Reading Gives Me a Headache

I sometimes take in proof reading to earn a few extra dollars now and again ($$$ goes into the "Buy Tim Horton's Coffee for Mommy Fund"). 

University level papers.


It is a sad commentary on our culture when I recieve papers stating such things as...(okay...I added most of the nastier comments as I was writing this entry...)

1.  Canada's envolvement in the First World War started when Communist China bombed Pearl Harbour off the coast of Nova Scotia.  (from a paper titled "Canada's Envolvement in World War One" - yes, that was how "involvement" was spelled...)
Now, I am not proclaiming to be a History Expert by any stretch of the imagination BUT I do know a few things.  Even if you don't make it to the library on time and all the good history books are gone when you finally make it there, simply renting a couple movies would prove to anyone that...
a) Pearl Harbor was bombed during the SECOND World War, NOT the first!
b) It was NOT bombed by Communist China.  It was bombed by Japan.
c) Pearl Harbor is NOT off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Heck, Pearl Harbor and Nova Scotia do not even share the same ocean!  They are on opposite sides of the continent AND in different countries
d) Pearl Harbor is NOT the reason Canada became involved in the First World War...Period.  For further explanation, see a).
e) Computers come with a thing called "spell check".  Please make use of it.

2.  I don't believe in war so I think the point of my having to write a history paper about any war is fruitless and a waist of my valuble time and I wish to state that I am writing this paper under protest and that the only reason I agreed to write it at all was the fact that I would fail this class otherwise which I don't believe is fair and that some of us have other really important things to do with our lives than write papers about things that happened 200 years ago like World War One and...I could go on here but I won't.  This is well over half a page of stuff just like this.
a) It is a HISTORY paper.  Not a commentary on your beliefs.  Just the facts, ma'am.
b) World War One did NOT happen over two hundred years ago.  It did not even happen one hundred years ago.  Close...but not quite.
c) The rest of the paper went on to make random disjointed points that were little more than direct quotes she was claiming as her own but joined together in paragraph long single sentences with "and", "but" and "or".
d) When I pointed out that what she had was and would be considered poor writing and plagerism by her professors, she was NOT happy and refused to pay me.
e) I told her I hoped she was going to spend the money on something she really needs - grammar and spelling classes because if she hopes to make it beyond first year university, she is really going to need them!

3.  Cnda has 10 prov and 2 terr.  They r BC, AB, SK...(etc)  Cnda is a gr8 plc to liv bcuz we dont hve jst 1 kind of whether lyk other is even hard to copy this...It was FIVE pages of one giant text message, complete with slang and only three or four periods in the whole thing.  One giant RUN ON text message!!!
1) Canada does indeed have ten provinces, and you were correct in your listing of them from west to east.
2) For several years now we have had THREE territories - my 8 year old son has known that since he was four.  Any updated map includes Nunavut.  Heck, just typing in "Canadian Territories" into your google search engine will bring up that fact, I am sure.
3) Save the texting for your friends.  Even if this is a "rough draft" of your paper, this is NOT the place for texting.
4) Please act your age - you are 20 - and don't send "Mommy" to my door when you don't agree with the comments I've made on your paper to demand your money back for you.  Even Mommy was stumped by the fact that you handed me a copy of a text message and said "this is NOT what she handed to you was it?"

so there! (yes, I am sticking my tongue out here)

4.  I think this book was really good and found it really easy to read.  I expecially liked the part where the main charcter changed from being a nasty kinda guy to a real nice person.  And the part where Jim, the bartender, saves the little girl's life but ends up scarred was really sad but I can see where the writter wanted to point out that sometimes not everything good ends up being good for everyone and how events can make a person change for good or for bad...
a) Who was the author?  What was the name of the book?  I never did find out.  Of a report that was supposed to 500 words, she had less than a page...and not once was the title or author named.
b) When writing a review as such (or a report) don't use "I".  "(insert title here) written by (insert author here) was an easy read that told a story about how events in one's life can change a person." is much easier to read.
c) "kinda" is slang.  Avoid using slang.  It is "kind of".  Better yet, avoid the term completely.  "The main
character changed from a bitter, nasty person to someone who was kinder, gentler and more understanding of those around him.
d) This paper was written by a woman in her 40s.  She did get nasty with me when I made my comments
and told her where to improve her writing.  She also told me that "the professor was not concerned with grammar so why should I be". 

HUH?  I have yet to meet an ENGLISH PROFESSOR who is NOT concerned with grammar! (Besides, I know this professor.  He is ALWAYS concerned with grammar in the papers handed in.  This paper, as it was, would have garnered a "rewrite this as a second year university student and NOT as a fourth grader, please and thank you.")

5.   I don't realy like to watch the Simsons but it was kind of funny how they summerised the book "Lord of the Dance" into a 30 minute cartoon show and actully made it far more injoyable then the book.
a) Am I the ONLY person with spell check on their computer???  Honestly...It feels like it!!!
b) Lord of the Dance?  Sorry...It is NOT about Michael "All About ME!!" Flatley...The book is called "Lord of the FLIES".  Correct title of book is always worth bonus points.
c) The Simpsons does MANY episodes based on literary works.  I especially loved their version of "The Raven" by Poe.
d) HOW can you NOT enjoy watching The Simpsons????  (If I was the professor I would have deducted marks for that alone!!!)

Alright...Some of them were really poorly written pieces.  Horrid, to be exact.  And honestly, I know for several of the papers I see it is not the school system or the teachers to blame but complete and utter laziness.  Honestly, thinking you can get away with writing your paper in "text style"?  I know one high school history teacher who recieved an actual final draft "The GOOD COPY" as such, and the parents showed up to defend their daughter when he failed her!  (The principal sided with the teacher on this one!)

It is "minimal work investment".  I see the same work ethic when I go shopping or head to the local fast food outlet.  Minimal work.

And so many parents seem all to ready to help their children do "minimal work" rather than promoting "going that extra mile" and "doing your best, and then adding a little bit more".

And if we continue to raise children who only do minimal work and that is ALL that is ever expected of them, it just leaves me wonder what our country will be like in another 25 years.


....(I have copies of these papers...simply because I wanted DH to read them as well to prove that I wasn't completely crazy in thinking some people just "don't know nothing"...)

Side note: Not all the papers are handed to me from "fresh from high school" students.  Some of the papers are written by 35+ aged students returning to school after an absense.  Some are returning to school after having already earned a degree in another area.  Most of them are written by students over the age of 30 who honestly should know better by now...
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