Self-respect and a sense of shame. That’s what everybody needs to have. Susan, a “chulapa”(woman of Madrid’s working-class neighborhoods) in the Spanish zarzuela “La Verbena de la Paloma” (The Festival of the Dove) tells us clearly and simply. When Julian, her boyfriend, asks her about Mr. Hilarión, she says he is a fellow who -in her opinion- “has a point of honor and all a fellow needs to have”. It is a great pity that many other individuals such, for instance, as the former Spanish Health Minister Carmen Montón, can go through life oblivious of the meaning of this genuine term: “point of honor”, a feeling that makes a person want to protect their reputation and good name (difficult to establish but easy to lose) and try to make a good impression on themselves and other people. But a true good impression, not just showing off hypocritically and definitely not using tricks and schemes to get their way.
I think in Spain, and I mention this country because it is my country of birth and where I have always lived in, very few people (you could count them on the fingers of one hand, myself included) work hard and do what they must.
(And aside before continuing: when I wrote the Spanish version of this post I made a pun I can’t really translate properly, but I can explain. The expression “cuatro gatos” (= literally, “four cats”) means “very few people, almost nobody”. But people from Madrid are also called “gatos” = “cats” (a popular nickname that dates back to the old medieval times). And the popular zarzuela “La Verbena de la Paloma” is full of “gatos” and “gatas”, that is to say, people born in Madrid).
I will again resume the thread of my subject. You not only have the nerve to copy the work of someone else and pass it off as your own in and End Master Work, but you also must be very stupid, as Forrest Gump would say: «Stupid is as stupid does».
Don’t you think only someone very slow on the uptake would do such a clumsy job of patchwork plagiarism? I have read on the Internet that she has copied whole paragraphs from other people’s dissertations and Wikipedia.
So, a more precise definition of her abilities and attitude could be that this lady doesn’t have any sense of shame and a point of honor, but she definitely doesn’t have what a graduate is supposed to have either. A graduate who has (supposedly) completed her master’s degree and could end up doing a doctorate (OH, NO, PLEASE, I HOPE NOT). She has no fucking idea how to do serious academic research on the Internet.
Every time the mass media (I will deal with them in another blog post, as they certainly deserve special treatment) dig up somebody’s skeletons and air their dirty laundry in public, that really riles me up! And I always remember the English school where I used to study when I was a child. The teacher, a native English-speaker, never separated us by an empty desk or watched us closely like a hawk to prevent us copying each other. What is more, we could keep our books on our desks, our notebooks, our dictionaries…The teacher took it for granted that nobody would copy.
As young as we might be, as naughty or hardworking, lazy, noisy, quiet, sociable, shy, reserved, nice…you name it, we all had a point of honor. The self-respect that comes from within and makes you want to do your best, sincerely, even if there is nobody watching you. Especially when there is nobody watching you.