Dream of: 03 November 1997 "Thesis"

I had been writing a thesis (really just a lengthy report, but I called it a thesis) for a class I was taking. I hadn't actually been composing the thesis myself, but had been copying the work of someone else, another person also in my class writing a thesis on the same topic. I wasn't copying the other person's thesis word for word. First, I would read the part I wanted to copy, and then I would paraphrase it.

I had been working on the paper for quite a while and I was almost finished. Unfortunately something was wrong with my computer, so I had been forced to write the entire thesis on an old typewriter. And typewriters were so limited. I couldn't move text from place to place, as I could on a computer. And if I made a mistake on the typewriter, correcting the mistake was far more tedious than with a computer.

As I sat before the typewriter, the thesis almost concluded, I suddenly realized I had made a terrible mistake. It was now clear to me that when the professor read the two reports, it would be obvious that one had been copied from the other. Even though the wording might not be identical, the thoughts and ideas, and the way they were arranged, would be the same. If I were confronted, I would be forced to admit that I had used the other person's thesis as the basis for my own. At the very least, the professor would be disappointed, and at the worst, the professor might fail me.

I still had a whole day before the paper was due. At once I decided that I would simply start writing anew. I thought I could also get my computer working. Then I would use the computer to write my own thesis, from the very beginning.

Contemplating the situation further, I realized I had more time than I thought. I still had not just one day, but the rest of the week in which to complete the project. There was still time for me to finish the report on my own. I would simply start writing whatever came to me.

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