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Thread: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

  1. #91
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    GAC, you put words in WOY's mouth, and he called you on it. Simple as that.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by RosieRed
    No. Not in this case. Her paper was to be on "Religion and its Place within the Government."

    It's quite easy to discuss religion's place within the government without using the word God.

    God is not the subject of the paper; religion is. The student was in no way restricted as to what materials she used to form her hypothesis or conclusion.
    I understand that Rosie. But who is the center/focus of religion? What does it involve around? Especially the religion that played a role in our government?

    All I've asked was why was this teacher being so restrictive? What was the reasoning for doing so? What was the end result that they desired?

    Tolerance or not wanting to offend is a very flimsy excuse. Was this a creative writing class?

    I've never said that the actions of this girl were right or just. Nor that she should have ran and got a lawyer because her constitutional rights were violated. I don't see, nor agree, with that.

    I just would like to know why one would be so exclusive in this situation?

    What harm would have been inflicted by allowing references to monotheism in her research? That is all I am asking.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    GAC, you put words in WOY's mouth, and he called you on it. Simple as that.
    No. He seemed to imply that college is a place for intellectual discussion and therefore it is not place for God within that framework.

    If that is not what he meant, then I apologize. But I didn't appreciate the stone thrower reference, that's all.

    These discussions can be kept on an even keel without resorting to that. We've done a pretty good job on here without making demeaning remarks and name calling.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    No. He seemed to imply that college is a place for intellectual discussion and therefore it is not place for God within that framework.
    No, YOU added the statement "therefore it is not a place for God within that framework." He didn't imply anything. YOU inferred it.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Davis
    Half the people on this thread just aren't getting this...

    And there's really nothing more that needs to be explained about this article.
    Just because someone doesn't agree with a particular point of view doesn't mean that she/he isn't "getting this."

    I agree that this student failed to follow the "rules" as they were given to her. But, just possibly, she didn't follow rules that apparently singled her out based upon her viewpoint and the points she was trying to make in her term paper.

    Here's some of what we know:

    • This was a college-level English class

    • The assignment was a term paper

    • The term paper's approved topic was "Religion and its place within the government"

    • The approval was apparently based upon the condition that the author refrain from using the word "God."

    Granted, she broke that condition 41 times. But my question is why was that even a condition in the first place? That needs to be explored and I think that it's the primary reason (not her grade) why this story has garnered attention and ruffled some feathers.

    How can a teacher approve a topic such as "Religion and its place within the government" but then effectively bind the author's hands by significantly reducing her ability to argue or make her points? It's like approving a term paper on "Professional baseball and its place in Cincinnati" but then banning the word "Reds."

    Were other students given similar handicaps for their papers? If not, why? If Prof. Shefchik was using this rule on a class-wide basis to boost the assignment's difficulty factor, then I have no problem with the ban. If, on the other hand, Ms. Hauf was unique in receiving the ban then there is a definite problem. It screams of reverse favoritism and a religious bias on the part of the professor. And that, I feel, is the issue here.

    Did she deserve to fail the paper based on the assignment's guidelines? Yes. Were the guidelines inappropriate, discriminatory and unfair? IMO, also yes.
    Last edited by Reds/Flyers Fan; 06-29-2005 at 09:41 PM.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan
    Were the guidelines inappropriate, discriminatory and unfair? IMO, yes.
    We don't know this, because the article doesn't say this, but I would be willing to wager that the teacher would have told anyone in the class who asked for special permission to use the word "God" in her/his paper a big fat "No."

    A few questions to you now: should papers and essays have parameters? Yes or no.

    If the answer is yes, then,

    Which parameters are fair, appropriate, non-discriminatory? Which aren't? Why? I'm genuinely curious.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 06-29-2005 at 09:51 PM.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    I'm amazed that evangelical Christians ever graduate from secular universities, if this woman is typical of the group.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    A few questions to you now: should papers and essays have parameters? Yes or no.

    If the answer is yes, then,

    Which parameters are fair, appropriate, discriminatory? Which aren't? Why? I'm genuinely curious.
    Yes they should have parameters. But one student shouldn't be alone in facing those parameters when the rest of the class has carte blanche on the same assignment.

    Of course, we don't know if that's the case - the article failed to make it clear. If, for example, another student's paper focused on "Acid rain in Upstate New York" and Prof. Shefchik approved the topic on the condition that the word "pollution" wasn't used, that's fine. And it would explain the "God" ban. But for a student to be the only one to face parameters when her paper deals with religion - a touchy subject, unfortunately, for many of America's left-leaning college professors particularly in light of the 2004 election and religion's impact on it - it's absolutely wrong.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    I understand that Rosie. But who is the center/focus of religion? What does it involve around? Especially the religion that played a role in our government?
    Wrong questions. The point of the instructor was that his student position her discussion of religion in a non-monotheistic manner.

    He's well within his right to do so. It's his class. His rules. The whole exercise was set up so that the students knew they had to have their term paper topics approved before writing word one (a very common practice). The professor acquiesced to his student's preferred topic with a single clear caveat. There was a "why", but it's irrelevant. He could have very easily told her to choose another topic. He had every expectation that she follow the assignment parameters and even attempted to allow her to alter her work to fit within those parameters before assigning a grade.

    This woman knew that what she was doing was wrong from the get-go. She got exactly what she deserved. The irony is that she threw herself in front of a bus for her "principles" and is now trying to blame the bus because she got smoked by it.

    She did exactly what she knew she wasn't supposed to do, knew what the penalty was for doing so, and doesn't think it's her fault.

    I have zero sympathy for stupid people.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan
    Yes they should have parameters. But one student shouldn't be alone in facing those parameters when the rest of the class has carte blanche on the same assignment.

    Of course, we don't know if that's the case - the article failed to make it clear. If, for example, another student's paper focused on "Acid rain in Upstate New York" and Prof. Shefchik approved the topic on the condition that the word "pollution" wasn't used, that's fine. And it would explain the "God" ban. But for a student to be the only one to face parameters when her paper deals with religion - a touchy subject, unfortunately, for many of America's left-leaning college professors particularly in light of the 2004 election and religion's impact on it - it's absolutely wrong.
    That makes absolutely no sense.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan
    Yes they should have parameters. But one student shouldn't be alone in facing those parameters when the rest of the class has carte blanche on the same assignment.

    Of course, we don't know if that's the case - the article failed to make it clear. If, for example, another student's paper focused on "Acid rain in Upstate New York" and Prof. Shefchik approved the topic on the condition that the word "pollution" wasn't used, that's fine. And it would explain the "God" ban. But for a student to be the only one to face parameters when her paper deals with religion - a touchy subject, unfortunately, for many of America's left-leaning college professors particularly in light of the 2004 election and religion's impact on it - it's absolutely wrong.
    FYI- It's common practice for professors to approve topics in advance and even to request that rough drafts be submitted before final copy is submitted for grading. I'd be pretty darn positive that every class member had to go through the same process she did.

    I don't see this as being a consistency issue. It's a student behavioral issue.
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan
    Yes they should have parameters. But one student shouldn't be alone in facing those parameters when the rest of the class has carte blanche on the same assignment.

    Of course, we don't know if that's the case ...
    Second part first ... and that should be reason enough not to go off of the martyred Christian tangent.

    All we've got is the student's say-so about what her teacher told her. Seeing that she couldn't follow a simple instruction, I'm not taking her word for what she was told. My guess, having been there before, is the professor wanted her to write a thoughtful paper on religion and government and not a personal religious screed. The "God" prohibition makes a lot of sense because it eliminates all sorts of nonsense. For instance,this way she can't write tripe like "God's laws supercede those of man." I'm not saying that's wrong or that she shouldn't believe it, but it's a personal interjection into what, seemingly, was supposed to an impersonal discussion of the matter. The "God" prohibition would force her to deal with a whole spectrum of religions and not just Christianity and it would prevent her from continually insisting she's privy to God's intimate will in the paper, which is just shoddy and amateurish in a collegiate-level paper.

    And I imagine any student doing a paper on the subject she picked would have the same parameters. If some students didn't face that prohibition and she did, then you'd have a case. She chose a subject. Her prof laid out the parameters for his discussion of the subject. Anyone who's been to college knows the drill, happens all the time. Here's what I don't want. Here's what I do want. This is as unique as oxygen.

    Anyway, if I were the prof my response to the ACLJ would be, "It was God's will that she fail."
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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
    I'm amazed that evangelical Christians ever graduate from secular universities, if this woman is typical of the group.


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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    You're asking someone to come to or form a hypothesis or conclusion and then restricting the material that is very relevant to the subject matter. That is all I'm saying.
    Not really...the subject she wished to write about was very broad. Certainly, she should have been able to intelligently discuss the topic without referring to the word "God". If she couldn't, as has been postulated many times before on this thread, she simply could have chosen another topic.

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    Re: Term paper about "God" earns student failing grade

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD
    This woman knew that what she was doing was wrong from the get-go. She got exactly what she deserved. The irony is that she threw herself in front of a bus for her "principles" and is now trying to blame the bus because she got smoked by it.
    I think you give her too little credit. This wasn't about a term paper or a grade. This was a provocation to draw a response.

    This lady put a chip on her shoulder and dared the prof to give her an F. He did. Then she took action: take it to the media and the ACLJ. She got what she wanted: a response, a national debate and maybe even a lawsuit.

    Unfortunately, this is becoming typical of the radical Christian agenda. Push the religious issue EVERYWHERE, whether it is appropriate or not. Scream ''I'm a martyr" when rebuffed.

    Do we really HAVE to have the 10 commandments in a courthouse? Or prayer in school, for that matter. REALLY NOW. Could Ms. Hauf have chosen another topic (it was an ENGLISH assignment) given the "unfair'' restriction (in the eyes of some) of a certain word. Of course she could.
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