Well, folks, we are now in day four of Heather’s illness. Dr. Loooove confirmed these viruses are going around, but added that, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done other than to wait it out while staying hydrated. So fingers crossed that Heather feels better in the morning. I’m trying to make sure she drinks as much water as she can even though it doesn’t sit well with her stomach.

I enjoyed reading the comments everyone left in yesterday’s post and was glad to see that just about everyone finds whippersnappers and their way of writing as annoying as I do! So watch out, kiddies. There’s plenty of us old people judging you, and we’re not turning this world over to you just yet!

In defense of kids today though, I think part of the problem (as many mentioned in the comments) is that technology makes life too easy on them. Spell and grammar checks, for example, have allowed kids to avoid learning how to spell and use proper grammar, and the Internet — as much as we all love it — has made kids, well, lazy. To show you just how lazy, let me tell you a funny story.

Toward the end of the year I assigned a report on The Great Gatsby, and when I suggested the students make a trip to the library they broke into hysterical laughter. The concept of going to the library was absurd to them. The prevailing attitude was: “Why get up and go somewhere when we can just surf the ‘net on our couches?” And, to be truthful, they were right. Everything they needed is on the Internet. However, and this is a big however, to write a paper properly using the Internet you have to spend just as much time reading articles and books as you would at the library, and most kids – thanks to the culture of laziness created by technology – aren’t willing to do that. As a result, many kids tried to cut corners when writing their papers. They might have gotten away with it too if they were a tad craftier, but alas, they weren’t. The following is what far too many papers looked like:

In the book “The Great Gatsby” the main person we read about Gatsby is supposed to be this tight dude, but he ain’t all that. He actually is pretty lame if you think about it. We don’t get that up front though because of Nick and how he tells us how everything is going down.

At first, the only function of Nick in the novel seems to be to act as a reporter, revealing the truth to us through his shrewd, objective perceptions. Then, as the novel progresses, it turns out that the opposite is the case, and he is siding with Gatsby to make this character stand above all others and shine. Nick Carraway could be one of the finest examples of reader manipulation in literature.

That totally is his big prob. The guy is a whack narrator. For real, he is always standing up for Gatsby and not telling it how it really be for everyone else in the story.

You see what they did there? They plagiarized the middle section from an essay they found online. Anyone can see that based on its wildly divergent writing style. But you know what really gave them away? The fact that, after cutting and pasting the plagiarized section off the Internet into their paper, they didn’t even change the font and character size to match the parts of the essay they wrote! In one paper (that made its way through the teacher’s lounge) the online essay was written in blue for some reason, so when the kid cut and paste it into his essay it not only was a different size and font from the rest of his paper, but a different color as well!

Sigh. Here’s hoping that they have been plagiarizing their college essays with a bit more style.