Here’s one to add to my collection of cheating stories. Yesterday, I passed some papers out that had been turned in for homework to another class. We would review it as we went over the answers and they graded the papers. As I started going over it, one girl, sitting right in the front of the room–right in front of me, in fact–pulled out her blank paper and started writing down the answers as I gave them out. I stood there–right there–looking at this and wondering if she’d really have the gall to try to turn this in.
Sure enough, after I finished the review and the papers had been graded and were getting passed back up, she hurriedly stuck her paper in the stack. I pulled it out and showed it to her, trying not to laugh, and said, “Kid, I have to be honest. In ten years of teaching, this is the single worst attempt at cheating that I’ve ever seen.” I pointed out that, for one thing, the papers that had been graded weren’t even those of the current class, but from a period earlier in the day, so that her one paper from this last class of the day would kind of stick out. She didn’t even try to fake the “graded by” signature that teachers expect.
At first she didn’t have anything to say, then tried to play it off by laughing and saying, “I didn’t know that was cheating.” Of course, if she didn’t know it was cheating, then she wouldn’t have tried shoving her paper into the stack when she thought I wasn’t looking (even though, again, I was standing right by her desk), and she wouldn’t have marked two of her answers wrong just to make it look more authentic. (Actually, I have to give her some credit for that. Most cheaters just turn in perfect papers and think it doesn’t look suspicious.)
Well, we’ll see if the dean can get some sense into her. For my part, this is just another sign of a post-ethical generation sleazing its way into the world. *sigh*