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When I was at Columbia a professor I had (Andrew Chiappe, now dead, thank
god) refused to grade a paper I wrote for him on "The Merchant of Venice"
because he thought I'd lifted some or much of it from someplace - the
evidence being the way I used one particular word. I hadn't, and he had no
actual evidence, just his intuition.  Of course I was angry (and flattered,
a little) and protested to him, but to no avail. He was a poor teacher -
though a very thorough methodologist - and didn't know me from a hole in
the wall. I didn't fail his course, but hated him ever since - now more
than 30 years ago - and felt his error proved his inferiority.

.At 06:43 PM 12/1/99 EST, Harvey R Greenberg Md wrote:
>Just to show you that these things can have another spin:
>
>As a senior in college, I took a course on European Literature with a
>wonderful teacher, who I grew increasingly fond of. I wrote a final paper on
>THOMAS MANN: THE ARTIST AS FAILURE, in which inter alia I drew analogies
>between Mann's more intriguing heros and the Michaelangelo David. The
>teacher, who until that time had been quite warmly disposed to me, gave me a
>crushing failing grade and said that I had plagiarized -- not citing any
>source, only implying that I couldn't have written the paper on my own.
>
>I was devastated, went to the man with tears in my eyes, and told him every
>word had been mine. He believed me, promised to reread the paper, apologized
>in his final grading for his "barracks room mentality" -- I still remember
>the words. As a poignant conclusion, I wrote a short story for him about a
>recent complex evening I had spent with a friend in post romantic despair,
>and his critique of this -- not required in the course -- was exceptionally
>helpful to my subsequent writing.
>
>It is therefore conceivable that this student did not plagiarize a line; I
>will have to admit to my own barracks room mentality, after all of the above,
>and say that I have run across some of these words before, but -- as the song
>goes -- can't remember where or when.  Best  hrgreenberg md endit
>
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Paul B. Wiener
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