The software I use to run this website is the very popular WordPress, which includes an excellent stats package. Web stats reveal a number of things like total visitors, pages accessed, and incoming links, but the one I find most interesting is Search Engine Terms. What this does is capture the search phrase used to arrive at the site, and as expected, my name is at the top of this list, but a large number of those hits aren’t just my name alone:
“sung j woo paris at night summary”
Paris, at Night is a short story that came out earlier this year, and on that site, readers can leave comments. One of them caught my attention:
Posted 2009-06-25 09:45:23
I used this story in a Freshman English class as part of their final exam. the kids loved the story, but were disappointed in the end. They wanted there to be more. i am so happy I chose this story. It is rare to find a story the kids actually enjoy reading and want more.
So my guess is that certain students, possibly constrained by time or initiative, are searching the good old Internet to see if a summary of my story is available. So kids, if you are seeking a CliffsNotes version of my story, here it is, written for you by Gary Jackson:
In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan…
If your professor tells you this sounds a lot like a movie, stand up, declare “Au contraire, mon frère (or ma soeur)!” and leave the classroom in a huff.