Where There is Smoke


If you are of a certain age, you may know the rest of that phrase. Here is a slight hint. OK, some of the readers are younger, so it has to do with Muriel Cigarettes, Susan Anton, and jocks. Tying this back to the here and now, there are now five of my classmates that were wronged by the same instructor who must remain nameless in public for legal reasons. Here is just a snipped of e-mail chain talk:

This is what my advisor said to do. If you want to report your concerns to an Instructor Specialist please go into your portal…

This is the lowest grade I have ever made. The big thing I have software to check my papers and it came back clear, but she said it was not. While I haven’t been accused of Plagiarism, I do have issues with the grading in this class. I feel that she is being excessive with her grading. I have never received the scores that she has been handing out until this class.I have the same issue. At this rate there’s no way I’d be passing this course.I am having a major problem and she has reported me to the University. I have NEVER had a problem in the past. I am working on it because I feel as though she is being extremely critical. She has gone back to week 1 assignment and has changed at least 1 grade to a zero in every week starting from week 1.

This has reached beyond a trend level to an on-purpose action because all of us cannot be wrong, nor forgot how to write and cite, the essential parts of graduate school work. As this class enters the final week and grade postings up to one week later, there will be nervous students waiting for the shoes to drop while our academic career may be tainted by one solitary and scary instructor who has an agenda. Stay tuned!

Childhood Obesity

About 3 years ago, this was a large deal with the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) responding to an article I wrote for a local fitness magazine, since shuttered.

by Steve Johnson
Health, Fitness, Diet, Nutrition, Sports, Family, and Community are the seven core concepts of this magazine. Childhood obesity is a national problem that has roots in every facet of our lives. The issue has reached the highest levels of government and led by our President Barack Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama. What follows is some of what the President had to say on the matter recently.

“Across our country, childhood obesity has reached epidemic rates and, as a result, our children may live shorter lives than their parents. Obesity has been recognized as a problem for decades, but efforts to address this crisis to date have been insufficient. Nearly one third of children in America are overweight or obese — a rate that has tripled in adolescents and more than doubled in younger children since 1980. One third of all individuals born in the year 2000 or later will eventually suffer from diabetes over the course of their lifetime, while too many others will face chronic obesity-related health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and asthma. Without effective intervention, many more children will endure serious illnesses that will put a strain on our health-care system. We must act now to improve the health of our Nation’s children and avoid spending billions of dollars treating preventable disease.”

The healthcare debate has raged in Washington and the nation for the past year in earnest, and in some form for the past 60 years. While there is not much agreement on how to proceed, there is broader agreement to reverse the cycle of disease that affects children. The First Lady has been in front of this issue, making speeches and personal visits to spread the word of a fit lifestyle and to make better choices for everyone, especially children. The new federal website, www.letsmove.gov designed to empower parents to make better choices with the knowledge and encouragement necessary to succeed. www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/ assessing/bmi/” Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. For example, a girl, 14 years, 11 months who is 5 foot 3 ½ inches tall and 145 lbs would be considered overweight, and as such, needs to be monitored closely so the girl does not become obese. Increased physical activity and less FaceBook activity create win- win events for everyone.

MyPyramid.gov is a tool for parents and kids to encourage nutritious options as part of a healthy family unit. My Foodapedia, which is a search tool for food information, is quite helpful to distill calories and the Mypyramid food groups. For example, I put in Baby Back Ribs, (because that’s what I like), it relates to BBQ short ribs with sauce. 4 medium ribs provided ½ ounce of the Grain group out of 6 oz. and 3 ½ ounces of the Meat & Beans group out of 5 ½ oz. Mypyramid plan give a general food guide based on age, sex, physical activity, even height and weight. The Mypyramid menu plan gives specificity to a menu plan (not to replace a healthcare professional or registered dietician). Mypyramid tracker provides information on your diet quality, physical activity status, and related nutrition messages as a method of documenting progress towards set goals. More from the President:

“I have set a goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. The First Lady will lead a national public awareness effort to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. She will encourage involvement by actors from every sector to help support and amplify our work in improving the health of our children. Strategies include updating child nutrition policies in a way that addresses the best available scientific information, ensuring access to healthy, affordable food in schools and communities, as well as increasing physical activity and empowering parents and caregivers with the information and tools they need to make good choices for themselves and their families. They will help our children develop lifelong healthy habits, ensuring they reach their greatest potential toward building a healthier and more prosperous America.”

The National Football League has taken the White House’s vision of more active America’s children by putting the weight of the brand and league behind physical activity at NFLrush.com. NFL PLAY 60 is the league’s movement for an active and healthy generation, encouraging kids to play for 60 minutes every day in order to tackle childhood obesity. Throughout the 2009 NFL Season, each game had a minimum of one advertising spot promoting the program that included some of the 1,696 best football players in the world including Steve Smith #89, Jordan Gross #69, and John Beason #52 of the Carolina Panthers and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Carolina Panthers is one of the league teams that embraced the concept of active youths to include Elementary and Middle School children. An active kid is generally a healthy one, and as parents, is this not what we want for them?

Steve Johnson was an obese kid who turned out to be an obese adult.

This was from the MARCH 2010 issue of the now defunct CHFMONTHLY.COM pages 14–15.

Original Page 14

Original Page 15

And the Beat goes on

H/T YouTube

On a weekend night in North Carolina, this song is in my head for some reason. This was a dance number from a One-Hit wonder group named Orbit. The power of YouTube is grand and returns tidings of joy upon its subjects, but I digress. Just when it was safe for academic exploits to resume to some sense of normalcy, she strikes again. Again my voice is red and hers is blue.

The request was for a Facebook App. Amazon, Foursquare, and The Huffington Post are all websites as well as Facebook Apps because each of them have separate presences on Facebook and any presence is considered in App. The screen shot I have sent from my account shows this clearly. I feel that the 2 points lost on the exercise should be restored because I answered the question the way it was asked. If it came across as a personal attack, that is wrong and not how I intended it, my sincere apologies for any hurt this caused (my student advisor only suggested a different way to approach you, this is a legit apology).

A FaceBook page is NOT an app and those websites do not quality as apps (a presence does not count as an app- by that login my personal FB page would qualify as an app and in reality it does NOT). The grade stands and this conversation is over. I appreciate that you will be more cautious of your tone in the future, which will also avoid any conduct charges being filed. As far as the question, please review exactly what the DQ required and that is what you must do to be eligible for those points (and it answers your question of how as well). Thank you and let me know if you still have questions after reviewing the DQ question again.

Conduct charges filed on a graduate student? Really, Really, Really, Really! What next, go out and find a branch for my whopping? I have been told by a few people that a nasty attitude comes out when provoked. Will leave that up to others, but suffice to say, I take grading and schoolwork seriously as there are ramifications that go beyond whether an instructor likes me.

And that’s not all; this experience comes to a head earlier today as these sets of communications are presented.

On a routine check through TII, I received significant similarities with your Week 4 Assignment response. You had NO attempts to use quotation marks for portions that were word-for-word from other sources. ANY time you use another person’s ideas; you MUST cite and reference it in APA. ANY time you use someone’s exact words; you MUST use quotation marks and cite/reference it as well. This must occur EVERY TIME. Not doing so is PLAGIARISM. As stated in Faculty Expectations, no more than 10% of ANY work should ever be in quotes. You need to use your own words, analyses, and demonstrate that you understand the concepts. How do you account for these similarities?

I expect a response/explanation within 48 hours as well as acknowledgement that you have re-read the “Academic Dishonesty” portion of the “Student Responsibilities and Policies” section of eCollege AND checked out all of the sources listed below (do this via email). If this does occur again, I will certainly report the incident to the University. I will determine exactly how to proceed upon receiving an explanation from you- I am awarding a zero and will likely file charges and I expect you to check out the plagiarism resources listed below. If these 3 things (provide explanation, acknowledge you have re-read the Academic Dishonesty section and checked out the resources) are not done in within 48 hours, I will definitely report the incident to the University. Thank you.

In this case the larger font size was my way of emplacing the threats that are made towards me. The paper had all of its word for word statements inside of double quotes and cited, but either she didn’t see it or didn’t want to for ulterior motives plus reasons that defy logic. All of the paraphrased items were attributed to the authors, all of which I can prove on demand.

1 Explanation: What do you want me to say here. What would be the “right” answer? I have never been to any of the sources listed that your report has, but how do I prove it to you?
2 Acknowledgement of reading the Academic Dishonesty section: I have read it over and over for the past 4 years, how am I supposed to prove it to you?
3 Checked the Resources: Again, I consulted the resources for this and all papers I have ever written. Paraphrases are attributed to the authors listed afterwards, how do I prove it to you?

Please watch your tone again- it is coming across as condescending and disrespectful. I am merely asking how you have multiple passages that match other sources verbatim yet are not in quotation marks to identify that text as being quoted. The matches do not mean you were at those exact sources- those sources likely used the same text (article, web site, book, etc.) that you used as stated in that source.

It is important that you understand the problem here and learn how to use sources correctly and effectively so you do not have problems in the future. This is not just a problem in this class- it is for anything you do. This very issue can have far more serious consequences than a zero on one assignment- not only could you get kicked out of schools for repeated occurrences, but you can lose jobs, careers, and even face serious legal consequences. Have you checked out the plagiarism resources listed- even the announcement with presentation that explains all of this that was posted before classes began?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you

The more I stew over this, the question becomes, who is the adult here? Finally, we have come to the current last word, mine.

I guess any communication with you is bad tone and disrespectful. I guess standing up for my integrity is condescending. Again, what do you want me to say? To attempt answering your question, this class and teacher are not the only one that is offering this particular assignment as multiple schools run similar syllabi. That means virtually every word published was done by someone else and I am supposed to remember every “original to me” thought in my Fertile Mind and where it came from? You are saying that I am in contact with the Web Universe and lifting their statements at some level. In some previous classes, I was docked for font changes in verbatim and paraphrased items that would have a clear difference between what someone else in our work said and my original thoughts. This is not in APA format.

This isn’t my first graduate school rodeo. I know how the game is played. What you are doing have ramifications as well as I have no confidence that I can pass your class, but post a 3.96 GPA out of 4 for 24 previous classes and 2 complete degree programs @ Ashford. Just as I am right about the Facebook App assignment that I will never get credit for, word for word statements were set off by quotes and cited. Paraphrased works were also cited as such the case in every paper I have ever written going back to High School 30+ years ago. You mentioned 3 questions that I needed to answer or the “hammer” that you yield would come down on me and will probably hurt for a long time. I am all about the right answers that get me to a passing grade. I would also like examples of items that get winning points in your world, so I can incorporate them in my answers.

Here we have it on a near real-time basis the genesis to this ongoing saga. Stay tuned.

Headstrong Instructors

When this was published on my other blog originally, the migration didn’t travel as well. Medium supports embedded articles, unlike some others, so here is the post, followed by updated material inside this new post.