Monday, April 14, 2008

hit me with your best shot

I found a notebook left in class today. My intro class. Just a simple spiral bound notebook, but the notes inside clearly identified it as a student from my class. No name, though, as I found by thumbing through it.

I can handle the fact that about halfway through the notes little artwork doodles began to appear in the margins.

And I can handle the 'blah blah blah' messages written over a few pages toward the end of the notes.

I can even handle the drawing of what I assume was me on the last page, surrounded by 'blah blah blah.'

Really, I can handle it. Sure it hurt my feelings, but I'll get over it. I pretty much figure it was drawn by one of the lower performing students who would do it to any professor.

But what I can't handle was the tiny little corner of one page torn off and stuck in the notebook.

The one that was all wrinkled from being crumpled in someone's hand.

The one with definitions of some of the terms they needed to know for the quiz today.

The cheat sheet. Now that fucking pisses me off.

Especially coming on the heels of doling out four zero grades for blatant plagiarism.

I just have to remind myself that it represents four, or possibly five, out of 37 students.

And double my efforts to be there for the other 32.


jenny14 said...



You still have a great Blog

The "other site" misses you but i am sure you have reasons why you left

Anyhow, thanks for sharing yourself with us! I hope it helps you too

You know how much I admire you


Spring said...

jenny, thanks so much for looking me up here again. I just don't feel comfortable posting much over there. I feel kind of judged, and people read it and then go back to their own blogs and write mean-spirited stuff. And I'm just a big whiny baby enough to let it bother me. :)

Dean said...

That's a lot of cheating for one class. Is that a "normal" level in your experience?

I've seen articles on the rise of plagiarism and cheating in the 15 years since the net came into common usage. kids sneak text messages out with answers and use the web as a cut and paste factory for papers...or just buy them outright from a variety of sites.

Spring said...

Dean, I think part of the problem is that it's an intro class. They're new to college, most from very difficult life experiences. Some don't realize what they've done wrong and they'll rewrite it and never do it again. Some just want to take the easy way out.

What kills me is their obviously limited critical thinking skills. I mean, if they can find it on the internet, why doesn't it occur to them that I can, too.

I did have a student in one of my upper levels who copied a paper right off opppapers, a free term paper site. And he was one of my good students, who could have easily written the paper himself and done very well. Those are the ones who disappoint me the most.