Posts tagged Notre Dame

Troubling News: Digital Age Plagiarism

Plagiarism is nothing new, especially for this writing teacher who can spot it a mile away. The key to early detection is to have students do a lot of “in-class” writing. Then you can easily discover when they submit other hard copy assignments, why they did such a stellar job. is also another quick way to find out when the student might have copied some quotes that are not their own words.

I remember one “student” of mine in Ukraine who was a lazy, black leather jacket guy enamored by his cell phone handed in a “funny” essay.  He didn’t mean for it to be hilarious and he certainly wasn’t laughing when he got his final grade from me.  But this one paper was a piece his girlfriend had written.  This character hadn’t even bothered to change the wording of when she was a little girl, she loved to figure skate. If he had just improved the “little girl” part I still might have wondered why he would love to “figure skate.” Where I’m from in Minnesota, guys play hockey they do NOT figure skate!

I think since these students who plagiarize don’t bother to read much, they figure their writing teachers don’t read their incoming assignments either.  Therefore, I read with great interest a recent New York Times article on this very topic of the digital age and what to make of this age old problem of plagiarism.  This article titled: “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” written by Trip Gabriel, had some good examples given by researchers on this sticky topic.

Thankfully Susan D. Blum, an anthropologist at Notre Dame has written a book on this important topic, published by Cornell University Press titled: “My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture.” In her ethnographic research of  234 Notre Dame undergraduates she wrote:

“Today’s students stand at the crossroads of a new way of conceiving texts and the people who create them and who quote them.” She went on… “the idea of an author whose singular effort creates an original work is rooted in Enlightenment ideas of the individual. It is buttressed by the Western concept of intellectual property rights as secured by copyright law. But both traditions are being challenged.”

“Our notion of authorship and originality was born, it flourished, and it may be waning,” Ms. Blum said.

According to Times author, Trip Gabriel, ‘Ms. Blum contends that undergraduates are less interested in cultivating a unique and authentic identity — as their 1960s counterparts were — than in trying on many different personas, which the Web enables with social networking.'”

Respondents to surveys who believe plagiarism should be considered “serious cheating” by lifting words off the web has dropped from 34 percent to 29 percent on average in the past decade, according to the New York Times article.  I have my own theory as to why this may be true that no anthropologist would dare touch.

I believe the more people who are turned off by church and using the Bible as a text to be referenced, the less you have people taking the time in giving proper attribution to where they find their sources.  In other words, days of old you had people who wrote in lofty, well thought out script, they also adhered to the Bible as being the true Word of God.  If one does not tamper with His Word, you probably won’t be messing with other people’s words either.

I’m wondering what Muslim countries do about getting their ardent students to refer back to the Koran as a way to prove a point.  Do their holy teachers instill in their young students to reference the Koran by giving proper references? [Christians always want to know the “street address” of where something was quoted from. For example, look up Jeremiah 29:11]  I doubt it, but then I’m walking into very murky territory. Again, I don’t know much about the Koran and if it is held up as holy text the same way the Bible is by true believers of Christianity. I’d have to say that the people in Kazakhstan only have a superficial knowledge of what is in the Koran.

My main point is that the western world has moved away from using the Bible as a text to adhere to or to gain instruction from.  The deconstructionism and the postmodern era has done a number on many of the words we held on to for dear life.  Why on earth would other universities from developing countries want to emulate what we have going on at our western universities if we have western professors who make a living tearing down words we held as true? Most specifically, does our new university in Astana want to follow the western traditional practices of originality or follow the path of “anything goes,” take what you can off of the 21st century Internet writings?

Troubling problems to deal with…stay tuned.

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Interview with the REAL “Rudy” and Students’ Comments

Part of the Special Features in the American DVD of “Rudy,” the movie I showed last weekend to my two listening classes, was a videotaped interview with the REAL Rudy. (Another reason why buying pirated copies of the original is not a good idea, no special features or English subtitles. My Kazakh students got both) Their comments about the movie speak volumes…

 Gaukhar – Rudy, my impressions are great.  I really can’t believe that the plot of the film is the real story.  It’s just unbelievable.  All his dreams came true, not like in fairy tales, but because of his hard work. The real Rudy said, “What you need is a dream, and then you will find what you should do.” He finally achieved his goal, his dream.  This film and this real story are very inspiring.

 Yuliya – The film creators did a great job because a real story of Rudy is very similar to the one presented in the movie.  Real Rudy is the same determined guy who tries to make his dream come true.  In 1974, he got admission to the school of Notre Dame and the next year he played his first game.  It was very interesting to watch how vivid were the memory from this game.  Real Rudy Ruettiger was crying recalling the date of November 8, 1974.  He achieved his goal.

 Fahriddin – This man was very determined.  He never gave up even with so many obstacles in his life.  The actor looked a lot like the real Rudy.  He is very emotional.  He practiced for two seasons on the practice squad before he was allowed to play.

 Aslan – It’s really impressive to see a person, who reached everything he dreamed about.  There are a lot of people who reach a lot in their lives, but not many, who make their dreams happen.

 Ruslan – At first, Sean Austin, is a very good actor, he really acts like the original Rudy, even the wrong pronunciation of the “sh”!!  Now we can see that Rudy is a very happy person, he is satisfied with his life, we can “see it in his face.”  I think he is a real hero, he had a dream, he made his dream come true, he never gave up, so he acheived his aims and goals.

 Nurlan – the real person looks very similar to the actor (Sean Austin).  I think even personally their characters are identical.  Rudy is a “real dreamer.”  Even many years after college, he still has his feelings at those moments and he can recall those important moments.

 Diana – Oh…I did not watch the film, but after seeing this interview, I was really impressed by the contents of the film “Rudy” and by his real life and dreams, and how it was difficult to achieve all this, to live for the aim, for one dream day when he went to the stadium and felt happiness.  He was crying when he told about this day that is why I could feel all the difficulty and happiness of his feelings.

 Aigerim O. I believe that our dreams come true.  I believe that our thoughts realizing and never give up with your dreams, never be afraid of them, you really can get it, even if it seems impossible.  And Rudy is one, who never stopped dreaming and proved that there are no impossible things.

 Aigerim M. I appreciate his casting in the film.  I’m impressed about his feelings and story.  He really did a good job.  Although failures in his life, he continued to dream and reach his goals.  In my life I’m trying to do this too.  For that, you have to be strong person with perfect ambitions.  We can change our life style and our destiny.  Our destiny is in our hands.  He changed his destiny at the end. I like him very much, he is an example for us.

 Aizhan – I think that a film is enticing.  It is a real story about a man who did whatever he can to pursue his dreams.  It really makes me think about my future, plans.  To achieve something you need to have dreams.

 Daniya – I think that the film is like the real story about Rudy. All situations showed in film were happened with this guy.  All his achievements were shown in true way. If we compare the film and the real story, we can understand that the director’s job was done in a good level.  I was really surprised, I liked this story so much.

Karashash – I watched the real story of Rudy and realized that the film is the real story itself, no addition, no false information.  And what surprised me is that Sean Austin who played the main character really looks similar to the real Rudy.  Sean Austin made a good job because what I saw now is very similar to the movie “Rudy”  I was surprised when Rudy told about the day when he eventually played in the game, he started crying.  He really achieved his dream and remembered everything, every feeling about that day!  That is very touching!

 Indira – I was impressed very much, I like this movie too.  This movie looks like a really good story, actually this impressed me very much.  When I was watching movie I was really enjoy, because I didn’t watch such kind of movie before.  This story about Rudy, very interesting and this story taught us how people can achieve their goals, aims.  This story also taught us be stronger and self-confident.  Everything is in our hand! Just do it! Moreover, I listened to the comments for this movie with big interest.  All in all, the movie is pretty good, well done and I really like it very much.  I believe that I will advise watch this movie for my friends.

 Amina – I think that Rudy is really look like actor.  And the actor worked good.  When I saw the REAL Rudy, it was really interesting, now I realized that he is real!  All he did is real.  And I respect him a lot.  He wanted something, worked hard and achieved his goal no matter WHAT!

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Two More Enthusiastic, Rave Reviews on “Rudy”

Fahriddin’s perspective of “Rudy”

    [American] Football is one of the roughest sports in the World. It is also a very competitive one. Rudy also loved the game of football just like me but what was more important is that he had heart. This movie relates to me in many ways, two of which are, he played football for his college team like me and he had love for the game of football which is unexplainable. 

    Rudy Ruttiger played for the university of Notre Dame. I also play for my university just like him but fortunately I do not ride the bench like him. Although he did not play every game he was still part of the team and he was the spirit of the team which helped them win games. This is what every team needs a player who inspires every single man or woman on the team to do their best and never give up. 

    Rudy loved the game of football he could not live without it. His inspiration to make the team and play at least one game were his friends and everyone else who told him that he should never give up. What pushed him most were the people who said that he would never play a game for the team. I love the game of football it is my personal favorite sport. I cannot explain why it is so but I cannot live without it. When I came back to Kazakhstan from the US there was no one who I knew that could play this sport. I thought I would die. When I was enrolled at our “western” university, I found out that there was a football team, I thought I was the happiest person on the planet at that moment. 

    In conclusion this movie relates to me in many ways two of them are that he played for his college team like me and he loved the game of football just like me. You should never stop chasing dreams even if in everyone else’s eyes they are unreal.

Karashash’s thoughts about “Rudy”

This weekend I watched the film called “Rudy”. It was very hard to find this movie but when I eventually found it and watched I asked myself why I did not heard about it earlier because this movie really a masterpiece! I am still excited about it; I can not describe emotions and feelings inside me! It is very touching, moving, encouraging and inspiring! The main idea of the story is that dreams make people believe in the better future, make them to become brave. The main character’s friend, Pete, repeated his father’s words: “Having dreams is what makes our life tolerable”. This is the statement that could describe this entire movie! When I was watching I suddenly thought that everyone should have dream, should have hope and belief and I realized that actually I do not have strong desire, dream about something! I just have goals and aims to achieve but not dreams. After this movie I started thinking of this and I do not understand why I do not have it! All my life I considered that my goals are my dreams but now I am confused. In my opinion people with dreams even with impossible ones are the happiest! After I achieve one goal I think about next one and that is how my life goes; I do not think about one thing that I want! So after this movie something inside me told me that I should believe in something that would be encouraging me but what?! The answer is still unknown…

However, the persons that have dreams I think in our country have a possibility to make them become true if it not the dream to fly to the Moon, but who knows what will happen after few years! I consider that most of the Kazakhstan people do not feel lack of freedom to realize their dreams even the craziest one! I think that this movie should be broadcasted everywhere, in every country and to everyone because it could encourage, really inspire someone not to give up but to try again and again unless your dream is true! This is how Rudy does; this is to what he devoted his life! I hope that one day I will be having dream that will be making me to wake up with the hope to realize my dream!

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Aigerim’s Summary of the “Rudy” Movie

This past weekend I had almost 30 of my Kazakh students descend upon our two room flat on two different evenings.  Tight quarters didn’t seem a deterrent for these eager first year students.  What fun to have them watch and laugh together at the funny parts of this very good movie titled “Rudy.”  Even though it was all about Notre Dame football, you didn’t have to know any of the rules about American football to understand the main theme of the movie.  Hard work, passion and motivation was what Rudy was all about.  Read what Aigerim M wrote, who wasn’t able to attend this event with her classmates, but she did enough questioning to write a good summary about it.

I did not see the film “Rudy,” so I asked my classmates to tell me about it. I had learned many things. They were so impressed about this film, the motivation of Rudy. So, I regret somehow that I could not watch the “Rudy”. If I had watched this film, I would like it very much. It is enjoyable, when you watch films which are teaching, motivated and can give you some advices. Nowadays, there are so many films that destroy the children’s mind as horrible as possible. That’s why, I like the “Rudy” even though I had not watched it.

      With the help of my friends, I would like to tell my opinion. They told me that it was a true story about one boy whose name was Rudy Ruettiger. He had dreamed that he would play football for Notre Dame college. However his grades were low in high school and he missed out – ending up at his dad’s steel mill. When his closest friend was killed on the job, Rudy set out to follow his dream and enlisted at Holy Cross college to get his grades and took on jobs within Notre Dame to make his dream come true.

This movie proved that good things happen to people who work hard and don’t except the circumstances they are dealt. The movie showed that dreams really can come true. If you put your mind (and body) to it, and if you have a big enough heart, you too can accomplish anything! This is truly an inspirational film. You don’t have to be a Notre Dame fan to cheer for Rudy. This is a wonderful true-life example of a person stopping at nothing to achieve their dream. It is highly emotional and marvelously acted by all. I’m not sure how many of the details of this film really happened, but Rudy was a real person. He did overcome great odds. He should be motivation for us all.

      This is a great film about going for your dreams and never giving up. No matter who tells you that you can’t do it, no matter how unlikely the chances are, no matter what, make sure you go for your dreams and do everything that you can make them come true. The film gave us an inspiration to live, to continue and to dream. So, we should dream about what we want in future and then try, hope, believe and work fot it hard. Without dreams we can not imagine our life. 

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“Crowds of Cheering Fans” by Kazakh Students

My Listening and Notetaking students answers a second question related to watching the movie “Rudy” who had always dreamed of playing football at Notre Dame.  “Have you ever been in a stadium cheering for your favorite team or have you been a player on a team being cheered?  Describe your feelings in that particular sporting event.”

Crowds of Fans


Gaukhar N. – My favorite soccer team is Aktobe, because I’m from Aktobe and it is the best soccer team in Kazakhstan.  And my feelings were great when you feel like you are a part of the team cheering.

Diana – I like football, especially the team of MU (Manchester United) and the best team of our country – Aktobe, because it is my native town and good players are there.  So, I always went to the football games to the stadium and I want to say that it is really exciting feelings.

Serikzhan – When I was in Aktobe (my birthtown) I used to go to the Central Stadium and support our team.  I really adore this feeling, because you feel yourself as if you’re part of a team.

Aizhan – Once my sister and me stayed at home together and we had nothing to do that evening.  We decided to watch TV.  I had never been interested in watching or playing football before, but my sister persuaded me to watch it.  And surprisingly, I found it quite interesting.  Brazilia and Japan were playing.  My sister and me were for Brazilia, but our team lost first part of the game and we got so sad.  Fortunately, at the end of the match, at the very last five minutes, Ronaldo goaled.  We even started to cry (say loudly “Aaaaa! IGA!” I’ll never forget that feeling.  Afterwards, I adore football!!!

Karashash – Two years ago I went to the football game “Portugal vs. Kazakhstan.”  Actually, I went there only for C. Ronaldo – the best player in Portugal team.  But when I came and saw so many people cheering for favorite team I felt excited!  That was great! From that time, I like football a lot!

Almas – Once I had cheered at the football stadium – Kazakhstan vs. Portuguese.  Of course, I was cheering for the KZ team, however, in my opinion half of the stadium came there just to look at Christian Ronaldo.

Galimzhan – I had been in a stadium of Almaty in 2007 when Kazakhstan national team of soccer was playing with Portugal for a chance to go to the World Cup of soccer.  After those matches, I lost my voice for a few days.

Aslan – When I played for my class football team in school’s championship, we began as the most unpopular team.  Then we became the most cheered team.  I noticed such kind of things during breaks in the game, because when I’m playing football, I see only the field, ball, opponents and teammates, and I do not pay attention to the other things as the crowd and so on.  But I’ve been to Olympic stadium in Beijing.  It was at New Year and that big stadium is really impressive to stay on it’s ground [?]

Julia – I’ve been in a stadium cheering the Kazakhstan soccer team.  They played against Turkey.  Our team lost with the score “6 – 0”  I was very disappointed and discouraged.  Although I knew that, our team would lose, I didn’t expect such a result.

Ruslan – Yes, I’m a soccer fan, so that I’ve been to stadiums a lot.  I can say, that these feelings cannot be forgotten, you’re encouraged with them.  All fans are cheering for their team and it is fantastic!!!

Gaukhar D. – I was at the stadium cheering for our football team.  I love this atmosphere when everybody around you is excited.  I mean it’s a wonderful feeling when you are just like a part of a big family and for some time you can share joy with them.

 Tolegen – It was actually recently with the match of Kazakhstan vs. England.  I was really excited and thrilling and evening though our team lost, I was glad to be there.

Elbar – Once when I had been in England, I visited “Fly Emirates” Stadium.  There was a match between Arsenal vs. Real Madrid (Real, the team which I support for six years). It was exciting to see our team, my favorite team in REAL life.  I felt so cool, that I could see all players, that I had seen on TV before.

 Olzhas – I have been in a stadium. There was a football match, not American football.  It was very interesting match because I had never been at a football match before.  Maybe that’s why it was great.

 Sergei – I have been in our Almaty stadium with my friends.  We watched how our football players played with players from Ukraine.  It was a bad game, we lost to them.  But we screamed a lot at the stadium, like “Come on! Come on!” or “We need to beat them up!” and some other things like this.

 American sports

Abylaikhan – I went to a Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins game.  My family’s “fav” team was Bills.  When we got to the stadium I felt excited.  The stadium was full of Bills fafns, and they were cheering all the time and singing: “Let’s go Buffalo (;-) That’s unexpressive feeling.  I loved it!  (;-) Buffalo won that day.

Nurlan A. When I was in the States, my host family took me to the Red Sox game.  Even if I didn’t know the rules of the baseball game, the crazy atmosphere at the Red Sox stadium took me away.

Indira – yes, last years I was cheering for our football team the Titans, it was really cool.  I liked it very much.

 Other Sporting events and Concerts

Amina B. – Okay, it wasn’t a sports event, I don’t like looking at such thing.  But I’ve been in the concert of my favorite group.  That was the BEST DAY!  I still remember the date, October 5, 2007.  My emotions, I can’t describe it!  I WAS CRAZY, HAPPY, CHEERING.  And I was under the impression for 2-4 months. And I still can talk a LOT about this concert.

 Yesmurat – Once I participated in a tournament of table tennis and I reached the final.  My rival was very good player.  When the game was started, my friends were cheering for me.  It gave me strength and I won him.

Rustem – I have a little brother who is 16, he’s a wrestler and a year ago he had a competition.  All our family went to cheer him.  At that moment I was very proud of him when he won the third place.

 Valerie – I have never been in a stadium cheering for a favorite team, I’m not interested in it.  Possibly, I will do this later, if I have a passion or someone invites me.  I heard from my friends that it is so great.  Maybe it is.

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