Palms sweating, face flushed, I waited until everyone left the classroom and walked up to see Dr. Contemporary Art History herself. Her giant sweater donned with unnecessarily decorative buttons, long skirt, frizzled hair, and vertically challengeness greeted me with apathetic eyes. She looked at the paper, and looked at me and began her obviously rehearsed speech.
"This is a very brilliant paper. It is written very well."
"You didn't cite your sources."
I ceased my smile. The assignment was a visit to the Flint Institute of Arts and an answer to one of the eight questions provided on the assignment sheet. No sources. No research. Museum visit and reaction and answer. Easy, right? I'm good at following directions, and I did so very well.
"I didn't use any outside sources," I countered. She, without missing a beat, continued, "Because in the future you need to cite your sources if you use outside material to do the paper." I frowned and repeated, "I didn't use outside sources. This is all me." Continuing her platform, "Citation is necessary in an academic setting, even if this is an A paper, and it is written very well."
I gulped in air as if to repeat that the paper was written by me, and I should know because I wrote it, and if I were going to cheat I would have done the paper poorly and not put so much thought into a stupid 2 page assignment like I did, and besides, there was no information on the subject on the internet or anywhere else for that matter because I checked prior to writing the paper, and she cut me off with,
"I'm giving you an A, and next time cite your sources."
I left the classroom.
Because I am the exception to the general rule, I must be cheating. She told the rest of the class to visit the Writing Center, that she didn't grade this paper on form but only on content, because the form was so horrible. We should know, for the next paper, that she expects introductions, body evidence and conclusions. We need to provide evidence. Deconstruct. Construct. Reconstruct. Learn how to form complete sentences. And, obviously, cite our sources.
Or, in my case, I need to dumb-down the artspeak so that I'm not accused of plagiarizing.