Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Trial: The Academic Blogger

Today my father, Professor Lawrence Schiffman went to court to testify instead of NYU to teach his regular classes.
A blogger impersonated him and sent out emails in his name to colleagues and students claiming he plagiarized several works. He utilized NYU library computers and created several blogger identities to simulate an online community that was interested in these issues. The goal was to discredit his academic opinions about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls and point instead to his own father's position on the matter.
The trial opened today and my father was expected to be called to the stand. I am eager to hear the eventual verdict.
For more details on the case see this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_re_us/us_dead_sea_scrolls
Please comment and add any thoughts here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grandma's memories

I took my kids for a visit with my grandma on Sunday. She was thrilled that we came and that my visit was to be followed by my parents' visit.
We took her out to lunch at the pizza store. After pizza we dropped in at the CVS where I printed some pictures for her of the family- me, my sister & grandma, my kids on their first day of school, my aunt (her daughter) and cousin (her granddaughter) with my baby- for her to keep in her room.
She was happy to get pictures and mentioned that my aunt always offers her the old photos from her house but that she refuses because thinking of the past is too hard. She told me that the pictures I just gave her are perfect for her since they are recent. She is really having a difficult time grappling with her new reality.
She is in an assisted living and has disconnected herself almost completely from her old life. Somehow she feels that this helps her cope. That in order to deal with her current situation she should not have keepsakes from her days of independence.
I would argue that the opposite is true. If she would allow herself to remember and feel like her old self she would be happier.
Of course end of life care is so hard and I cannot judge her or discount her emotions. I just happy to give her some new memories to bring her hope and cheer.

Come again!