Friday, July 31, 2009

specks, logs, and plagerism...

You really should clarify it. People are going to get the wrong impression of you, she cautiously warned me. She raised her left eyebrow, pursed her lips, and nodded to affirm her own statement. The office secretary and I have a sisterly relationship and she always has my best interests in mind. I thought long and hard about my previous blog post and said to myself, Maybe I was too honest, too open, too transparent. But my entire life I've lived trying to give people an impression that I'm holier than I am, healthier than I am, happier than I am. But I'm not. I'm a broken person who is in a transformation process, searching the good Lord for His will and answers for my life.

I mentioned that I was caught for plagiarism in college, but here's the full story:
Whittier College hired the W.O.R.S.T adjunct professor the Art History department ever seen. She was horribly disorganized, read books with commentary as her own lecture, and at times she even looked like she was going to fall asleep in the middle of her lectures. In addition to this, she breathed funny.

The entire semester I saw students skip class, download term papers from the internet, sleep in class, and even walk out during group discussion. I cringed knowing that I was paying $378 per class lecture while members from the lacrosse team who had taken the class the previous semester gave their term papers to their teammates to resubmit and they received stellar grades. I was appalled. In short, I felt like I was the only one not cheating and the only one struggling to get this professor to find my work worthy of an A. It was the final term paper and I needed to nail it to get an A in the course. Four people downloaded entire essays from the internet, three people used finals from the previous semester, and two people bought essays from other students. I had studied, I had researched, I had done the work... except I needed a knock-out introduction and thesis which just so happened to be on an essay I found online. So I used it. And I was caught. And my entire academic career was obliterated in one conversation with the Dean of Academics. I was devastated and humiliated and because of one stupid decision I could not graduate summa cum laude, magma cum laude, or even cum laude. Poof! My hopes disappeared.

I wanted to drag my classmates under the bus with me! I wanted to drop dime on everyone! If I was going to go down, so would everyone else! I only copied one paragraph, they copied entire papers for the entire semester. But I said nothing because cheating is cheating, copying is copying, and sin is sin. Yesterday I was reminded of this while reading a book on leadership. Matthew 7:3 reminded me that I am not to be a hypocrite:
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

So this is me. I have specks (and logs) in my eyes, I walk with a limp (not because of my short leg), and I'm broken but beautiful because God uses perforated people to do the impossible. Before we start calling people out on their "big" sins of adultery, drunkenness, and idolatry, remember that cheating is cheating, copying is copying, and sin is sin. Specks, logs, sex, lies... it's all the same. All we can do is admit it and ask for forgiveness.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you... that's all!

-j

renay. said...

Wow, B, you got me where it hurts! And at just the right moment. I was just about ready to call someone out- to say, 'let me remove that speck'. By God's grace, I was able to hold my tongue, otherwise, this post would have been much harder for me to deal with. Thanks for the reminder! Now if you'd excuse me, I'm due in to see my Heavenly Optometrist now. :)

Annie said...

I am in the middle of this battle right now, my friend. {I like to call you that 'cuz it feels like you read my mail everyday -- we might as well be friends...} ;)

I have a group I'm trying to "bring together" but they resist. Resist in childlike ways. And I am forced to decide if I want to play like a child too or like a Child of God. It really is harder to decide some days than others. But I know what is right and I won't be intimidated by their actions. I am moving forward with the same grace and patience God has for me -- mixed with some of the "hey now, you knew what was coming... please don't act like you didn't" that He so effortlessly gives me most days. But I will do it in love and not revenge. I will let HIM take care of that one. :0)

Frances said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca* said...

Wow. Things like that just make you stronger.

p.s. who needs education when you've got great hair? :P :D

Anonymous said...

Bianca, you have no idea how this post have helped me to correct my life and make better decisions. Like one of my friends used to tell me. “callate che' que vos tambien tenes tu historia", God Bless you and thank you for being so transparent with us.. love you

Frances said...

Sorry I had to delete my first comment.

Here it goes again.

I applaud you for your honesty. Bravo!!!

Michelle said...

I love that... "cheating is cheating, copying is copying and sin is sin." I think that a lot when I am tempted to sit it judgement of other's words or actions. I may like to classify it all into nice little categories but it's ALL the same to God. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Unique said...

Did you ever watch the show Clueless? The opening theme song was very annoying but I always remembered one line, "...she wears her heart on her sleeve..."

You just put that song in my head. Thanks.

Bridget said...

you are so humble, honest and sweet that's why so many of us love you!

Jasmine said...

Love you...and, yes, your professor was a PIECE OF...WORK. A piece of work indeed. ;)

I Named Your Dog said...

I'm Gobsmacked... You???

christy said...

you said it sister...it's always hard to notice the plank in your eye when u r so focused on telling someone about their speck...especially when your dealing with "sin is sin"...easy to say "i'm not that bad, or as bad...", but in reality....it's all bad...thanks for reminding me:)

Lydia said...

I need to post this verse up on a wall where I can see it every day...every other second!

..:*Ch*a*Ll*A:.. said...

just a little fyi the impression I was left with from your previous blog was nothing bad, it just clarified what you were trying to get across to everyone that you are normal and just like anybody else we make mistakes, unfortunately we have a few or most people among us that take the "initiative" (I dont even know if that's the word I want to use) to judge people.

I can understand why your friend will be worried for you. especially since you; a public speaker and teacher of the Bible, for some reason or another you are put under the microscope, and that's why people are surprised that you live a normal life, maybe more active than others but normal none the less. it's a stereotype.

it's a lot of pressure that they have put you on and it sucks that you have to go to an explanation for some of the wrongs you've done, you dont need to explain it to us, there's only one Man one God that you should ask for forgiveness from and we all know who He is. =]

it's like I learned yesterday about Sins of Omission and sins of Commission. Hold on to God's Grace don't let go but still hold on to the Responsibility to sin no more.

*sorry for the long comment. I can't sleep. ^^; lol.

Maribel said...

hey at least you're honest about it. most people don't get that far. love ya!

Cindy A. said...

Whoa. That really stinks! I can commiserate because I know that lots of students cheat on papers at Cal Poly and it really miffed me to know that I had to work hard for my C's and B's. In the end, they're just grades anyway. To date I haven't been asked for my GPA! =D

Anonymous said...

thank you Bi!!! Yes it is always for your good!! :)

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