I've pasted an email below, received by a friend in another department. We've puzzled over this for a week or so. Clearly, the student used a translation program, but what was the original idiom that became Chopin in translation? I offer the following to the hive.
[FROM THE PROFESSOR]
I have not received your electronic copy for your lab 2 report. You will get a zero on the report unless I get it. Please send it to me as soon as possible.
I'm moving this and last week, which means my computer is disassembled (disconnected SATA hard drive cable), and I have no internet access during this time at my home. I didn't return your pervious email is because you said those emails only there to serve as an automatic remind and the electron copy itself is not that important as long as you get it into your database.
Also, I realize my report is not finished. Because I have to meet with bank, builder, insurance, lawyer, and a martian ambassador in late January and the beginning of February. After that, I'm facing 5 mid-terms in the week of the due date. If you can understand, everything is "Nocturne Op.27 No.1 in C sharp major" for me in the last month. I'm sorry things did not go very well in the aspect of my lab report, but that is not because I'm an idiot or I'm trying to do it on purpose.
If some suspicion of academic dishonesty is put into my unfinished lab report. I hereby claim in the name of my ancestor that I will never shame myself by copy another's work.
But ASSUME I struck by a lighting someday, and my brain is reconfigured so that I decide to copy someone's work; I shall only steal the heart and the mind of the work, not the body and the fresh. Of course, I will also submit a completed report by the end of the day for my piracy to be profitable.
My electron copy for lab 2 report will be sent to you before dusk. And my next 2 lab reports will be completed in great effort and precision. Please show some faiths in addition to the initial threat.
Impressive. I tried googling the Chopin nocturne to see if it had some other name like maybe "The Snowflake Nocturne". Wikipedia's entry quotes some critics describing it as:ReplyDelete
"morbid and intentionally grating" with a "restless, vehement power" that "reminds the listener of Chopin's seemingly inexhaustible prodigality".
So maybe that's what the student was going for. As for the martian ambassador, you're on your own there.
Why can't all my student emails be like this?ReplyDelete
I was trying to get something together with "major" that made sense - everything is of major importance, everything is a major deal, everything is - oh, hang on, C Major is also A Minor, so if the student said "everything is A MINOR CRISIS" or something (disaster? *blizzard?* if it's the Snowflake Nocturne, thanks Ros) ... ? I realize I'm reaching.ReplyDelete
I think the martian ambassador must have something to do with immigration status. Alien representative?
(Hi all - long time reader, first time poster. Glad to be here.)
I'm picturing you as Proffie Galore's foxy male counterpart.Delete
Hi Reynard! And lol CC. I now have an image of Agent Reynard creating amazing technological devices so Proffie Galore can anhialate cheating snowflakes.Delete
Reynard and I would tell you about those, but then we'd have to kill you.Delete
That is a work of fecking art. I love the Martian ambassador. And the . . . William Gibson? Manchurian Candidate? subplot near the end.ReplyDelete
"I hereby claim in the name of my ancestor" is a new one on me!ReplyDelete
By the power of Greyskull!Delete
By Grabthar's Hammer!Delete
That's impressive. Truly impressive. I'm guessing that the student, at some point in hir life, found learning to play the Nocturne extremely challenging (and/or was told by someone that it is extremely complicated to learn), and now uses it as a metaphor for a challenge, assuming others share the same frame of reference (this, of course, is often the key to hard-to-decipher student emails; it helps to keep in mind that they're mentally 2 years old, and the center of the universe).ReplyDelete
Call my old and cynical, but the thing that stands out for me (even more than the Martian ambassador, which makes me think that someone in the Google translate programming department has a sense of humor, and has arranged for some random but amusing phrases to pop up at intervals), is that the student spends several paragraphs defending hirself against charges of plagiarism, even though, as far as I can tell, the professor had not raised the subject.
So, my advice to your colleague: expect plagiarized work from this student (in fact, maybe the delay in submitting lab 2 is due to the fact that this assignment can not be easily completed via plagiarism. If so, kudos to your colleague).
Well, to be fair, the student asserts a willingness to steal only "the heart and the mind," not "the body and the fresh." In profitable piracy terms, that pretty fair.Delete
But, yes, the colleague is on the look-out for plagiarism.
Yeah, I think if one wants to reply to a perceived offense with vim and snarky righteousness, one should make damned sure one uses that language decently. This would already earn a "Eat a sack of knobs, you sensitive, presumptuous little twit" if it *were* comprehensible, but as is it earns a "The fuh?"Delete
@Cassandra (for some reason the "reply" button is not working for me; probably down to my internet settings, which I am disinclined to change) - thanks! Not that it much matters, but lest there be confusion, I'll take "foxy", but I am in fact a chick rather than a dude.ReplyDelete
And I was also fascinated by the unmotivated introduction of the academic-dishonesty topic, but got distracted by trying to reverse-engineer the translation. This is a good one.
Ah; apologies. All the Reynards I have encountered (mostly in fables) have apparently been male, but, as you note, it hardly matters here (or, really, in many contexts).Delete
But, Agent Reynard, you do have that high-tech anti-plagiarism device ready for beta testing, don't you? (I'm referencing Annie Oakley's comment above)Delete
Does this crap just exhaust anyone else as much as it does me?ReplyDelete
Let alone the fact that the zero seems well-deserved long ago, this pile of manure (despite its occult beauty) just screams "Gimme an F!" (F sharp, of course.)
I found it enjoyable and humorous. I suppose that would be modified by previous interactions with the student, but my slacking snowflakes don't send me overly long explanations with mostly-correct, but oddly translated, language that has a (potentially) intriguing back-story. My students send me horrible grammar (non-native speakers and locals alike) and incomprehensible excuses made so because of complete lack of logic and incompetence at converting ideas into written words.ReplyDelete
I'd gladly take this over my uncapitalized and randomly punctuated pleas to provide the answers I have asked them to come up with.
For this time passes. But be informed that you are now in the mark of the penalti. One more and you will be kicked into espace. I also get complains from my estudents about the reciting sessions you run and this is no good.
But you know what? Your in the wrong bisness. Find a literary agent, get a good contract and write a novel. Imigracion from the viewpoint of lab slave is untaped gener, full of potential. You could be milionair, the new JK Rowling!!! Just be shure to publish unedited.
No idea what's going on here, but speaking for myself, if I am ever struck by lightning, I plan on stealing ALL the parts: heart, mind, body and fresh. Especially the fresh--I'm currently a bit short on the freshness.ReplyDelete
How charming. No idea what the Chopin reference is, but I have students and colleagues who write like this on their iPads or iPhones. It appears to be a victim of ye old autocorrect function.ReplyDelete
It's possible the student is just messing with your colleague, but if so they've done a remarkably good job.ReplyDelete
I know everyone loves the Chopin thing, and so do I, but this . . .ReplyDelete
"My electron copy for lab 2 report will be sent to you before dusk. And my next 2 lab reports will be completed in great effort and precision. Please show some faiths in addition to the initial threat."
. . . is my favorite part. The use of "dusk" as an indicator of due date (alright, class, this paper is due at gloaming on the eve of the weekend, although I shall not have them read all ere Monday) rocks my world. And then we have the small treat of the promise that the next two lab reports will be completed not with but in effort. But last, and the best, of course, is "please show some faiths in addition to the initial threat." It's such a beautiful mix of incoherence and indignation. The use of faith as a count noun is a pretty common type of ESL error, but the use of the word "threat," without an awareness of its meaning and connotation, that's just beautiful.
The whole thing is pretty wonderful, though, so it's hard to pick a favorite.
" ...this paper is due at gloaming on the eve of the weekend, although I shall not have them read all ere Monday"Delete
Another syllabus addition from CM.
Even before all this translation stuff, this excuse is total, total BS, for not getting the assignment in on time. I moved about 14-15 times in my 10 years of being a uni student, and not once did it involve me needing to disassemble my computer tower - which, in those days, would have been much bulkier and heavier than the stuff you find nowadays...and the only reason I ever would have had to disconnect my SATA cable for my hard drive was because some other critical part of my computer was kaput and I wanted to immediately access the contents of my hard drive by connecting it to another functioning computer as a 'slave' drive. This takes only a few moments, if you're already knowledgeable enough to open up your computer and disconnect the hard drive's SATA cable...ReplyDelete
This is approaching schizophrenic word salad. This student is trouble. Tell your friend to be careful: Never be alone with this person and document everything. Martian ambassador? That is what the TV told him or her to say.ReplyDelete
Ah, I never know what awaits at College Misery. Thank you, Lucy (Countess of Bedford) for the gift of incoherent tears of laughter.ReplyDelete
What do you think it's like to be this person's lab partner?