And More WoW Fiction

Dragons in WoW are lore appropriate, and dragons hiding out and observing the populace are also lore appropriate. That doesn’t mean creating a player character who is secretly a dragon isn’t intensely problematic and probably very mockable. As with anything, I suppose it comes down to execution.

I know one person who had achieved good execution on this, so this character concept is partially her fault. My love of Doctor Who is the other culprit; much like the Doctor, Xan is a revolutionary who finds humans fascinating and disagrees with the standing policy of non-interference. Or, as moonandserpent has pointed out: “She’ll make a wonderful Infinite someday.”

Yeah… well, we all know that Nozdormu hied himself off to become the leader of the Infinite Flight anyways. Xan is just “Vollowink in her Grandvathers vootschtepps!”

Really…

In the Time of Dragons…

“I have seen where your path leads you. It is foolish to resist your fate.”

Xandormi rolled her eyes and rustled her wings, snaking her neck so that her head lolled sideways on the sand, the picture of adolescent draconic intractability. Not again. She was so tired of being cautioned towards patience and wisdom. She was ready to strike out into the world. Ready to see more of the mortals that ventured only rarely to her home underneath the deserts of Tanaris. She knew her fate, and it wasn’t sitting around in a cave giving the same boring history lecture over and over. She was destined for greater things. Whether she wanted them or not.

Xan huffed, sending up a fine spray of sand before her nostrils.

“It’s not fair. All my clutchmates have gone away, gone on, gone *out* into the world, or through the time streams. But you won’t even let me leave the cave.”

“You must practice patience, young one. And you must come to a better understanding of why we do things as we do. Your impetuousness and disrespect for the wisdom of our ways has always been your failing…”

Blah blah blah. Zaladormu droned on, and Xan tuned him out. She huffed again, focusing on the sand as it swirled before her. She stopped it mid-flight, tongue flicking out to nudge at the crystals suspended in time-space. They were remarkably resilient, resisting her gentle nudgings. She pushed with more force, and the particles shifted. What had been a fan was now a snaking line. She let time inch forward, coaxing the line into a corkscrew dance–

“Xandormi!” The ground trembled as Zaladormu slammed his tail down. Xan’s artful spiral collapsed. She glanced up at her mentor, who was glowering at her.

“What?!”

“How often must you be told? We do not meddle with objects embedded in time. We observe only.”

“But… time’s elastic! A little poking and prodding here and there won’t change the big details. That’s why they’re all the same no matter what version of the world we observe. That’s why the Infinite Flight has to work so hard to make any real changes. The power it takes to actually change the course of the time-stream is–”

Slam came Zaladormu’s tail again. Xan flinched and fell silent.

“You want to know why you may not leave? You lack discipline, and you are severely lacking in the wisdom and sense necessary for the work we must do. You barely passed your training—”

“I aced the trials—” Xan bit off the rest as Zaladormu’s tail raised again in threat.

“I do not question your intelligence or your skill, Xandormi. In fact, I fear it, for it is excellence untethered by restraint. You don’t know when to stop.”

“We both know I’m going to get out of here someday, and everyone knows what I’m going to accomplish when I do. So why don’t you just let me get on with it?”

“Your destination is clear, yes, but your path is murky. And that alone is cause for concern. And so we will continue playing these ‘pointless games’, as you call them, until I am convinced that you will not endanger the fate of the world on your path to greatness!”

The scales around Xandormi’s jaws flared; if she were humanoid, her face would be flushed in embarrassment. Zaladormu’s reprimand had reached shouting proportions, his deep basso booming throughout the cavern. Heads turned, both draconic and human, to see what the fuss was about. Xan furled her wings and snaked her neck and tail around her body, trying to make herself as invisible as possible. Not an easy feat when one was the size of a small house.

Time seemed to stop. It didn’t. Xan could feel each moment pressing against her as a hush fell over the cavern. Then, one-by-one, people returned to their business. The docent gestured to a slack-jawed orc warrior to continue to follow her. An elite force of alliance heroes mounted up and entered the gate to Old Stratholme. Alurmi and Andormu settled their wings and went back to discussing whatever they had been discussing before the interruption—probably supply issues in the battle to preserve the Hyjal timeline. Xan’s claws clenched, creating deep furrows in the sand underneath her. She forced her body to uncurl, as if the humiliation meant little to her.

Zaladormu was giving her his kindly-old-drake look. “I understand your frustration, Xandormi. Each one of us has felt it at some point. Each one of us has harbored a desire to change an event, to save a soul, to do something to make the fate of the world a better one. But that is not the task that Nozdormu has charged us with. It is not for us to decide what is best for mortals. It is for them to create the world that they will live in. Our only task is to protect the time-stream so that they might do so. Do you understand?”

Xan couldn’t answer for the tightness in her throat. It was a losing battle, always. If she said yes, she was a liar. As she was if she said no. Because what Zaladormu was asking wasn’t if she understood, but if she agreed. And she didn’t. She never had.

She rustled her pinions in a non-committal shrug, causing her mentor to heave a great sigh and send his own spray of sand fanning out.

“Honestly, my girl. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you would be the death of me.” His wings unfurled and he launched into the air, hovering with great, slow sweeps as he gave his final injunction. “I’m sorry, Xandormi, but you will not leave this cave until I am satisfied that you will not pose a danger to yourself or our mission. That is all.”

Xandormi watched as he flew up the passage towards freedom, then she slinked back to her weir, curled around herself, and fumed. And planned.

* * *

It was always quiet in the Caverns of Time. Serene. Boring, Xan thought. But some times were quieter than others. Now was one of them. A large coalition from the Horde had tramped through an hour earlier and were even now waging the battle against Archimonde to preserve the Mount Hyjal timeline. Most of the bronze flight in residence had gone as well to offer what assistance they could.

But not all that we could. That was what stuck in Xan’s craw. They could do more, but they wouldn’t, because Nozdormu, who had disappeared for parts and times unknown, had left his wishes very clear.

Well, dragons’ eggs were made to be hatched. Xan crept through the shadows, a half-step out of time. She’d made her form as small as possible, compressing and altering the particles of her being until she was the size and shape of a tiny elfin woman. Well, all elves seemed tiny to her. She rather thought she was normal-sized from their perspective.

This next bit was the hardest part of her plan. The long, snaking corridor to the surface made a foot escape difficult, and most adventurers took advantage of the taxi service that whelplings and younger drakes were forced to provide. She’d played through countless scenarios, from making a break for it to jacking a hearthstone, but in every scenario, she was captured. This was the only one that remained murky. She didn’t know how it could work, but she did know that it was the only plan that even had a chance.

She glanced about the cavern. No one that knew her was around. It was now or never. She slipped back into real-time.

* * *

Sir Gerard the Good hadn’t earned his name by tolerating evil when faced with it, so when the sly-eyed, devil-eared blood elf approached him, it took every ounce of restraint he had not to strike her down where she stood. It was bad enough that he had to be subjected to them on the few occasions when he was forced to travel to Dalaran. A man should have the right to bring a traitor to justice wherever he met them, and the so-called “Sin’Dorei” were just that. First they consorted with Naga, then with the Horde, and then with those demons in Outland. He didn’t understand why the dragons insisted that they should be tolerated by decent folk. His meaty fist wrapped around the hilt of his greatsword, and he waited for her to give him an excuse to break the enforced sanctuary.

He didn’t have to wait long.

“Pardon, sir Knight, but could you lend me aid?” she asked in strangely-accented common. Damn elves butchered his language so badly, he was glad that most of them now refused to even speak it.

He looked her over. She was slight, dressed in dark, supple leathers, her burnished-bronze hair pulled back in a low tail. He’d been approached by her type before. They looked sweet and innocent, lured you into a shadowed close where five or six of their friends waited, and if you were left with your life, you were lucky.

Looked like she picked the wrong mark this time. “What kind of aid?” He didn’t bother to hide his gruffness or irritation, hoping she’d get the message to go bother someone else.

She didn’t. Instead, she smiled and gave a strange little wiggle. “My hawkstrider seems to have bolted. I don’t think she liked it much down here. I need to get back up to the surface. Could I trouble you for a ride?” She motioned to his hog with its folded-away sidecar.

“Why don’t you just have one of the dragons give you a lift?”

“I get airsick.”

He tamped down on a pang of sympathy. He didn’t much like flying himself – all that up and down. It was why he’d ridden his hog down in the first place. But maybe she knew that, and her friends were up in the desert instead of hiding in the shadows of the cave.

“Please?” She said, mistaking his hesitation. “You’re the only person I’ve seen here besides myself with some kind of transportation. Most everyone else just takes the drakes. And that’s a really long walk.”

The face she made was just… strange. The big, doe-eyes he understood, but he couldn’t figure why she puffed cheeks out slightly. It threw him off, and he found himself nodding in bemusement. Elves. They were all a little weird, but this one…she seemed young, no older than his daughter would have been had she survived the Scourge attack on Lordaeron.

In fact, she reminded him an awful lot of Polly – those same guileless eyes and gamine’s grin. What the hell was she doing in the Caverns to begin with? She was no adventurer. He voiced the question before he could think.

She wavered from foot to foot, the soft leather toes of her boots curling in the sand. He wondered if she was going to answer, and wondered even more that he was curious to see what she would say. She took a deep breath, her chest expanding, and he was ashamed to notice that she wasn’t that young. He forced his eyes up again.

“My parents. They’re… gone. I was hoping I could come here and… save them. But the dragons… they won’t help. They don’t care.”

She had him, then. Didn’t even matter if she was telling the truth. It was the reason he’d come here himself. Polly and Mary gone forever, and his son turned into one of those monstrous Death Knights. All his life he’d been a loyal soldier for the Alliance, and now those damned wyrms couldn’t be bothered to do this one little thing. Like it fucking mattered to the fate of the world whether his family lived or died.

Gerard saw red. The little blood-elf girl *could* have been Polly, come to save him just like he tried to save her. He turned to his hog with a growl. “Get in. Keep your head down. If anyone sees me helping out one of your kind, I’ll lose my commission. I’ll give you a ride to Gadgetzan. From there, you’re on your own.” After all, camaraderie in misery only went so far.

A look flashed across her face as he slung a leg over the seat of the hog. It was sympathy, so pure that it seemed timeless. He slammed his helmet on before she could see the tears filling his eyes, but not before he heard her quiet words.

“Thank you. I hope that I can repay you someday, Gerard.”

It was only after Gadgetzan and the young elf were dust in his trail that he thought to wonder how she knew his name.

REDUX

Sir Gerard the Good owed his name more to his fortune and his pleasant nature than his high morals. He was a tad fonder of his drink than was proper, and his taste in humor was on the ribald side, but with so many losses over the past years, a man did what was needed to keep his spirits up. So the frown that marred his face when the little blood-elf girl approached was unusual, and the hand that wrapped around the hilt of his greatsword, was more due to caution than aggression. He waited to see what would cause the girl to cross enemy lines to speak to him.

He didn’t have to wait long.

“Pardon, sir Knight, but could you lend me aid?” she asked in strangely-accented common. Damn elves never could get a grasp on the tongue. Probably the real reason that most of them now refused to even speak it.

He looked her over. She was slight, dressed in dark, supple leathers, her burnished-bronze hair pulled back in a low tail. If he were a more suspicious sort, he’d suspect that she was the kind to lure you into a shadowed close where five or six of her friends waited. The kind that left you with only your life, and even then only if you were lucky.

Well, if she was, she’d picked the wrong mark this time. “What kind of aid?” His answer was gruff. He was here on a promise, and he couldn’t afford to be distracted. Also, it looked bad, him consorting with the enemy. He hoped she’d get the message to go bother someone else.

She didn’t. Instead, she smiled and gave a strange little wiggle. “My hawkstrider seems to have bolted. I don’t think she liked it much down here. I need to get back up to the surface. Could I trouble you for a ride?” She motioned to his hog with its folded-away sidecar.

“Why don’t you just have one of the dragons give you a lift?”

“I get airsick.”

He tamped down on a pang of sympathy. He didn’t much like flying himself – all that up and down. It was why he’d ridden his hog down here in the first place. Damn fool’s errand, and a waste of his time, but a promise was a promise.

“Please?” She said, mistaking his hesitation. “You’re the only person I’ve seen here besides myself with some kind of transportation. Most everyone else just takes the drakes. And that’s a really long walk.”

The face she made was just… strange. The big, doe-eyes he understood, but he couldn’t figure why she puffed cheeks out slightly. It threw him off, and he found himself nodding in bemusement. Elves. They were all a little weird, but this one…she seemed young. She couldn’t be much older than his daughter, Polly.

In fact, she reminded him an awful lot of Polly – those same guileless eyes and gamine’s grin. What the hell was she doing in the Caverns to begin with? She was no adventurer. He voiced the question before he could think.

She wavered from foot to foot, the soft leather toes of her boots curling in the sand. He wondered if she was going to answer, and wondered even more that he was curious to see what she would say. She took a deep breath, her chest expanding, and he was ashamed to notice that she wasn’t that young. Good thing Mary was back in Stormwind. She’d have his head for looking. He forced his eyes up again.

“My parents. They’re… gone. I was hoping I could come here and… save them. But the dragons… they won’t help. They don’t care.”

She had him, then. This was it, and he’d almost missed it. His heart pounded in his chest, and the hand gripping his sword trembled slightly. It was a terrifying thought, to know that your entire life could hang on the balance of such a tiny act. He swallowed and hoped in her youth that she mistook his reaction.

He turned to his hog to better hide that reaction, growling, “Get in. Keep your head down. If anyone sees me helping out one of your kind, I’ll lose my commission. I’ll give you a ride to Gadgetzan. From there, you’re on your own.”

A look flashed across her face as he slung a leg over the seat of the hog. It was sympathy, so pure that it seemed timeless. He slammed his helmet on before she could see the relief filling his eyes, but not before he heard her quiet words.

“Thank you. I hope that I can repay you someday, Gerard.”

It was only after Gadgetzan and the young elf were dust in his trail that he let himself breathe a sigh of relief. Then he headed home to his wife and daughter and son as fast as his hearthstone could take him.

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34 thoughts on “And More WoW Fiction

    • And I even *tell* then that I can google their papers and they will come up. It’s the easiest thing ever. It take me less time to do it than it probably did for them to steal the damn things. Anything that remotely smacks of plagiarism, I google. And things come up.

      Sheesh!

      • I remember the few times in college I was under deadline pressure. At the worst I would take someone’s paper and change all the wording in the most desperate of times, but not outright use it as is.

        How old are these students, btw?

      • I have a few non-traditionals, but mostly they’re regualar college age, 18-21 range. I teach at a small and relatively new state university in Indiana.

  1. I can sympathize with the guilt; I tend to get stuck between that and a vindictive pleasure in giving them exactly the penalty prescribed.

    Good catching it, though; not everybody makes the effort.

  2. I’d say there’s no reason to feel awful or guilty, but I remember the one time I was involved in flunking someone and I felt awful and guilty about it myself.

    Still, they have it coming.

    What’s funny is that you post this scant minutes after my ex tells me she’s working writing term papers for college kids.

  3. I understand why you feel bad, even though the student is really in the wrong. Sigh. It’s sad: failing people stinks, but good for you for being firm.

    Oh, I dunno if this might come in useful at some point, but here’s a link that might help clarify issues for those students who are better intentioned, if still as inept. Students must score a 100% to be able to access the certificate at the end of the test.

  4. One of my girlfriends is a TA at Purdue and has this happen *regularly.* It’s a little harder for her to catch, as it’s all code and such, but I guess Purdue has good filters for the computer department.

    She always feels guilty too. ::hugs:: But you are the keenest for caring enough to bother to try to catch this stuff. You rawk.

  5. When I was at the University of Pittsburgh last year (taking undergrad courses in Anthropology), I regularly heard my classmates discussing things like passing notes (with answers) during exams and purchasing term papers. When I took the LSAT a few weeks ago, we were told no less than 5 times by the proctors that if we discussed the test with each other over break, we’d be subject to possible dismissal, formal reports to the LSAC, etc.–and the moment my (overwhelmingly younger) testmates hit the halls at break, they were swapping answers and trying to figure out which section was experimental.

    My point is that I’m shocked (shocked, I say!) at the complete lack of concern that many students I’ve run into lately seem to have for things like rules and “playing fair”. I find myself wondering if it’s always been this way and I was just horribly sheltered (went to a girls’ private school where the punishment for plagiarism or any form of cheating was expulsion) or if this “get ahead in any way you can” attitude has intensified in the last five years or so. I don’t remember it being so bad when and I were at USC.

    Sorry for ranting, but your post really brought up issues that have been on my mind for a while now. I’m sorry that you have to do this–I agree that the student brought it on himself, but that doesn’t make it easier for you. If it helps, I think you’re an excellent teacher for doing it. Hopefully, he will learn from his mistake and try to be more honest in the future.

    • I have this whole spiel I do at the beginning of class where we go over a handout that describes what plagiarism is and what the penalty will be if I catch them at it (or at other forms of cheating). We talk about my zero-tolerance policy, and I tell them about the case at the University of (Sheffield?) where a kid sued the school for failing him when a teacher caught him plagiarizing in his last year. Apparently he’d been plagiarizing his entire four years, but no one ever caught him. He said that they purposely allowed him to go through to the end before failing him so they could get more money.

      No, I am not kidding. I actually need to go check to see how the court case came out, but on an opinion page there were an amazing number of people who actually sided with the kid and said that the university’s punishment was too harsh.

      And that’s really why I think it’s gotten worse in the past few years (because it wasn’t this bad when I was at Penn). University’s are reluctant to back up teachers when the teacher fails a student for plagiarism. I’ve already been told by one instructor that I had better have my evidence for the plagiarism case and the warning well in order before I bring it to the administration, because apparently if you leave any wiggle room at all they will take it (things like “well, students don’t usually understand what plagiarism is”). Luckily, because of the (Sheffield?) case, I made sure that they new exactly what plagiarism was at the beginning of the semester, and what the penalty would be. So hopefully the admin will back me up.

      But I think that whold admin being wishy-washy is why it is becoming more prevalent. Kids can get away with it, so they do.

      Bah!

      • We’re keeping a paper trail on one of the students in our class, not because we fear plagiarism (the assignments are of a type where she could only plagiarize from a fellow student, and she has yet to do so), but because we’re suspecting she may be the type to bitch and moan about how her (terrible) grade is unfair.

        An increasing number of them seem to think they’re entitled to a good grade without having to work for it, and if they don’t get it then it’s not their fault. This makes me see red more than just about anything else can.

      • An increasing number of them seem to think they’re entitled to a good grade without having to work for it, and if they don’t get it then it’s not their fault.

        Indeed. I took an upper-level course at Pitt on ancient civilizations. The material was dense and the course focused mainly on a handful of the significant cultures to crop up in the Near East and Latin America. The instructor was an archaeologist from Ecuador with a thick accent. She rode us hard–I had more reading assigned in her class than in any of my courses at USC (and I was in the Honors program there) and her exams were comprised almost entirely of essay questions and non-multiple choice short answers. I was working 40+ hours a week at the time, but I studied my a$$ off and came away with a hard-earned “A”.

        After the midterm, things got ugly in the class. What had been a vague murmuring early on about the professor’s accent being difficult to understand and her reading assignments being heavier than those for other classes became full-fledged griping–apparently because she had dared to issue D’s and F’s on the exams. By the time the final rolled around, there were students openly stating (before she arrived, of course) that they weren’t going to bother to study for it because they were going to formally complain about the class and get their grades “fixed”. Several were making snide comments about the prof’s nationality. Several complained that she was “obviously” out to get them because she was holding fast to her 4-page minimum (!) rule for their research papers. It was a mess.

        They knew the class was an upper-level course. After the first few sessions, it was clear that it would be tough and that the professor would be demanding. She laid out all of her requirements from the start on a very detailed syllabus and she held office hours for anyone who needed extra help, etc.–and yet these folks didn’t drop and I never heard one mention going to talk to her. Instead, they held discussions before the last few classes and decided that, if enough of them went to the administration with the same complaints, they wouldn’t have to worry about their performance on the final. It made me sick and it really increased my sympathy for anyone trying to teach these days.

      • I’ll freely admit that when I was going to school I had absolutely no moral quandries at all with cheating, plagerizing and whatever else was necessary to get the grade. Not saying I did any of that, mind you, but I didn’t have a problem with it. If I’d ever encountered a situation where plagerizing a paper would have been easier and more foolproof than taking a few hours to write one, then I may have done so. But by and large, I found it was easier to do my own drudgework even though I loathed it.

        Of course, when I was in college, my hatred for the University system was legendary at that point. Here I was working my ass off to pay for the priviledge of jumping through hoops that for the most part were just arbitrary hoops and busywork put in fornt of me. Am I going to take the path of least resistence through those hoops? Hell yes.

        I had expected College (Undergrad) to be differnet from High School. No more endless busywork, no more high school sillyness. But in the end, all it turned out to be was a combination of High School with Summer Camp. Now, my opinions started to change once I started doing my early Grad-level work and I started seeing how things worked beyond the undergrad barrier, but man did I hate college.

        I’d like to think I’m a great deal less arrogant and bastard-y now (yet far less popular with the ladies… wonder if there’s a corralation) but there’s still a small part of me that feels that College (Undergrad) is just four more years of high school with high fees attached so as to further create a class differential between those who can pay to live the college lifestyle and those who can’t. By and large a system designed to establish the existence of a worker class.

        But that’s me: bitter college-dropout champion of the proletariat.

      • I’m quoting him, not stating my own opinion. If you get into it with him you’ll hear that some degrees *are* worth having (i.e. Hard Sciences), but he will often disparage the “softer” sciences as being worthy of earning degrees.

      • Plagiarist consequences

        Of course failing a student feels bad. It is a sad event. Necessary – but sad. It hurts. I am proud of you for caring enough for it to hurt. I hate to do it, too.

        Most places I teach now use turnitin for us to test… but I typically just do a google search. 🙂 Often my problems are with grammatical plagiarism… which means they put the source in the reference section and either don’t cite all paraphrases or don’t format it correctly. I protect myself from the “I didn’t know any betters” by making the first week’s assignments the one to learn on with lots of thou shalt not plagiarize feedback …. and then I start pouncing.

        My very good friend’s son was on a great scholarship to a top ranked UC school. He had an assignment to go review a webpage. He didn’t cite the webpage. The faculty sent the assignment to the Administration … and he was suspended from class. Long story short, the faculty hadn’t properly cited the website – poor role modeling. He got an F on the assignment and 25 hours community service. it blew his 4.0

        It isn’t easy being a faculty and friend of a parent whose son is in major trouble for unintentional plagiarism.

        In addition to my online courses having a whole section of the website dedicated to avoiding plagiarism and proper cite/referencing, and the syllabus covers it, I also have my own first week posts. Plus, my courses have course texts and they have to correlate course text theory to outside sources — hard to buy one that does that — and also to personal experience, if possible. 🙂 Harder still to buy that.

        I figure they think I am too busy to check.

  6. Grade inflation

    I’ve heard it mentioned many times that grade inflation is a major problem in American universities. I say stick to your guns, give people the grade they earn and damn the administration if they don’t back you up. High school is easy because it’s mandatory and has to be accessible to everyone no matter how stupid or smart they are. High school is not a place where you get weeded out for being lazy. College should be hard, it should challenge you and it should make you stress and work and feel like you’ve really accomplished something special at the end of it. Sheep skins are too easy to come by these days. I’m proud of your convictions. I wish more Prof.’s do the same.

  7. Hmm….

    …people downloading music for free off the internet… even though its against the law… and is unethical… because they see the situation from a viewpoint constructed to reveal a different ethical structure…

    …people downloading/buying/stealing scholastic material from free, sometimes off the internet… even though its against the rules… and is unethical… ???

    While it isn’t as easy to get caught and punished for the illegal music downloads, it does make me wonder how many sides there are to this very coin… maybe the side that allows for downloading of music is more acceptable because at the end of the process one comes away with “cool stuff” and in a scholastic environment they simply come away with “a grade” which they might not find as immediately cool.

    “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

    • Well, I think to make the comparison work, the people downloading the stuff off the internet would then have to be passing it along as track tapes to their music producer for their next album and claiming it as theirs. Plagiarism isn’t about accessing somebody else’s work, or even selling it to someone else for profit. It’s about claiming someone else’s intellectual property as having been created and produced by you. Since the requirement for the class is that all work turned in be the student’s own intellectual property, I don’t think the comparison quite holds up (for instance, if they legally paid for a paper off the internet, I would still consider it plagiarism).

      • Well, maybe.

        Unethically partaking of the music of an artist for your own benefit, without fiscal gain, is what a lot of the hooplah is about, as an issue apart from the piracy that makes profit.

        Unethically partaking of the writing of an author for your own benefit, without fiscal gain, is what turning in papers for a grade seems to equate to in my mind.

        Now, if we were talking about piracy for profit, I’d likely then compare it to plagiarism where you’re taking credit for someone else’s work in a way that is allowing you material profit (being published without giving credit to the original author, being paid for the work, presenting yourself so that the author cannot take credit for the work, etc).

        And I understand totally that the entire point of the class is for the students to create their own works. No argument there. I’m simply making the observation that there may be parallels in the thought processes that allow someone to comfortably pirate music (without harming anyone as they see it) and committing not-for-other-than-academic-gain plagiarism (which hypothetically doesn’t hurt anyone).

        Blowing smoke mostly. Just something to think about.

        -Me

      • Ah, I see what you’re getting at. More looking at the thought processes (or rather, equivocations) that students might go through to get to the point where they don’t see anything ethically wrong with it? While I think that such parallels could be drawn, I honestly don’t get the impression that even this much thought goes into it. It requires more complex reasoning than many of them have exhibited to me.

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