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Of LADY BIRD, REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, and Revisiting the Question of Plagiarism

When I confront my writing students about plagiarizing, they usually launch the same series of defenses and in roughly the same order:

  • It’s just a coincidence that I had the same exact idea.
  • I did read that book, article and/or see the movie, and I must have copied parts of it without realizing.
  • Did you even notice all the places in their work that are different? Shouldn’t I get some credit?
  • How dare you catch me cheating! (Here is where students lash out in anger.)

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Spitboy Rule Author, Michelle Cruz Gonzales Featured in Green Day Produced Documentary

I was interviewed for Turn it Around: Story of East Bay Punk in 2014. I never worried that the movie wouldn’t see the light of day because if there’s someone you can have faith in, it’s the director, Corbett Redford, but I did worry that my hair might look stupid.
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This is My Fucking Country

"This is my place. My people have been here since borders were only imaginary, ‘just a line in the dirt,’ but this fact gives me no right over anything more than anyone else. Before my people, there were other people, and before them, the original people. And I don’t wish to outnumber anyone, or get revenge, or gloat, and I know that we all belong, and that there’s a way we can all be heard."
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It’s not that I don’t give a fuck. I give a fuck plenty. It’s just that something new but oddly familiar has come over me. I feel both forty-six and sixteen. After years of mothering, schooling, cooking dinner, sorting socks, helping with homework, and general holding it all together, I’m letting go, finding some freedom again.
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Making Up with Punk Rock

I broke up with punk rock, but it appears I’m back, having never really left at all. Still, I feel I have some explaining to do.
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