absolutelyaleta's blog

blogging for dummies

the scarlet P

i don’t necessarily think that blogs are for airing your dirty laundry but if people confess to their sins and feel better about them then i’m all for it. hell, i’ll even show you how it’s done. pay close attention all you sinners out there.

when i was about 16 years old i was assigned to read and write an essay about Nathanial Hawthorne’s, “The Scarlet Letter.” a substitute teacher was filling in for our regular teacher who had taken a leave of absence. i didn’t want to read this book and i’ve always hated being forced to read things because there are 10,000 things that i want to read, why read stuff i have to read? so, i didn’t. i grabbed the Cliffs Notes and wrote my paper by rearranging literary commentary from the notes to prove whatever thesis i had dreamed  up.

hello, my name is aleta g. and i am one-time plagiarist.

fast forward one week later. caught. you’re not surprised? heck i wasn’t surprised. i didn’t try not to get caught. i didn’t even paraphrase what Mr. Yale Professor had wrote, for what he probably thought was going to be just a helpful aide for poor high school students to understand why Hester didn’t rat out the wimpy Dimmesdale.

that substitute teacher gave me the option to take an F or rewrite the paper. a very generous and nice woman and she didn’t even report it to the principle. thank you, ms. whatever your name was. i took the rewrite, procrastinated till the last minute and just before i was supposed to turn it in, suddenly she was gone, our regular teacher was back and my “Scarlet Letter” makeup essay was forgotten. i think i still got an A or B in the course.

over the years this mistake has haunted me, even though it taught me a valuable lesson and i never inasmuch as paraphrased out of a book again, i still felt tremendous guilt about it. so a couple of years ago i decided to take it upon myself to read the book and write an essay at age 37. 21  years late, but better late than, you know.

so i did. had a friend i trusted, grade it and wronged a right. ah…i can see those pearly gates opening now…btw, if you’re really needing a sleep aide, i’ve attached the essay here.

what did i get on the paper you say? now that was hardly the point but let’s just say it i now have something in common with ol’ Hester Prynne.


October 18, 2009 - Posted by | Earlier Pieces I've Written | , , , ,

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