history. People who do NOT turn up in cars are subjected to fast, incredulous scrutiny (not). Most of the Presi faculty has been lifted Noah's ark-like into JUDE (no don't even attempt to pair them off). And we have blogs. Perhaps the lobby would have died anyway, under the mounting pressure of the new dispensation. Or perhaps not. I shall at this point resist the urge to quote Malory via Tennyson.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Have been tarting up the old blab

theees are my not very successful attempts to refurbish the old hangout. pliss to help out, html hotshots

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where have all the people gone?

Why is this excellent forum languishing? While the new blab is no doubt a heap of fun, it somehow lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Let's not lose this one: it can still fill a need for the JUDE community. And admin people, could you freshen up the decor? The place looks a bit scruffy and tired.
The other place is great to chat and muck about in. Can we have the serious stuff here?