Herman Kings recent recollection of the Mitchell’s and
about trying, without success, to get over Mary Bess Mitchell, reminds
me of a similar incident in my schooldays.
Stella Nelson was my English teacher and we were required to have a
certain number of essays or book reports or something. I took what I was
sure was the easy route. Choosing the Civil War (talk about being cocky)
as my subject I, like Joe Biden, decided it was much easier to plagarize
than do the work myself. Choosing an arcane book by an arcane author, I
almost word for word copied his work on the battle of Gettysburg. I typed
it on our old Underwood and submitted it!
Talking to classmate Bill Bryant I confessed to my misdeed and was told by
Billy that he had done the same thing for his essay. He was considerably
more classically inclined than me. He had copied in longhand , word for
word, the inside cover synopsis of the Classic Comics version of Homer’s
“Iliad”, a monumental work at least as epic as the Civil War! (Now that is
When the papers came back, I had a “C” with the comment “some of the
sentences seem familiar”! Bryan got an “A-“! I at least cited Rossiter
Johnson as a source, Bryant didn’t mention Homer.