So, this all began for me two nights ago at about 7pm; just had to, stupidly, check my email once more before the end of the day. Here it is:

“Hello,

Unfortunately, it appears that Brian Langieri BL138751 has violated Lincoln Interactive’s Academic Honor Code. Parts of his can be found on the following websites:
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2010/The-Dirty-Truth-Behind-Clean-Natural-Gas.aspx
http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post.aspx?post=a923d124-e9e4-4ad3-a7be-5272c68d81bc
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2004/jan/18/oilandpetrol.news2

Please review the attachment of the Academic Referral above as well as the submission made by the student for this assignment.

At this point in time, the consequence for this infraction results in Brian’s 1st Academic Referral Violation. He is permitted to resubmit this assignment for up to 70%. This means that the highest score he/she can earn is a 70%. If Brian chooses to take advantage of this opportunity, he must email me requesting to do so by April 23rd. After the request is made, I will give himr a due date for the new assignment as well as instructions to submit the assignment.”

Now, it just happens this IS one of the papers I edited as Brian wrote it, and I have all the rough drafts to prove that fact. We decided he needed some statistics and plugged them into the already written paper. Guess whose teenager forgot to cite his references? Mine did; even though I reminded him a bazillion times. I wrote to the teacher who was completely negative and unmoved. I wrote to his instructional supervisor (same letter) who said I needed to contact the teacher’s boss. Adrenaline pumping at max force. Sent the same letter (third try right?) and here is what I wrote:

“This is in response to the issue cited below. I edited this paper through four to five rough drafts with Brian, who has ADD and a non-verbal learning disability. We finally decided that some statistics were needed to support his persuasive essay. Brian did the research on the Internet and inserted the statistics into the pre-existing language of his essay. As I edited the essay I even made wording suggestions which he avoided, choosing steadfastly as ever to use his own expression instead — something he has done the entire three years he has been at PA Cyber. He has forgotten to cite references before, which he admits. He submitted this paper without me seeing the final revision (which was to expand the first and last paragraphs and to cite references for the statistics). I possess all the rough drafts and can prove the essay is entirely his. He has never received an academic reprimand in the three years he has been a student at PA Cyber.

After lengthy discussion, my husband are inclined to direct Brian to take an F rather than redo work that he has already done with integrity. We do not want him to cut his nose off to spite his face, but we feel to redo the paper would be to compromise what we all know to be true. If I had not participated so fully in the writing of this paper, he would have to take his lumps. This time, it happens to be otherwise. We want our son to believe in himself and be a good, happy citizen with integrity. What this teacher is asking and accusing directly contradicts the direction we are trying to “grow” our son. He is not dishonest or a cheater. He is a normal teenager who rolls his eyes at me and sucks his teeth.

Please help us right this situation as soon as possible.
Thank you, Mary Ellen Langieri”

Within an hour, I received an email saying all my son had to do was resubmit his paper WITH citations and he would receive full credit. During that hour was when the lady came in the studio with not one but two out of control dogs who were barking so loud my son complained he couldn’t hear his teacher, as he was having a live online class. I leaned over to the lady, of whom I am very fond even so and suggested she just take them out for a little walk so they could calm down. I was sweet, subdued even…you know, like having a doppelgänger but a nice one? Well, she just got pissed and left. So much for nice.

Meanwhile I received a newsletter from Schoolhouse Press citing a new knit in the round adult and baby surprise jacket with stranded color knitting. It didn’t take me long to convince myself that the yarn and pattern were just the things I needed to feel better. Took all of five minutes to order. It arrived today. After studying the pattern and the colors (two of my three chosen colors were back ordered), I had a few questions. Here is proof that Karma is neither good nor bad, it just maintains a balance: when I called, I wound up in a three-way conversation with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s daughter and grandson about modifying the pattern! It was sublime and surreal all at the same time.

There. The story of the last few blogs has been told, as briefly as possible. The End. Chin up and so on. The sun will rise tomorrow…or I will find my walking stick and go back to the Camino in Spain.
xx M.E. and Summit Yarn

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