Monday, December 15, 2008

Only Two Idiots? Sounds Like an Honors Class to Us.

Last week’s idiot (and we’ve got a 1960s TV theme going here):
Hoss Cantwrite plagiarizes by taking an essay from Five minutes with Google, and it shows up on my screen. I print it, contact student affairs, and am told I have five options. I choose the most severe: failure for the course and a record of the incident with student affairs. I write him a letter telling him of my actions and his (limited) options.

  1. Drop some coin and buy decent essays.

  2. Don’t try to convince me you decided to rewrite a two and a half page essay into a five page essay, with multiple sources, on a totally different topic, because you didn’t find the first one interesting. (Oh, and in your evaluation, proofread, because one clue was that you consistently wrote about your “papper,” not “paper.”)

  3. When I hand you the letter telling you you failed the course for plagiarism, don’t ask, “Well, do you still want me to take the quiz?”

This week’s idiot:
Today, My Favorite Moron says to me, "Uhm, could I have an exemption to this exam question?"

"What for?"

"I didn't get this one at all."

"What do you want me to do?" I ask, incredulously.

"Let me write another question."

"No," I say, "that wouldn't be fair to anyone else. Besides, I gave the questions a week ago, went through them and asked for any questions about them in class, and cancelled class on Wednesday to hold additional office hours specifically so that I would be available for help. And I passed out discussion questions on this essay, spent two days going through it paragraph by paragraph, and illustrated it on the board. It should be in your notes."

"Frankly, I don't have any notes."

Duh, I'm thinking. You sit in the front, and I can see you don't do a fucking thing. But I say, "MFM, does that sound like what an average student does to succeed? It doesn't? Well, then that's below average."

Shuffles back to seat. One minute later, shuffles back to me. "Uhm, would it be cheating if you told me what the thesis of the essay was?"