Volume 95, Issue 29

Wednesday, October 24, 2001
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Western uses web to battle plagiarism

New war stirs bad memories

CBC radio to play student's essay

The world at war

Study: 39% don't care about penny

News briefs

CBC radio to play student's essay

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Obnoxious boys have vaulted a Western student from the anonymity of cyberspace to the prominence of national radio.

Suzanne Dups will be on CBC Radio's morning show feature "First Person Singular" this fall to read her personal childhood story to thousands of listeners nationwide.

"This is my 15 minutes of fame," laughed the 33-year-old mother of two, who wrote the story as part of a writing course she took online this summer.

FPS is a daily feature on CBC Radio's current events show, This Morning, that allows authors to tell listeners about their own life-changing experiences.

Dups decided to submit her essay assignment, "The Miracle of the Skipping Rope," after professor and avid CBC Radio listener Peter Cumming suggested she do so.

Cumming designed the assignment to fit the requirement of FPS and encouraged Dups to send her piece to the radio show's editors.

"She has a very distinct voice. I was able to tell it apart right way from all the other students," Cumming said. "Its authenticity is astounding. She was able to communicate to me, as another human being, something that you can obviously tell was important to her."

Dups story is based on an experience she had as a six-year-old with two boys who took her skipping rope and tore it to pieces one day.

As the four-page, first-person narrative tells, she prayed for the return of her rope that night and the next day the boys returned it, having tied all the ripped pieces together.

"I thought maybe if I write a really good essay, I may have a chance, but I just left it at that," Dups said, adding she was surprised her piece was picked.

Dups will be at CBC Radio's offices today to record her audio piece, expected to air sometime before Christmas.

"The cause is important enough to do it," she said. "I have children myself and I want to show them God is an important part of our life."

The feature's producer, Karen Levine, said the essay was chosen mainly because of its appeal to audience members, not simply its spiritual nature.

"We don't get a lot of religious submissions that are actually accessible to all of our audience," Levine said. "Whether you believe in God, prayer or anything else, the story is touching."

Cumming is excited not only to hear his prized student's story on the radio, but her voice as well.

An excerpt from Suzanne Dup's "The Miracle of the Skipping Rope:"

The forces of evil decended upon us as two obnoxious Grade Six boys sneering snatched the prized rope from our hands.

Laughing and taunting us unmercifully, the boys played keep-away with my rope.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001