March 9, 2011 § 21 Comments
If you are one of those people who notices eensy-weensy details like the particulars on someone’s blog, you may have noticed that yesterday I decided to append a copyright license to my blog. You see, I’ve started to become nervous. It finally dawned on me the other day that I am posting portions of creative thought that will appear in one form or another in my dissertation. It would break my heart (not to mention really really piss me off) if someone stole my creative intellectual property before I even had a chance to explore it. Although I trust my general readers not to steal my thoughts, the same can’t be said for the general Googler who might happen upon my blog when they type in specific keywords.
Note: I realize that I’m giving myself a great deal of credit, thinking my blog would show up in a Google search, but for the sake of the point, please just play along.
In addition to being pissed off by plagiarists who might want to steal my stuff, I am disgusted by people who plagiarize at all. For instance, as some of you Gmail users may be aware, Gmail sometimes takes it upon itself to “read” your e-mail and provide advertisements that correlate to the subject matter. More often than not, I am appalled to find an ad for a paid dissertation-writing service (like those paid essay-writing services!!) splashed across my Gmail inbox…just because I used the word “dissertation” in a message to a friend.
How utterly disgusting and disgraceful, to steal a dissertation! To pay someone else to write it for you so that you can slap your name on it and claim authorship! To that I say: if you don’t have the facilities to compose a dissertation all on your own, then leave your program ABD. Let it go. Don’t get the degree. Leave the degree for the students who can and will do their own work. So disgusting.
And then…things like this happen:
Look, folks, let’s just be perfectly clear here.
Writing is hard work. If you want your work to be taken seriously, you will often need to incorporate some amount of research (even if it’s light). Even in works of fiction, authors will write an acknowledgement or thanks message where they give credit to the people who assisted them in their research.
Research is hard work. In order to conduct research properly, you have to think of all the questions before your readers have the chance to ask them. Cover all your bases. Know what your sources know. As you conduct your research, you have got to keep track of the sources: their titles, authors, page numbers for direct quotes and paraphrases.
If it isn’t appropriate for your work to contain a bibliography, then write a note of thanks and acknowledgement so that those who assisted you are given credit.
I guess at the end of the day, the plagiarism rule is this:
When in doubt, always give credit where credit is due.
February 11, 2011 § 17 Comments
That’s right, fans! A.Hab. gets to own the most awesome award ever made ever! I really am so incredibly lucky that I got this award! 🙂 So many, many thanks go to Kathy McCullough of reinventing the event horizon for passing this treasure on to me. I should also thank all of my incredible fans for…well, for not abandoning this blog at the sight of this completely ridiculous thing, haha. (And I have full rights to mock this silly award because its creator did, too–so, thanks go to Jillsmo for creating it in the first place.)
And now for the business end of this award: as an award recipient, I have to fulfill certain requirements. No golden naked men for this chicky–no, no. My responsibilities do extend beyond thanking all the “little” people and racking my brain not to forget a one. Nope, I must complete the following to-do list.
Requirements of the award:
–link back to the blogger who awarded you Done!
–display the graphic from award creator Jillsmo Done!
–post 5 facts, four of which must be lies
–pass the award on to 5 other bloggers who must follow these rules
–link the post back to “Memetastic Hop,” so Jillsmo can follow its treacherous trajectory Done!
All righty, now for the fun part!
What do you think is the one true fact? Leave a comment and let me know which one feels absolutely right!
1. When I was in third grade, I fell off the monkey bars and broke my arm in two places. I had to sit out my ballet dance recital.
2. My first pet was a black and white goldfish named Pongo. I named him after watching 101 Dalmations. After Pongo died, I just couldn’t bring myself to own another fish.
3. My very first plane ride ever was when I was a rising senior in college, and we went to New York City to celebrate my sister’s high school graduation. Two days before our trip, my group psychology professor showed us the film Alive, which led me to nearly tear my sister’s skin off her arm during take-off.
4. I met Khloe Kardashian while Robert and I were in Las Vegas after he graduated last May. She’s actually super sweet and smarter than she appears on television!
5. My favorite roller coaster in Disney World is in the Animal Kingdom park–it’s a fairly new ride called Expedition Everest! I absolutely cannot get enough of it! I rode it three times in a row before Robert managed to drag me away.
Oh, Memetastic Award…you fickle bitch. I enjoyed having you for this short span, but I know that your heart lies elsewhere. The blogs I have chosen to award with this silly little elated confetti-tossing kitty all have two things in common: 1. they are all women and 2. they are all personal friends of mine outside of the blogosphere. I have had the pleasure of knowing each of these women for years, and I take great comfort and joy in following their work online. In no particular order, the next five award recipients are:
1. Pet the Dog: “May all of our endeavors make us feel as lovely as when we pet a dog.” On Pet the Dog, readers can look forward to following the writer as she learns Italian, takes on sailing, and perfects her yoga practice. Read, cheer her on, and get inspired!
2. Salad Bar Dating: Educated Crouton attempts to “salad bar date” after 40. She has dedicated her blog to relearning what it means to date at this new point in her life, and she carries on her latest educational experience in a humorous, intelligent way. Follow her as she makes her way down the salad bar, in search of the perfect topping!
3. I’m About to do My Thing: inspired by her published Master’s thesis titled Getting Hair Fixed: Black Power, Transvaluation, and Hair Politics, Monita Bell writes a blog chronicling efforts to negotiate African American issues in the classroom, encouraging confidence in young people, and exploring issues of what it means for an African American woman to get her hair “fixed” today. Her blog is chockfull of intelligent discourse and keen insight.
4. On Writing: writer Tawnysha Greene offers tips and an honest look at what life is like for a writer these days, while simultaneously publishing her own work and pursuing a PhD in fiction writing at the University of Tennessee. In addition to being a superwoman, Tawnysha inspires her readers to push their boundaries and take risks with the potential to reap huge rewards!
5. V. Dub im Haus: V. Dub describes with great humor her day-to-day life as a teacher, as well as her journey with her husband to conceive their first child. V. Dub’s writing style keeps her readers laughing, while likewise conveying deep messages of womanhood, unity, patience, and strength.
Please do yourselves a favor and follow these blogs, if you aren’t following them already. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
January 24, 2011 § 13 Comments
These past couple of days, I have struggled to come up with interesting topics to post. Some days are better than others–some days the inspiration flows freely and other days I’m parched. Unfortunately, even the parched days require a post, especially since I have accepted the Post a Day challenge. Although most days I find myself glad to accept the challenge and impressed that I have gone three weeks and have risen to the occasion, there are the days when I feel too mentally exhausted to write, or when the great post idea never comes.
Enter: Freshly Pressed.
They featured a blog this week that talked about Bloggiesta, an annual weekend-long blogging extravaganza…something I had never heard of, but then again I’m new to the blogosphere. In this post, the writer, Leeswamme, offers wonderful tips to help sustain a blogger throughout Bloggiesta, but I bet these are tips that can help sustain a blogger even during the dry days. A few of the tips really leapt out at me, and they’re so simple that I can’t believe I had never thought of them:
- Write backup posts for a rainy day.
- Write that great post idea from three months back.
- Work on series posts.
Of course! So now, this Princess of Planning is going to start working on ways that she can improve her blogging experience by keeping either a handwritten notebook of topics or prewriting posts that she can publish on those rare but excruciating parched days. The funniest thing is that when I accepted the challenge to post every single day in 2011, part of me thought that that meant that I should compose brand new posts every single day. Well…already I’ve scheduled two posts to show up on my blog the day after I actually wrote them. For both of those posts I chose this option because I wanted to write them while I still remembered the topic.
But what this approach is suggesting is to take stock in the fact that writing every day is difficult, particularly when you are attempting to write on topics that will attract readers. I want to write every day because it keeps me writing at all (and that’s precisely what I need to be doing at this time in my graduate program). But, I am learning to accept my flaws and forgive them in myself as I approach my thirties, which means that complete honesty would force me to admit that coming up with ideas isn’t as easy as it seemed on the outset.
In order to help myself come through on the challenge, then, to get me to the point where I can proudly exclaim that I succeeded, I will actually set myself up for success. I’m going to take Leeswamme’s advice of prewriting entries to post later and to work on the blog posts I always intended to work on.
No matter what, I will write every single day–either on my blog or on my dissertation (most days both), but, dammit, I will write every single day.