Friday, February 24, 2017

The Oldest Profession?

The goal of this email s... honestly? to avoid the guilt of not writing it. Do what you want with it.
Ethical crossroadsFor twelfth-graders like our daughter, it is the season of acceptance/rejection letters for next year.

In that spirit, here's a doozy that you're probably not going to believe.

Or else you'll call me naïf.

I knew we had an ethics crisis ever since Michael Krasny's esteemed guests agreed that the Enron debacle was caused by greed.

"It wasn't greed!" I shouted at the radio (the first and last time I every shouted at the radio). "It was a lack of ethics!"

That said, I simply had not known the world had come to this. I'm not surprised, but I simply hadn't known about this.

Look, there have obviously always been cheaters in the world.

And who is surprised that high achievers are among them?

There is OF COURSE software for professors to detect plagiarism.

It may even be true that most people will cheat, under the right circumstances.

But what happens when the teacher aids and abets?

What happens if a professor offers his or her services to the highest bidder, to research and write that paper for the lazy student?

Beyond the pale, right?

One hesitates to give them publicity, but if I don't show you the site, you might think this is some kind of pre-Purim joke.

It is no joke, and here's the proof:

100 scholars (if they are to be believed) are competing with each other to prostitute themselves to the highest bidding cheater.

One of their star writers describes himself as "PhD: Harvard (Philosophy / Political Science").

Another claims, "I have taught in a professorial capacity at universities in both the US and UK.....Along with English, I am also fluent in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Hebrew and Polish."

(Wait - you have all that talent and your chosen career is ghost-writing for college students? Where's your self-respect? Why don't you go sell your sevices to the KGB or something?)
Reportedly, many of their clients are foreign students who barely speak English, yet are turning in A+ papers. (Which is of course entirely forgivable if their only motive is to avoid deportation.)

You always wondered why that paper you were so proud of only got a "B"? It may have been competing with papers written by professional academics.

There are so many questions this topic could generate for your table, but I'll leave you with just two.

For the young kids, fill in the blanks: What these guys are doing is ____% legal and ____% ethical.

For the older kids, note that each prostituting professor has online reviews, and most are glowing - "Thanks to you Prof, I got an A!"

But among all those satisfied customers, negative comments stand out, such as:

HP should feel ashamed after writing my 6 page paper over the easy topic of the american dream. I recieved a 72 percent on the paper... Thats right a 72 percent.
The assignment was accepted by HP 3 weeks before the due date, so ample time was allowed and I was contacted a few days before with questions on the paper. REALLY? I feel like a portion of the $165 I paid for a D on that paper should be refunded immediately. To make this situation right this is the only solution. If need be I will post the entire paper and show every mistake and final grade. I am disappointed and will never recommend this site to anybody unless it is handled accordingly.

Here's the second question for your table:

Does this person have cause for complaint, since his paper got a "D"?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - If you were wondering how your faithful correspondent, armed with PhD, can possibly avoid the temptations of scholarship-for-hire, the answer starts here ....

Like this email? How about putting your gelt where your gab is: Like it, tweet it, or just forward it.

As always, this message can be read online at

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld PhD
Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc.
3700 Menlo Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215-3620
(410) 400-9820
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