Tiffany is a first generation college student and recently turned in a 30 page research paper. On the morning of October 27th the paper was returned to her with comments such as “this is not your word” or “where did you copy and paste this from?” From Tiffany’s blog post:
This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed “this is not your language.” On the top of the page they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” The period was included. They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own. My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice.
Clearly, the professor caught Tiffany plagiarizing others work and passing it off as her own. Instead of taking responsibility for her actions she has decided to question the professor’s motives and claimed racism.
Today is different. At eight o’clock this morning, I felt both disrespected and invalidated. For years I have spent ample time dissecting the internalized racism that causes me to doubt myself, my abilities, and my aspirations. As a student in an institution extremely populated with high-income white counterparts, I have felt the bitter taste of not belonging. It took until I used my cloud of doubt and my sociological training to realize that my insecurities are rooted in the systems I navigate every day. I am just as capable if not more so than those around me and my accomplishments are earned.
Most people write the same way they speak. One can assume Tiffany has interacted with this professor on multiple occasions and likely knows how she speaks and also can compare this work to previous work she’s turned in. Tiffany disputes this account.
My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this?
Tiffany, I’m sorry but if you don’t normally talk like that the professor is going to question you. Also, Tiffany only posted a zoomed in picture of one of the professor’s comments. She has not posted the entire paper for people to review.
I’m sorry Tiffany. Claiming racism because you disagree with the professor isn’t the way to go. You’re a clear representation of how people perceive your generation, as weak and unable to handle criticism. You’ve proven that our perception of your generation is accurate.