An unfortunate soul

An unfortunate soul
In high school, I took an IB History of the Americas course, in which I wrote a 1500 word essay about an American history topic of my choice. This essay, called the internal assessment, was a large percentage of the final grade for the course. The topic of mine was American propaganda during World War II, and I subsequently posted it on the Internet as I do many things.

Yesterday, I received the following email:

From: [address deleted]
Subject: Hi

Hi Aaron or whatever your name is.Could you do me a favour.I used your history internal assesment for my internal assessment so if you could delete that so that nobody can see it on the internet because if they find out im dead.Now you are propably wandering why should you do that?Listen i am a web if you would like i could make you a new website FOR FREE.My website is [URL deleted].

First, a point on grammar. Since I often fancy myself a writer, I am nit-picky about such mundane topics as spelling and syntax. Rather than comment on specific grammatical errors in this email, I'll say that in general, when you've never met someone in real life, the style of your email serves as type of first impression. More eloquent and grammatical writing may have earned you my respect, and perhaps made me more sympathetic to your plight. Your style was so atrocious, especially as an IB student, that I view it as a disrespect to myself.

Second, the matter of my name: Indeed, my name is Aaron. Addressing me as "whatever your name is" is not the personal, endearing salutation that puts one in my good graces. My name is in my email address, at the top of the essay that you plagiarized, and no secret on this web site. A little certainty on your part might have gone a long way.

I also wonder why you offer to build me a web site. I already have one. I'm all stocked up on web sites.

All this is to say that no, I won't remove my essay from ktheory. I put the essay on my web site because I want it to be freely available. You already did something wrong by plagiarizing my paper. Since I can empathize with your anxiety, I won't moralize. But I won't remove the paper.

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