The Blair Hornstine Project
June 5, 2003 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Remember Blair Hornstine? Her $2.5 million lawsuit against her high school for not naming her valedictorian resulted in an injunction and the sole possession of the title. Now it gets worse: she has a Jayson Blair problem. Several of her contributions to local papers were lifted from presidential speeches, Supreme Court opinions, and editorials.
posted by PrinceValium (65 comments total)

 
In both of the earlier threads I defended Blair against the name-calling she was getting in prior comments and attributed the blame for her arrogance to her parents. Now I'm not so sure that I was correct. However, it still raises the question of how responsible a precocious 18-year-old - already the least popular member of the incoming Harvard class of '07 - is for her own upbringing and skewed sense of ethics.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:32 AM on June 5, 2003


(snark)
Hey! Give her a break. Her Chronic Fatigue problem meant that she just couldn't get up the energy to do her own writing. So she cribbed a few paragraphs without crediting the original authors. Surely you wouldn't hold this against someone who is disabled?
(/snark)
posted by deadcowdan at 7:37 AM on June 5, 2003


the arrogance of her (non)admission of guilt is really something

she makes that other Blair, "I'm-the-slave-who-burned-down-the-Master's-house" Jayson, look like a nice, self-effacing person
posted by matteo at 7:43 AM on June 5, 2003


*beams with schadenfreude*
posted by UncleFes at 7:50 AM on June 5, 2003


I compared the snippets from her speech to the bits she lifted from promient speeches, just to see if perhaps it was an honest mistake. There's no mistake -- this was intentional plagiarism. She obviously took a speech, crossed out words, added a few to make the clauses flow together, and then used that in her articles. You can circle the few words that she didn't plagiarize.

An 8th grader knows better. Even if "there are no footnotes to make citations" as Blair argued, kids are taught very early on that you don't copy someone else's work.
posted by jennak at 7:56 AM on June 5, 2003


"Upon reflection, I am now cognizant that proper citation allows scholars of the future to constantly re-evaluate and re-examine academic works."

Oh bullshit. By the time I was a freshman in High School, the concept of "plagiarism" had been very clearly explained. As were its consequences. If the graduation ceremony has not yet happened, she should absolutely lose her precious valedictorian spot over this. And if I was on the admissions board of Harvard, I'd be giving her a seriously critical second look.

The school district I grew up in got rid of valedictorians after my older brother's senior year when there was a similar controversy, involving a girl whose grade average was technically slightly higher, but her class choices were somewhat less challenging. Also, nobody liked her much, while the guy in second place was very very well liked. I think she was stuck with Salutatorian, the guy got Valedictorian. After that year they didn't have either, they began offering the top 10 students an opportunity to speak, and chose 3. (at least I think that's how it started working. I forget now.)
posted by dnash at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2003


Such blatant plagiarism at Harvard will have her booted in short order. Ivy league students frequently fear that a couple of unattributed ideas, much less wholesale word-for-word copying, will lead to an honor code violation, the penalty for which is usually suspension or expulsion. I wonder if any of her high school academic work suffers the same problem? Perhaps rather than Valedictorian status she might see her diploma withdrawn if that is true.
posted by caddis at 8:01 AM on June 5, 2003


Her Chronic Fatigue problem meant that she just couldn't get up the energy to do her own writing

Couldn't find my comment, but from the articles and her actions...the writing was on the wall. How I saw the writing, when she used her illness as an excuse to not be in the courtroom when she won her judgement.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:10 AM on June 5, 2003


PrinceValium--nice recovery! Would we were all so open to a change of opinion in the face of emerging facts.
posted by newlydead at 8:16 AM on June 5, 2003


Guess it's all in the anagram... B-Liar!
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:20 AM on June 5, 2003


Latest article from the Harvard Crimson.

Choice quotes:

According to Director of Undergraduate Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis ’70-’73, an acceptance offer could be withdrawn if a student engages in plagiarism.

According to Steven K. Kudatzky ’72, a close friend of the Hornstines and a self-proclaimed family spokesperson, Hornstine sent word to the admissions office informing them of her sourcing problems.

Kudatzky, however, defended Hornstine. “I am confident that, at the end of the day, Harvard will see that this is a non-issue, and, quite frankly, something that is another example of Blair being singled out and victimized,” he said.


She's the victim I tell you!
*rolls eyes*
posted by pitchblende at 8:23 AM on June 5, 2003


[Left this part off]...don't think she was the one who wanted to be sole valedictorian, her parents from all of this.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:29 AM on June 5, 2003


Well, here we have plagiarism in newspaper articles she wrote, which really don't have any baring on her GPA and weather or not she should be valedictorian. I think it could have an affect on wether or not she gets admitted to Harvard, though. I mean, were talking about doing something that would get you in serious trouble if she did it in her academic work.

In addition, it should be possible for the high school to go back and review her academic work, possibly changing her GPA in classes where she plagiarized her work. Plagiarizing an assignment in HS would generally cause an F on the paper. She said she was "only 17" and didn't know what she was doing was wrong, so theoretically she was a plagiarist over at least half of her HS career.

Finally let me say: like UFes I'm "beaming with schadenfreude"* :) I think this is great and that the girl is a total bitch. I mean, her actions would make sense if they were going to deny her valedictorian, but they weren't. If someone else got the honor as well, then the only thing she's doing is hurting someone else, not benefiting herself at all. I hope she goes DOWN.

Metafilter.com: The blair Hornstine Project, UncleFes comment #4
posted by delmoi at 8:31 AM on June 5, 2003


Here's the full text of Blair's non-apology.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:35 AM on June 5, 2003


I predict that "Blair" is gonna be an unpopular name for kids for the next few years.
posted by soyjoy at 8:35 AM on June 5, 2003


I wonder if any of her high school academic work suffers the same problem?

Her high school started an investigation and found no plagiarism -- funny that she would attempt it in a newspaper that can be scrutinized by more people that an essay on John Adams submitted to an overworked history teacher.

Such blatant plagiarism at Harvard will have her booted in short order.

Harvard could rescind her acceptanced based on this.
posted by jennak at 8:37 AM on June 5, 2003


Anyone want to start examing her non-apology, and see if any of it is plagerized?
posted by emptybowl at 8:39 AM on June 5, 2003


delmoi - I think this should have bearing on the valedictorian thing, but it's too late to stop that, and revoking it retroactively would just look silly and petty. Still, GPA is one factor, but if the girl is saying "I never learned this key fact about writing, that you have to attribute sources," then that ought to count for several points off on her overall academic achievement. In a fairer world, it would, anyway.
posted by soyjoy at 8:39 AM on June 5, 2003


Here's the full text of Blair's non-apology.

And on top of her other crimes, she's a one godawful writer.

Hang 'er high.
posted by COBRA! at 8:41 AM on June 5, 2003


I think this falls under the what-goes-around-comes-around category.
posted by MediaMan at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2003


Looking at her non-apology, I come to a couple of conclusions. Ms. Hornstine has a lot to learn about the law, since ignorance of the law is not a defense; her problem-solving skills are obviously lacking if her solution to the "hmm, no place to put footnotes" problem was to fail to ask for clarification from the paper, and instead just publish as though those words were her own, and her much-vaunted education was much lacking, if she really expects us to believe that she didn't know copying and pasting without attribution was plagiarism.

Frankly, whether she attributes at this point or not, it's still plagiarism- she didn't write the body of her own articles, other people did and fair use has its limits. This is not fair use, this is not derivative, this is not a transformative use of the original, it's just plain theft. And yet, it's the publisher's responsibility, because they didn't plainly state to her: don't steal.

I guess the most important thing we've learned from this is that nothing is Ms. Hornstine's fault. Wish I lived that kind of charmed life.
posted by headspace at 8:50 AM on June 5, 2003


Did someone call for some more ammo?
(scroll down a bit. Who knows how long it will be up.)
posted by Dagobert at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2003


The story of 'proper citation' shouldn't wash, especially for someone who can claim to having a 4.0+ GPA. Hopefully any college would think twice before admitting Blair and if I were part of the student body at Moorestown, I would seriously consider boycotting the graduation ceremony. Or at least walk in after she gave her speech.

A person could almost feel sorry for her, she hasn't done much to endear herself to her peers, present and future.
posted by nemesis at 8:59 AM on June 5, 2003


I hope Harvard rescinds her acceptance because of this, and not just because I enjoy watching whiny assholes receiving their comeuppance. Not only is her crime one that is diametrically opposed to what an Ivy League education represents, but her apology is as well. She took no responsibility for her behavior, and in my mind that is more deplorable than the plagiarism.
posted by mosch at 9:05 AM on June 5, 2003


"My parents always told my brother and I . . . ."

Ouch. She must have missed years of English classes along with those gym classes.
posted by JanetLand at 9:08 AM on June 5, 2003


Such blatant plagiarism at Harvard will have her booted in short order.

i once worked at a Faculty of Arts & Sciences office at Harvard, and there's nothing like plagiarism or cheating on a test that will get you expelled faster. stealing, date rape, dealing dugs -- probation or suspension. but one questionable quote, and that's it...they've got to keep the motto alive, "Veritas." :P i think Blair had better call Rutgers, quick.
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:09 AM on June 5, 2003


Five bucks says Blair's valedictory address starts with one of the following:
"Fore score and seven years ago..."
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
"Call me Ishmael..."

Valedictorian controversy aside, it sucks that some kid didn't get into Harvard because he/she submitted an honest application, while Blair pretends to be a journalist at 17 and passed off her plagiarism as an accomplishment.
posted by herc at 9:13 AM on June 5, 2003


I just don't get this whole plagarism thing. Is it that much harder to just write your own words, fer crissake? It's not like you're competing in a poetry contest or translating the Bhagavad-Gita or anything.

When I take notes, I'm always super careful to put things in quotation marks that are in someone else's wording, so I know to reword those bits. I'm still paranoid about inadvertently translating something from my note-ese back into the the original wording, even though I know the odds are astronomical.

But I've been threatened just for using someone else's information, let alone their words (even though I credited them), so I'm real leery. (Just the threat of a lawsuit, even an obviously baseless one, is enough to make most publishers cringe, sadly.)

Surely writing isn't that hard enough to warrant the consequences of stealing someone else's words - that's just a no-brainer.

Which, I guess, applies to both Blairs.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2003


Dagobert - after reading your link, I have concluded that this girl is a much better person than I. No mean feat, that...but she is really doing some outstanding community stuff.
posted by vito90 at 9:25 AM on June 5, 2003


vito90: No doubt, but it should also be noted that most Ivy League candidates end up doing the same amount of community stuff. Having a lot of altruistic acts on your application is a great way of showing that you're a well-rounded individual who has an eye on the big picture as well as simply getting good grades...
posted by adrianhon at 9:30 AM on June 5, 2003


what a twat. There is a HUGE difference between "not proper citation" and no citation whatsover. She didn't even attempt to cite. I'm an English teacher. I've had people thrown out of my college for plagiarism and I didn't lose a wink of sleep over it. How dare she claim she was the highest-ranking student in her high school and didn't understand plagiarism. I repeat: what a twat.
posted by archimago at 9:30 AM on June 5, 2003


From Dagobert's link: How I Get It All Done: "There's plenty of time in the day!"

Sure there is when you don't go to school. I'm sure she was not getting up at 7:30 and studying until 2:30. There's an awful lot of time wasted in high school between study halls, gym classes, etc etc. She probably had 3-5 hours of tutoring'homework every day and therefore had more free time then her "classmates" to collect used prom dresses for the poor.
posted by archimago at 9:36 AM on June 5, 2003


i think i can see the validity of her pressing to be valedictorian - albeit ungracious and distasteful. that being said, one can't help feel the roots of her own parents ambition behind that. after all, she *is* only 17, which is not an excuse but when i was 17 i was pretty much an abrasive know-it-all myself - at 30, i realize i was very much a large portion of what my parents pressed me to be.

what makes her such a repugnant figure is the $2.7M lawsuit - which she still pursues and if she has decency would drop. her point has been made regarding the 'discrimination against the disabled' argument (though i think it's more a matter of vanity), and this amount will in effect greatly damage that school system and indeed probably have a massive effect on the state's education system. i think the money is the crux of the matter that most people are upset about. with one brother already in harvard, her father a high ranking judge, the money is not needed by this family, nor does it seem a justifiable amount as the girl had already been accepted to harvard and the title of 'valedictorian' simply a polishing of the badge. to leave this school system in financial devastation over someone's personal pursuit to press the knife in after winning *is* disgusting. she says the school system will think twice before attempting discrimination against the disabled again? most likely the programs first to suffer will be those for the real disabled - those with severe learning or physical disabilities... not to mention your average kid, and this school didn't seem to lack its share of scholars - *how* many of those kids were accepted again into top schools? i read it somewhere and it seemed like quite a few.

but what do i know? i'm currently over medicated for hay fever... ahhh ahhh ahh...
posted by eatdonuts at 9:51 AM on June 5, 2003


From her resume -

Founder of the Tri-County Prom Dress Drive, which collects more than 200 dresses a year for girls from low-income families.

That's got to be the most asinine act of charity I've ever heard of. That's like founding an organization that gives pets to starving people.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:19 AM on June 5, 2003


From her non-apology:

"If I see further," wrote scientist Isaac Newton to his colleague Robert Hooke, "it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants."

For a 17 year-old non-journalist valedictorian with a 4.6 GPA admitted to Harvard who didn't know that she needed to quote and cite, she sure learned fast, huh?

I believe most university admission offers generally have a clause about being able to rescend offers under certain circumstances (felonies, academic misconduct, etc.). Harvard should give her the boot. Her non-apology reeks of forced-punishment papers on "why X is important" or "why Y is dangerous" and seems blatantly insincere.

Note to any incoming freshmen at Harvard this fall--get a lab partner fast, or you'll undoubtedly be stuck with her. She's definitely a grade-A psycho pre-med.
posted by gramcracker at 10:46 AM on June 5, 2003


This statement, meant to suggest that Newton's achievement had been predicated upon the discoveries and findings of his predecessors, underscores a fundamental academic truism that remains true even in our time.

words which could only be her own?
posted by bigschmoove at 10:51 AM on June 5, 2003


Let's see what we have here:

Using the courts to override the established selection process and get the outcome you want: check.
Boosting material from others to support your case: check.
Disingenuous, arrogant non-apology: check.

Skip college, girl, you're ready for the big leagues. We're looking at Presidential material here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:26 AM on June 5, 2003


*waits for inevitable next story in the saga, probably student action during valedictorian speech*
posted by Argyle at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2003


What an idiot

"If I see further," wrote scientist Isaac Newton to his colleague Robert Hooke, "it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants."

This statement, meant to suggest that Newton's achievement had been predicated upon the discoveries and findings of his predecessors, underscores a fundamental academic truism that remains true even in our time


To bad that's totaly not true. Newton was actualy making fun of Hook's height.

I love this bit though:
When finalizing my thoughts, I, like most every teenager who has use of a computer, cut and pasted my ideas together.

If by "my thoughts" she means "other people's thoughts" I mean she took whole paragraphs. I have no doubt that lots of teens do this, but still.
posted by delmoi at 11:41 AM on June 5, 2003


beams with schadenfreude*

UncleFes, I'm gonna have to quote that sometime :)

This whole thing is bizarre and tragic. Blair seems like a smart girl with an admirable philanthropic bent, but she'll never be able to shake this reputation as a shit-disturber thanks to this lawsuit. In retrospect, doesn't this seem like something awfully petty to dedicate a lawsuit to? When it's all said and done, nobody gives a damn whether or not you were valedictorian at your high school. It doesn't matter what religion you believe in (or none at all), being valedictorian won't get you into heaven, keep you out of hell, improve your karma, or make you any less dead.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:47 AM on June 5, 2003


I am not a professional journalist. I was a 17-year-old with no experience in writing newspaper articles.

Wait. Let me get this straight. The girl is now using ignorance as an excuse whilst persuing a lawsuit essentially filed on the basis that she wants verification as the smartest person in her school.

It is my honest opinion that this girl's disabilty is related to physical injury incurred from having balls that enormous.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:52 AM on June 5, 2003


No room for footnotes? When the Hell did parenthetical notation become taboo?
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:11 PM on June 5, 2003


Valedictorian: check
4.0 GPA: check
Near Perfect SAT: check
Harvard acceptance: check
plagiarism: never heard of it

Preposterous. The notion is so insulting that I wish I could slap her in the face.

They taught me what plagiarism was in Jr. High. The thought that this supposedly brilliant student had no idea what she was doing was wrong is so laughably absurd as to be comical if it weren't so offensive.

Harvard had better re-evaluate their position on this. Do they truly expect she will be a quality student who contributes to the academic environment at their institution?

I predict within the first 3 semesters she will sue to be allowed to achieve her degree without actually having to go to class and that she should be allowed to have a special graduation all for herself because she's so special.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:23 PM on June 5, 2003


That's got to be the most asinine act of charity I've ever heard of. That's like founding an organization that gives pets to starving people.

I think that's way harsh. There are lots of girls who have to scrape up money to go to prom and in your teenage years the idea of not getting to go would be devastating. Rag on Blair Hornstine all you want, but this charity seems perfectly legitimate to me.
posted by McBain at 12:27 PM on June 5, 2003


(re:prom dress) That's got to be the most asinine act of charity I've ever heard of. That's like founding an organization that gives pets to starving people.


being from one of those poorer northern areas, i have to agree with mcbain. my junior prom dress cost my mom over a couple hundred dollars (we're talking 1991 here) and the year after i donated it to a similar school charity where it went to a low-income senior girl who paid $25 for it - i remember her being pretty overtly thankful as she otherwise wouldn't be able to afford something, let alone something as nice - the tickets themselves being about $50 per person that year, and the $25 she paid went to the salvation army. many high schools organize 'swaps' and 'prom dress resells' like this, it's fairly common. prom dresses are ex-pen-sive!
posted by eatdonuts at 12:41 PM on June 5, 2003


That's got to be the most asinine act of charity I've ever heard of. That's like founding an organization that gives pets to starving people.

(Have you priced a prom dress lately? Thank God my middle kid is a bit weird. She and her date decided to be retro and she wore a formal that I last wore in 1975.)

If this girl was as disabled as she reports, how on earth will she manage to deal with Harvard? It isn't like she's telecommuting or something.

And I hate to say this, but I hope Harvard has second thoughts. This girl needs a lesson in character more than anything else right now-and I would hope that Harvard would take character as a consideration for admission in general.
posted by konolia at 12:42 PM on June 5, 2003


Having a lot of altruistic acts on your application is a great way of showing that you're a well-rounded individual who has an eye on the big picture as well as simply getting good grades

Altruism? Ha! It's a good way to show Admissions that you know how to play the game. Perhaps they were only trying to be cool, but all my high school classmates who spent three hours a week at the food pantry admitted that they were more concerned with fleshing out their applications than helping their fellow man.

Or maybe all of them were just jerks.
posted by trharlan at 12:47 PM on June 5, 2003


For some reason I can't shake the fear that this girl will be the President of the United States 35 yrs from now. She's well connected, arrogant, willing to use and abuse the system, comes from wealth and comfort and isn't willing to work as hard as anyone else. Sounds strangely familar, doesn't it?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:49 PM on June 5, 2003


trharlan: Irony doesn't work too well with the written word :) Many of my friends at school also spent a lot of time volunteering at various places and doing the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, for the sole reason of filling in applications. Unsurprisingly, most of them hated the altruism part.

I think the whole things gotten carried away. Looking around Cambridge, I keep on seeing ads asking for volunteers for various projects, claiming that participating will give them 'something to put on your CV'. Still, I think that admissions people know full well that applicants are just doing all these altruistic acts to look good and are probably more impressed with applicants who seem to be doing something they enjoy.

Anyway, to get back to the point of the post, just because Blair's done x hundred hours of community work or whatever doesn't mean that she's a nice person.
posted by adrianhon at 12:58 PM on June 5, 2003


from pitchblende's link, italics mine.
"Hornstine wrote seven consecutive sentences which are almost identical to excerpts from Clinton’s annual Thanksgiving Proclamations"

she was fully aware of her plagiarism, changing words just so to be not exact (unlike Quotes).

Perhaps we should email Harvard and ask them if they want to risk their name on letting a known plagiarizer in.
posted by dabitch at 1:03 PM on June 5, 2003


"If I see further," wrote scientist Isaac Newton to his colleague Robert Hooke, "it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants."

Ah, but Newton was plagiarizing! Robert K. Merton wrote a whole book about that quote, tracing it back centuries before Newton. From the NY Times Merton obit:
Referred to by Mr. Merton as his "prodigal brainchild," it reveals the depth of his curiosity, the breadth of his prodigious research and the extraordinary patience that also characterize his academic writing. The effort began in 1942, when, in an essay called "A Note on Science and Democracy," Mr. Merton referred to a remark by Isaac Newton: "If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." He added a footnote pointing out that "Newton's aphorism is a standardized phrase which has found repeated expression from at least the 12th century."

But Mr. Merton did not stop there. Intermittently during the next 23 years he tracked the aphorism back in time, following blind alleys as well as fruitful avenues and finally finished the book in 1965, writing in a discursive style that the author attributed to his early reading and subsequent rereadings of Laurence Sterne's "Tristram Shandy." Denis Donoghue, the critic and literary scholar, wrote of the book admiringly as "an eccentric and yet concentric work of art, a work sufficiently flexible to allow a digression every 10 pages or so." He admitted, "I wish I had written 'On the Shoulders of Giants.'"
I highly recommend the book to anyone who is willing to get sucked into days of time-wasting triviality. (Not that any MetaFilter members would ever waste time...)
posted by languagehat at 1:12 PM on June 5, 2003 [1 favorite]


This girl really, really knows how to play the game. She started on third base and from there used every angle in the book: even the "disadvantaged" angle with a conveniently unquantifiable disability. From plagiarism to lawsuits, she didn't miss a single trick.

It'd be an encouraging outcome if her overweening hubris does bring her down. I hope this thing follows her the rest of her life: I say this not out of schadenfreude but as an object lesson to others, and because this cynically manipulative shit works just too well and too often in our society.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:33 PM on June 5, 2003


I think that's way harsh. There are lots of girls who have to scrape up money to go to prom and in your teenage years the idea of not getting to go would be devastating. Rag on Blair Hornstine all you want, but this charity seems perfectly legitimate to me.

"Nothing assuages my white, upper-class guilt more than tossing used prom dresses to the unwashed masses."

But seriously, I've know girls like Blair my whole life. The ones who would rather write an article, or chair a committee about hunger, instead of just going down to the soup kitchen and helping out, because that doesn't garner you nearly enough attention.

The type that sees the poor as stepping stones on their application, and as way to whatever prestigious college. I'm quite sure that she doesn't give two shits about anyone but herself, as evidence by her attitude and her lawsuit.

But if she was going to chair some bullshit, college-application community service project, I would have though she could have set the bar a little higher than just getting all the rich girls to give up a piece of their wardrobe.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:44 PM on June 5, 2003


Sounds strangely familar, doesn't it?

Hillary and Blair in 2020!

*crickets*

C'mon, I'm kidding!

*louder crickets*
posted by UncleFes at 1:53 PM on June 5, 2003


Well, the next time Blair plagairises she could use her Googling and Cut and Paste skills to lift things off Metafilter.

i.e.;

I think [everyone's very] harsh [to me]. There are lots of girls who have to scrape up money to go to prom and in your teenage years the idea of not getting to go would be devastating. Rag on [me] all you want, but this charity seems perfectly legitimate to me.
posted by orange swan at 5:21 PM on June 5, 2003


For someone with chronic fatigue she sure did a lot in a day. I'm thinkin' it's all filler for the old college application.

Think she'll still be collecting prom dress money after the Harvard acceptance letter comes in? And raising funds for "cleft lip and palate surgeries for orphans in China?" Damn, that's good.

...almost too good.
posted by Fofer at 5:22 PM on June 5, 2003


I dunno, I think I've been on the internet too long. When I see the word 'prom' my mind translates it as 'pr0n'.

As a high school teacher, I have to say that a lot of students in my school routinely underestimate the intelligence of their teachers. Google has made it so incredibly easy to catch plagiarism. Just give it a suspect phrase or sentence and bingo!
posted by MiG at 6:44 PM on June 5, 2003


What's the bet the little 'princess' gets away with it?
posted by skinsuit at 7:11 PM on June 5, 2003


HANG THE WITCH!


grow up.
posted by pekar wood at 7:11 PM on June 5, 2003


Fuck the Presidency - any moron or grifter could get that. She's the next Kissinger!
posted by solistrato at 8:29 PM on June 5, 2003


She and her family have behaved badly in both matters, but it is a shame if she and her family have really received death threats over the valedictorian thing. It is even more of a shame that when I read her family received death threats I immediately assumed it was a manipulative bid for undeserved sympathy.

As far as plagiarism goes, her non-apology sounds exactly like what my students say to me when I catch them cutting and pasting entire papers from the Interweb. It shows a lazy mind, in my opinion. Or it could just be the disability.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:00 PM on June 5, 2003


More lines from her page I referenced above (some people have already noted them, I'm just trying to group them together):

How I Get It All Done: "There's plenty of time in the day!"

"I never thought I'd be able to go to China!"

An Olympic Torchbearer in 2002. "I was so excited, I could barely sleep!"


I think I see why she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If I did all she says she did, I too would bail on gym, plagarize instead of writing stuff myself and come up with the crappy acronym M.A.G.I.C. (which makes me think of tht stunning dance troupe SparkleMotion for some reason). It's poor little putzes like her that make me fear for the future.

And I will end by being petty, juvenile and downright mean. On top of everything else, that girl fell out of the ugly tree and hit every single damn branch on the way down.
posted by Dagobert at 1:37 AM on June 6, 2003


adrianhon said:

Many of my friends at school also spent a lot of time volunteering at various places and doing the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, for the sole reason of filling in applications. Unsurprisingly, most of them hated the altruism part.

What kinds of volunteer work did they do? I did the Bronze DoE and I managed to get away with a first aid course. The practical aspect was fun, and although I've never had to use it (luckily enough), I feel better for knowing CPR.
posted by Lal at 6:01 AM on June 6, 2003


Lal (now where have I heard that name before?): At the silver and gold level you have to do a fair amount of volunteer work. Some of my friends helped at nursing homes and charities, that sort of thing. I think the First Aid requirement remains for all levels, which is obviously a very useful skill.
posted by adrianhon at 6:46 AM on June 6, 2003


I'm kind of hoping the girl gets rejected by Harvard for plagiarism - though something tells me she'd just turn around and sue Harvard.
posted by orange swan at 7:48 AM on June 6, 2003


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