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Cheating college students are the lowest form of scum.

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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:29 PM
Original message
Cheating college students are the lowest form of scum.
I caught one yesterday--one of those irritating students who never accept the grades they're given and spend more time arguing for a better grade than they spend on their assignments. (Needless to say, he's a business major.)

The little idiot decided he didn't like the C he got from one of my TAs on a creative writing project, so he e-mailed it to me for review. I know that TA as a hard grader so I approached it without prejudice. What I found was that he had not done the assignment at all. About half the paper was research-based, which the assignment didn't call for, and the other half was a bald ripoff of a recent movie. I started googling strings of text from the first half, and discovered that almost all of it was based on a single webpage; he'd edited out a lot and mixed up the wording enough to make it a borderline, rather than an outright, case of plagiarism.

I thought the C was generous--we pretty much give C's these days for any effort at all--so I e-mailed him back, copying the TA, to let him know why I would let the grade stand. In the message, I happened to mention that even if he had been assigned to do a research paper, his research was poor. I noted his excessive reliance on two of his sources.

A couple of hours went by, and I got another message from the TA. She said he hadn't cited sources in the paper she had read. He had actually WORKED ON the paper after getting the grade and before sending it to me for review. He made no attempt to conceal this--he'd even left "Track Changes" on, and when I examined the paper more closely I saw that his friend or tutor had edited it for him AFTER the due date!

He didn't like his C. I wonder how much he'll like his F and his session with the campus judicial board.

I can't begin to tell you how sickened I am by this behavior. It's stupid piled on stupid piled on stupid, an endless nauseating chain of stupidity. Not only does it cheapen the degrees of honest students, it fills the ranks of corporations with people who are not only incompetent, but already habitual cheaters. I don't believe in college for all. A degree should mean you are above average intelligence and worked hard studying a discipline.

I think we stopped flunking people out of college in the 60s, when it was often a death sentence. Now that there's no draft, I think it's time to start grading HARD again. One of us alone can't do it; he/she'll just get a rep as "that mean professor/lecturer/TA" and have trouble getting hired. We all have to harden our hearts and get tough again. It's a deplorable situation when good students quit because they can't afford college and cheaters with money finish.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. As a person who went to college on scholarship
and worked HARD and never partied, I agree with you totally. I'd hate to think my BS degree would be looked on as "BS" because people got the notion that everyone in college cheats.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is is daddy rich?
he'll probably be President one day.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. There's worse scum
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:40 PM by maxsolomon
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Do you suppose even one person in that picture
didn't cheat in college?
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RobofSWVA Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. pappa Bush maybe
Love or hate his views he always seemed like a smart fellow to me.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Small screen here
I didn't scroll past Neil.
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EvolveOrConvolve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
32. I have a huge monitor, and I wasn't able to see
all the godawfulness in the picture.

What a scary grouping of true dickheads (and dickheadettes).
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
65. He was Skull and Bones, he was cheating.
People don't join that organization unless they are having trouble academically. Then they just majically get their degree.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #65
152. That organization is about controlling the country, not about passing college
Now I'm sure that if you're in that organization and you want to cheat, it's easy to do so. But you make you don't join it just because you want to cheat (hell, you don't even join it, you get invited) When they discuss who they're going to invite the following does not happen: "Dudes, we gotta invite Jeff into the Skulls, he might flunk Calc if we don't"
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
123. I think he just knows how to manipulate.
Maybe that could be recognized as a form of intelligence, but anyone that nasty lacks other forms of intelligence. I've noticed that greedy people tend to lack artistic talent which is, in my opinion, a form of intelligence. Perhaps the reverse is also true. I'm artistic, not greedy, and terrible with money. :)

I'll admit these ideas aren't very scientific, but it's a hypothesis I may want to pursue at some future date. :shrug:
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novalib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
52. MY EYES!!!!! MY EYES!!!!!!!
My Eyes!!!!

MY EYES!!!!!!

I'M BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
84. Maybe it's just my disgust at them, but there's something really bizarre about that pose.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:01 PM by TahitiNut
The Bush Klan is seated ... mostly males. The spouses are required to stand behind them. Now, I've seen a lot of "family portraits," but I've never seen one where the "blood is thicker than water" maxim was so blatant. If they just wanted to have a portrait of Poppy, Babs, and their grown spawn, why not do just that? Why include the spouses at all? Why is Poppy seated and Babs standing? Isn't SHE a 'pure' enough Bush?? If the theme is seated male and standing female (typical in the 19th century), why is Doro seated?

It seems clear that the theme is "named 'Bush' on the birth certificate." Man... talk about pretensions of royalty!

That's really f*cking bizarre. Really. :puke:

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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #84
88. Those who married a "Bush" are standing...
That's my guess.

In any case, you're right. Ick! :puke:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #88
96. It's like deer-hunters sitting in front of their "kills".
I swear, I've never seen a group photo posed like that. It's really bizarre.
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hooray for you.
Hope the student learns a good life lesson through this, but my sense is that despite your best intentions he'll probably never "get" it.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. I had a TA accuse me of cheating once when I didn't in Grad School
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:37 PM by YOY
Guy was a complete wanker to the students and a suck up to the Profs. I broke no rules and bent no code of ethics. A while ago, but I recall a project were we were not supposed to work with any other students(TA's words)/students who had taken or were taking the class (Professor's.) I asked a student who was not involved in the class to check my logic in the concluding paragraph...in the school's library The TA got wind of this and breathed fire at me and went to the prof. I had to call in the other student to the profs office to clear my good name. Later I found out this TA was well known for being a real ass on any and all occasions.

Mind yourself when it may be a situation like that.

Personally, if your story is true, then the student in question sounds like a horses ass.
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chaska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. Wow, it's gotten that bad?!?!
I turned in a couple of cheaters in college. We need to remember college is a competition, and that our society is at stake. No cheaters in life, no cheaters in school.
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
8. even worse than terrorists
and cab drivers?
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. "...A degree should mean you are above average intelligence and worked hard studying a discipline. "
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 02:05 PM by Gormy Cuss
What a novel concept. You mean a college education should be worth something?

I'm glad you caught this and are pursuing it. He may still cheat his way through life but maybe, just maybe, he'll learn something from the process.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
122. I wonder how many Republican politicians cheated their way through college?
It would explain why someone like Dumbya managed to make his way through Ivy League schools. I wonder...just how rampant is cheating? Are business majors really more likely to cheat?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #122
131. He was also a legacy student
and it is KNOWN he got "gentleman Cs"

I wonder how much money daddy gave to keep junior from getting not so gentlemany D and Fs
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C_eh_N_eh_D_eh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #131
144. "When I was at school...
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 10:12 PM by C_eh_N_eh_D_eh
education could go hang, as long as a boy could hit a six, sing the school song very loud, and take a hot crumpet from behind without blubbing."
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #122
141. It's not exclusive to Republicans
I have a friend who cheated his way through high school and he's a staunch Democrat, and training to be a politician. Although I would imagine that the GOP attracts a higher percentage of people with the sense of entitlement.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
134. "we pretty much give C's these days for any effort at all"
That statement made so many things crystal clear. I'm a mid-level manager for a county agency, and I have a high-school diploma with two semesters of college. Not much to brag about I know, but bear with me... I have two assistants, one with a master's in communication, and the other a bachelor's in phys-ed. The girl with the masters also possesses a phenomenal vocabulary: If she doesn't understand something, she screws up her face and says "HUH?". If she's in agreement with something you say, she nods excitedly and says "HUH!" The phys-ed major? I could probably lose him for a whole day by sending him on a search for fallopian tube.

I want to know where the OP teaches. I wanna go there, put forth minimal effort, get my C's, and go on to become:

President of the United States!



A sad commentary on why "Johnny Can't Read".
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. I saw it all the time when I was in college.
If anything a lot of TA's and Profs were afraid of turning people in because of the headaches it would cause them.

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Can o Beans Donating Member (328 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
114. My complaint is less that they are cheats than that they are all lobbyists
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 11:54 AM by Can o Beans
At the college I teach at, all grading is, in the students' minds, the starting point for a long and drawn out series of negotiations. Regardless of the lack of effort, regardless of the quality of the work, they view any assigned grade as a starting point. I woud say that 75% of the students in a given semester will ask for (and to some extent, expect) at least one changed grade on an assignment. Deny their "claim," and you'd better get ready for a war.

It's mind boggling and frustrating really, as I have to grade "defensively" with tons of documentation; just in case they decide to pursue me I have to be ready & prepared to argue my case against them, their parents, and at least once a semester, against my department head and/or dean.

It really sucks frankly. If I didn't love the research element of the job, I'd already be doing something else.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
128. yes indeedy
We get hit with a ton of work when one of these little %*#'s pull that kind of a stunt. We have to prove it. Yep, and that can mean a lot of research online. It's painfully obvious when they do it but sometimes it's difficult to prove. I had one that frustrated the daylights out of me because he ripped off an outline but did enough of his own research that I couldn't substantiate my case.

When you think about it, an outline structure itself is significant. It take a good deal of intellectual discernment to decide the structure of a speech or paper.

They think they're getting away with something but...there's a grapevine. Professors talk.



Cher
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
151. It's not "right," but I can sympathize.
I was a TA while in grad school. TA's and profs don't get paid enough to put up with all that hassle. Unless it's your passionate calling in life (it definitely was not mine!), I can understand why a person might want to deal with students in the least confrontational way possible. I admire the dedicated educators who go the extra mile and are willing to put themselves in the crosshairs, but there's also such a thing as taking it too far; one prof I worked for was so paranoid about cheating students that he'd cover the laboratory windows while setting up a practical exam - for fear that students would go to the opposite building with binoculars to read the set-ups in advance. That kind of stuff just made unneccessary work for the already-overworked TA's.





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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. When I got a C in English 101, I hooted for joy.
I didn't think I'd do that well in Mr. Tamburr's class.

I got D's in legal writing, but I knew it was temporary. I asked happily for extra help. My professor asked why I was so happy. I told him that he was going to teach me how to write and nobody in class needed him as much as I did. I still got a C+ but an A for effort.

BTW, my college had the Honor Code. If you saw someone cheating on an exam, etc., you had to first confront that person and persuade her to turn herself in. If she failed to admit cheating, the onus was on you to turn her in. I know, I know, it sounds like ratting out someone, but think about it. You did all that work, and that another person only showed up and copied answers. Plus that person's higher grade will be compared to yours and maybe lower your overall score and grade. I knew someone who had the balls to prewrite her bluebook essays and switch at examtime. She didn't deserve the same diploma I received.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Periods, commas? Check. Spelling? Check.
You get an A+ for writing. Either you've improved or college standards have dropped even more than I imagined!
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Try three writing courses including learning how to
write a cogent paragraph after 7+ years of higher education. I'm humbled.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #22
124. You're also a bright and willing student. Kudos!
:)
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
130. Good for you, no_hyprocrisy
Your effort was well worth the effort.

I have older students who have gone back to school (after being in the work force) tell me that writing is everything. They've learned that their lack of writing skills has cut them off in every direction.



Cher
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. I turned in a nationally recognizable college football player once
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 01:53 PM by jpak
He was blatantly cheating in front of 200 students - I had no choice.

I lost my TA and was not picked up for another one for nearly a year (had to work as a lab tech).

Of course nothing happened to Mr. BMOC...(and he went on the the NFL).
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Private school?
I don't think I'd ever work for one. Public universities in my experience aren't quite so corrupt.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. A large public state school
n/t
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. That's insane
Do the people of that state realize what they're paying for?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. No, and they don't care
having TA'ed for the Football team of my Alma Mater, all they care is the money that the team generates for the school.

It was bad when I was a TA, it's gotten worst

And it all starts with the coaches who tell their charges that they too will make it to the NFL and they don't have to worry 'bout school, yep against all the rules of the NCAA. Never mind a small minority will make it to the NFL and ironically those are the kids who actually pay attention in school and ahem, graduate, at least in my experience and most of the time.

My view of them teams, treat them for what they are, a triple A team for the NFL. Those teams should be run by the NFL and removed from schools, PERIOD.

But alas I am a minority in that view.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #23
59. I agree with you 100% -universities should not function as the minor league team
system for the NFL and the NBA, which is what they do now. The mission of the university is supposed to be learning and the life of the mind, dammit. Make the NFL and NBA start their own minor league systems.

Highly competitive sports do not belong in the university. A few club level type sports and intramurals maybe, but that's it.
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RobofSWVA Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #59
68. I have no problem with big time football
or other major sports that bring in lots of money. I graduated from Virginia Tech. We have more than 25,000 students. I'll sacrifice 100 spots to football players so we can go to the games every Sat. They are wonderful social events and the university is better off for having them. We have sell outs every game unless we are playing someone with a terrible team (ex. Duke). In our case, the benefits a public school gets from the football exposure justifies .4% our students being admitted because they are good at sports. I'm sure someone will toss a few Marcus Vick commits around but as everyone know, the president of VT kicked him out of school because he was causing more harm than good.

In the long run, a small amount of spots for the children of rich alumni and athletes does more good for a university than harm.

If someone is so borderline they need to compete for the last 100 or so spots they need to consider an alternative.

I don't think a few selective easy admissions cheapen anyone's degree if they are a very small percent of the overall student body. Most of the athletes that don't qualify academically won't graduate even if they do cheat. I do think cheating hurts a school's reputation and I'm all for coming down hard on people who don't do their own work.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #68
102. I used to read placement exams
for students admitted to my university.

I could, within two paragraphs, identify who was there on a sports scholarship. I once read a placement exam from a lovely young man who had a fifth or sixth grade reading level. In ninety minutes he was able to write two paragraphs and his last words of the essay were "Go .... U!"

This young man (who should never have set foot in a college) went into 096 because that was the lowest class we could possibly put him in. So he needed to spend at least *2 years* in remedial English before he was even technically at freshman level. And I know that he repeated three of the four remedial classes so he was in freshman composition the second half of his *senior* year. And he spent every semester with 2 private tutors, provided by the university, for a total of nearly 50 hours a semester, just in tutoring. Tutors made about $15 an hour so the school was spending $750 a semester on one student's tutoring.

And because he couldn't really read or write, he was wasting his time in pretty much all of his other classes until the second half of his senior year when he was technically at about freshman level. So that's almost $40,000 in tuition spent to get one student to where most students are when they begin college.

Multiply that by 100 to get a football team and that Saturday game starts to look a little more expensive, eh?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #102
126. Most people don't get it
I made 14 bucks an hour, and I tutored kids in history, basic 100 level Western Civ... I tutored four kids.

And I was just ONE of the tutors.

I figured the team spent close to 50K in tutors a year and I am sure I am low balling it

What bugged me was that the coaches promised the kids that they would make it to the NFL, it did not matter, and what was worst, the football staff kept notes on who was bribable among the faculty, I know bribe, ugly word, but there is a reason why the team always ends up with the same profs.

Hell my thesis adviser had team members ONCE in his Gen Ed Class... and two had to stop playing while they retook the class.

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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #59
77. Replace 'NFL' and 'NBA' with 'Morgan Stanley' or
'Applied Materials' or 'Colgate-Palmolive'.

What's the difference?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #77
87. Quite a bit actually
the kids in the bidness department know they are going to go to their bidness later on.

And those jobs are not only more or less open to bidness students

But the NFL... if you saw the lies you'd get it. We are not doing any good to these kids.

That said, we should be teaching some ethics in school and require students in bidness programs to take classes in such... but that is a whole different bottle of wax
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #87
93. But not all the 'bidness' skool kids get to be investment
banking superstars, either, the same way most collegiate athletes will never sign a pro contract of any kind. Some will undoubtedly end up as middle-managers somewhere, never hitting the 'big-time'.

I guess that was more of the point I was trying to make.

My daughter is on an athletic scholarship. I highly doubt that she will ever play professional fastpitch, but she is trading her skill as an athlete for a free (almost) education.

The using works both ways.


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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #93
125. Difference is the bidness kids are not going on scholarships
as the corpos do not run scholarships that will pay for all their school

Glad your daugher realizes she'd better take the opourtunity of free education, well almost, but most kids in the bidness department at my alma matter paid for their books and classes and semester.

Now do those kids need ethics in business and ethics in general? Absolutely, but they are not going there becuse Morgan Stanley is paying for their school, a small but ctitical difference.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. That's why you should rat out the student and the college right here! n/t
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
50. wow, you lost your TA
This is why TAs need to be unionized everywhere. Your union's grievance committee could've gotten you a handsome settlement had you had such a thing.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
127. Have academic institutions become athletic institutions?
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 02:09 PM by Ladyhawk
When I went to college, I got very little financial help because 1) my parents made too much money, 2) my high school was too small for my grades to count for much and 3) I was not athletic. Even though I was valedictorian of my high school class and a good artist and musician, I got almost no help. Someone else from my school whose grades were lower than mine got a full athletic scholarship.

Is that fair?

I busted my hump in college to graduate valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, but it turned out not to be worth much. The athlete entered real estate and made a ton of money. My immune system broke down and I ended up on disability. I'm not sure what to make of this. Were the athlete's gifts worth more than mine? Was he more likely to succeed in this world where sensitive and thoughtful people like me tend to have trouble? Should people like me be naturally selected out of the system because we can't handle life in such a society?

Perhaps an athlete is better equipped to deal with society as it is, yet I wonder why we continue to call our universities "academic" when what we really value is athletics. The athletes get more scholarships. They are more popular. They get better treatment. True, athletics teaches cooperation, but so do activities like choir. I was in choir all four years. We practiced over 2 hours every day except Fridays, had a "game" nearly every weekend and two tours a year. Athletics tends to be more competitive; choir is more cooperative.

In the last few years I've begun to wonder if our competitive, individualistic society (which doesn't tend to value artists very much, btw) is a flash in the pan. Perhaps I would have fit in better in some stone age society as a cave painter, singer and mystic? Instead I'm a disabled (but thoughtful) artist living in a society that doesn't value me. Is society right to devalue someone like me or is it missing out on a wealth of thought, art, music, etc.? I've tried to fit into the culture, but something in me is missing. Maybe society is what it is and I am what I am and no one is to blame. I really don't know.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
19. It is part of a national culture of corruption and
get rich quick.

The working ethos that made this country, I fear is gone

That is the sad truth

By the way I TA'ed 20 years ago, and from this post I guess the reason I never got hired by the JCs locally was I got a rep for a hard nosed grader.

Would not surprise me actually, but I worked for my grades, HARD. And I volunteered at the same time in EMS. Hell I sometimes did editing in between runs, so these punks can lie and cheat and then go on and make millions, or in one particular case, loot the treasury. But alas. this is now the American way
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Bingo.
I taught for a couple years at a public college, didn't have much if any plagiarism (there were other problems, including some basically illiterate students) but the first year I taught at an expensive private school, cheating and plagiarism were just the way things were done. This was five years ago -- it seems not to have gotten any better.

I finally understood that the kids believed that they simply *deserved* good grades, because they paid for them with their tuition! The work was just a hurdle they had to get over any way they could.

After that I figured out ways to prevent plagiarism: I had them hand in stages of their work (first their notes and an outline, then a rough draft, then a revised draft), did lots of short personal assignments in class so I got to know their individual styles, and gave them specific and complicated assignments they couldn't fulfill by copying stuff off the internet. It worked -- no more problems.

Of course, I worked my ass off and burned out and quit, but there ya go.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
132. separated at birth?
Except for burning out and quitting, I could have written your post!

I loved this part of your post because it shows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

After that I figured out ways to prevent plagiarism: I had them hand in stages of their work (first their notes and an outline, then a rough draft, then a revised draft), did lots of short personal assignments in class so I got to know their individual styles, and gave them specific and complicated assignments they couldn't fulfill by copying stuff off the internet. It worked -- no more problems.

In addition to what you state about the stages of work, it teaches them good work is done in small parts--not in one marathon session the night before the paper is due. How can there be much of a process if they wrote the entire paper in one cram session at the end of the semester?

In addition to what you mention above, I also keep their writing sample from the first day of class. It's their own handwriting, which has been a convenient reference on a number of occasions.

The specific and complicated assignments you mention might be comparable to my "topics" list. I put an extensive list together (much of it from reading I do right here at DU). They are supposed to choose their project from that list and if they don't, they have to get the topic approved by me.

I'm sorry to hear you burned out. You sound like the kind of professor students need.



Cher

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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have a somewhat radical idea of college
Instead of being for those of "above average" intelligence and being measured in grades, I think it should be about learning. No tests, no grades, just accumulating knowledge and experience. The degree, of course, would then be moot, and people would succeed in life because of their knowledge, experience, and skill, not because of a piece of paper or a number. (Naturally, there would still have to be testing and a number of years of experience or learning to qualify for a license to practice medicine or law. I haven't quite worked out how to make that equitable.) I also think college should be free and open to all.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. That was to a point the model of the Medieval
university... but it was a also a system with quite a bit of apprenticeships
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Most professors let people from the community audit
So in a sense your "radical idea" is already in place. Teaching large lecture courses, I wouldn't even know whether or not someone wandered in off the street. Indeed, I'd be pleased to have them.

Much of the knowledge and learning in universities is open and accessible to the public, even more so with the internet. If you are interested in the work of a particular professor or department, e-mail them. In nine cases out of ten, you will get an appointment to speak to someone and an opportunity to cultivate a relationship. The "top students" in my experience are the few who actually exploit the many opportunities for learning that a university has to offer.

I used to work for a millionaire professor who regularly met in his private office with old hippies who were interested in solving the same problems. One of his grad students also came to the sessions, but it was clear the prof had more respect for the analytic abilities of the old hippies. Real scholars don't care about a person's enrollment or professional status. They generally think the other Nobel laureate in their field is an idiot, yet they will discuss the field enthusiastically with children, bums, pets, pretty much anyone.

Most people who get a degree are not scholars and will not go on to practice their field of study. Their future employers know this but view the achievement of the degree as a mark that the person is organized, capable, and also, to some degree, civilized. Social problems, quite divorced from the academic side of life, arise from awarding degrees to people who are none of the above.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. My as well eliminate college then.
Seriously. The point of college is to instill certain knowledge within the students, and then offer a confirmation in the form of a degree to inform future employers (or clients) of their knowledge level. When I hire computer programmers, I require that they show me a BS in Computer Science or a related field. Why do I do this? Because that degree tells me they have achieved a certain minimum knowledge level required for the job. Your suggestion would make degrees useless for employers and destroy any value they might have had. It would simply be a confirmation that you were present on campus for a few years. You might have been hung over from frat parties the whole time and not learned a thing, but if you were there you get a degree anyway.

You have far too much faith in humanity. I teach, and I've seen how lazy many students can be. For many of them, the testing and thought of failure is the only thing that keeps them involved.
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #28
53. "You have far too much faith in humanity."
Well, that's the first time anyone's accused me of that. :D

What I was saying was that degrees should be useless. (Since they often are anyway.) Some other method of measuring the worth of an employee would have to be used.

In my utopian education system, people for whom testing and the thought of failure is the only thing keeping them involved wouldn't even show up. That would free teachers up to actually teach to people who wanted to learn something.

Anyway, it is just a utopian idea, and I'm not trying to threaten anyone's preference for the status quo.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #53
75. Free Universities were very popular all over the US
in the 1970s. People would volunteer to teach classes in areas they were expert in, and anyone who wanted to would sign up for them.

Unfortunately, no one has time to do this sort of thing any more.

But I tell my students they are in college for a degree, not an education. If all they want is an education, they can save a lot of money. All they need is a library card and an internet connection--and they can get by with out the internet connection. The degree is certification for entry-level employment or for moving on to the next level of training.

In many ways, getting the degree gets in the way of getting the education, since you have to jump through the appropriate hoops at the appropriate times, which often means you can't follow an interest to any real depth.

If people wanted an education rather than certification for employment or further study on the way to certification for employment, then they would not be willing to pay the outrageous cost of a college degree. They pay those prices because they expect a financial payoff in the future.

Unfortunately, a college degree is no longer as valuable as it once was, and degrees cost so much that kids are going deeply into debt to pay for them. Many students go $30,000-$40,000 (or even much more) into debt to get a BA that will land them a $25,000/year job--if it even gets them a job at all.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #28
111. Nowadays I've found that computer science moves so fast
that a degree means less than a certification in whatever job the programmer/ect. is being hired to do.
Although it would be nice to have one to hang on my wall... :)
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
158. A degree is ass-coverage for HR managers.
Thank you for being candid. I find some irony in a manager using a degree as a proxy for independently determining an applicants level of skill - then criticizing lazy students.

I am unemployable in the engineering discipline in which I spent 24 years, 5 of which in a management capacity, because my resume, when scanned by the labor saving resume OCR machine (a panacea to the hardworking, risktaking HR manager), places me in the "uneducated" category.

Fine, I'll build houses. I set my own hours, there's more money in it and no one cares if I have a degree.

The college industry is less adding value to the workforce than it is just creating it's own marketplace - a perception that their services are indispensible, and worth the price of five years' salary.

I often wish that I'd had the opportunity to go to college, but the reality is that if I'd done so, I would not have begun investing until I was 30. I would have remained dependent on a salary till old age.

I guess to the OP, there's nothing worse than a college student who recognizes that the real value of a college degree is the checkbox in the OCR database.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. Brown U. is somewhat like that.
I'm sure there are other similar programs out there.

But without that "free" thingy you mention.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. ... or the open admission policy.
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. "But without that "free" thingy you mention."
:rofl:
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PreacherCasey Donating Member (717 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
48. I had this girl as a classmate in college,
we were both studying Architecture. I had a studio with her once in my 4th year. The girl had not one original idea in her head. I sat and wondered how she could have possibly made it to 4th year (Architecture has a very high drop-out rate). Then, one day, it all became clear.

We had just left the studio after presenting our conceptual drawings and models for that semester's design project. I headed off to the library to do some more precedent analysis. As I was going through one of the books I noticed something. Here was the EXACT SAME SKETCH that I had just seen in class. The girl threw trace paper over another Architect's drawing and copied it exactly. Worse yet, she based her design for the semester on that "conceptual sketch". Agghh! I wanted to puke. We poured our hearts and souls into our designs back then, we would routinely link 3-4 all-nighters in a row to finish our projects. And here was this girl whose entire design "concept" was ripped off of someone else. Blah.
The worst part: last I heard she was going to grad school so she could TEACH ARCH. HISTORY!
I guess it makes sense though, she could talk about other people's Architecture, but she couldn't design for shit.

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
89. Black Mountain College - 1930s-60s
Also, I think St. John's does not use grades.

Black Mountain College ended in the 60s when the money dried up, but produced many great artists, film directors, etc.

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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #89
115. I had a lot of friends at St. John's.
I thought it was a fascinating school. If you were learning calculus, you started with Leibnitz and Newton. Class participation counted for most of the grade, along with a few papers. Class sizes were so small that each student could be tracked and evaluated without grades.

And the President of the College had a name that was phonetically identical to "Eva Braun."
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
27. There are way too many cheaters in colleges
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 02:29 PM by malaise
and universities today. We have a program to identify plagarism which helps because plagiarism is way out of control thanks to the internet.

In large classes it it major work to ensure that students with different TAs aren't handing in the same assignments. I caught two last week from different tutorials. They both submitted identical (and I mean identical essays). What I do is allow all my TAs to first mark and give me all assignments to second mark.

Off to the cheating committee they go to face a major fine or suspension for a semester. I no longer have mercy.

Add.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #27
60. When I taught Japanese, it was easy to identify the cheaters, because
they always copied off their equally dimwitted friend. I'd get two chapter tests with identical off-the-wall errors, including writing the same word twice in one case. In other words, the copier's exam answers went straight from his eye to his hand without passing through his brain.

The students were invariably surprised that I caught them, which is another indication of how essentially stupid they were.

The prize for the dumbest cheater goes to a young man who had a Japanese exchange student write his paragraph about how he spent his spring break. Since this was first year, I expected and mostly got paragraphs that read something like, "I went to Hawaii. It was warm. I went surfing. I ate lots of good food.." That sort of thing.

Well, this guy handed in a paragraph that began, "Having heard great stories about it from our friends, my girlfriend and I decided to spend spring break in Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of Baja California."

I handed it back to him with an "F," and he looked shocked. After class, he came up to me and said, "This can't be an F! A Japanese student wrote it for me!" :crazy:
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #60
66. LOL
The students were invariably surprised that I caught them, which is another indication of how essentially stupid they were.
---------
That is what pisses me off the most - they actually think they are clever.
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movie_girl99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
29. cheating students are scum no matter what age IMO. n/t
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deepthought42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. What a jerk...
My college had an honor code too. But then the BOT decided it was more important to be popular and fit in than give a damn about womens' education. So now my BA is a worthless piece of paper... :rant:
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newsdude Donating Member (134 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
33. Wow. Get some perspective would ya?
And I love how you tied it up with a bow at the end, saying good students quit because they have no money and that cheaters with money finish.

I'm sure there are examples of that ... but sheesh, rather broad brush, no?


But whatever. Cheating college students are hardly the worst in the world.

Fuck, with the bull-shit tuition prices and college curriculums that are rarely relevant to job market, I'm not even sure cheating college students make my list of the top 1,000 worst people in the world.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
34. This elitist attitude is exactly what creates the cheating. IMHO
Average or below average students have 2 choices in the US. #1 - find someway, anyway, to come up with a college degree and have a some sort of chance at a decent lifestyle or #2 - accept that college is only for above average students and get used to saying "do you want fries with that".

IMHO the learning necessary for obtaining a DECENT job should not be reserved only for the best and brightest. You want to cut back on cheating in college the best way to do so is to bring back decent paying jobs that require only an apprenticeship or technical school education. Unfortunately we no longer live in a country where a guy like my grandpa, who was never able to learn how to read, managed to work his way into a decent home, a decent car and decent food and medical care for his family on one income.
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distantearlywarning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. Oh, heck.
Why even bother making anybody work? After all, that would just make work ethic differences between students salient, and we wouldn't want anybody's feelings to be hurt. There are plenty of lazy people out there who are perfectly nice. I think we should just hand out college degrees to anyone who wants one. No application process needed - that might give people who had gumption to fill out a piece of paper too much advantage, and would make the gumption-challenged feel sad about themselves. No, we should go to everyone's home, and hand each and every resident inside a diploma. We can hand them out at homeless shelters and on street corners too, just to make sure we don't miss anyone.

Now that will make our society better! A college degree for everyone, no matter how lazy or dumb! Who needs these elitist degrees that just force nice, decent students to cheat anyway?
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #42
58. Wow.
how do you sleep with your knee jerking like that?
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #34
85. How dare you.
"Elitist?"

There was nothing elitist in the original post. You point about wages and decent paying jobs is spot on. You forgot, however, to add educators into that list--or would we be considered too elitist?

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #85
118. What
The OP said he thought college was only for the select few. Given the times we live in, and the fact that would condemn everyone but the select few to low paying menial jobs, then yes, IMHO that is elitist.

Why you think ALL educators feel higher education is only for the select few is beyond my comprehension. Forgive me. I'm one of the idiots too stupid for college and I don't know any better but to treat people as individuals rather than all or none groups.
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #118
133. By the nature of the higher educational system--yes-- those that
can pass exams without cheating. Do the work to the standards required without cheating. They should be allowed to enter higher educational system.

This value-centered/business model/free-to-be-you-and-me attitude is the death knell of civilization.

It is not elitist to expect the highest from one's students.

Life is like that.

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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
36. How about Elizabeth Paige Laurie? The ultimate collegiate cheater.
At Least She Learned How to Outsource

By Pepper of the Daily Pepper

Like a true Walton, Wal-Mart heiress Elizabeth Paige Laurie hired her roommate, Elena Martinez, to do her homework while she was studying at USC. She paid the roomie a cut rate ($20,000 total). It wasn't even enough money for Martinez to stay enrolled in USC, but at least Laurie could argue that she was giving her roomie a USC-level education.

Now that is a classic Wal-Mart move. Hire a person to do the dirty work that no one wants to do, pay the person not quite enough to live on but just enough so they need it, and convince the person that they are benefiting from the exchange.

more: http://ezraklein.typepad.com/blog/2005/10/at_least_she_...


Big Cheats On Campus
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=264646&page=2
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
37. Mrs. Junkdrawer lost a night's sleep over this issue with one of her students...
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:48 PM by Junkdrawer
Problem was that she liked the kid, but caught him red handed plagiarizing...

Stupid. The Mrs. is such a wonk in her subject (Theater History) that she can tell you the decade that the quote was probably written. And the kid lifted Internet passages written in the 20s and 30s... :crazy:

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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
38. Bah. When college classes mean something, then I'll care.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:19 PM by DireStrike
Seems to me that higher education has been severely watered down from what it was (maybe? I dunno) and should be. No learning occurs, nobody remembers anything past the final. It's just meaningless busywork forced on you before you can be presented with a sacred "degree" in order to make a decent living.
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. This still doesn't excuse the behavior of this student
I personally love taking college courses and I learn a lot from the classes I take. It felt like a chore when I was 18, but taking classes for personal enrichment later in life has been an amazing experience. I think you get what you want out of college ultimately. If you approach the assignments as busy work instead of a challenge then you're not going to enjoy it.



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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #38
90. Nonsense.
I work VERY HARD to make my assignments and curriculum useful, meaningful, and full of a variety of use of skills. My students learn a lot from me. I have been told so. What are you basing your post on?

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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #90
100. My experiences.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:29 PM by DireStrike
Of course, I did go from new york's top public high school to one of its cheapest colleges, so that could be it.

100 level courses contain nothing I didn't already know, or couldn't learn in 5 minutes from wikipedia. The exception was accounting 101, which would be awesome if I wanted to be an accountant. I guess I've taken a lot of english and sociology courses, which are pretty much BS anyway once you know what you're doing. It's challenging when the papers get so long that they require time management skills, but that's about it.

I also learned in the one history class I took - medieval european history. Of course since I couldn't remember how every single minute detail and date matched up, I got a C. I guess I'll stick with the discovery channel. Even if I had done well though, nothing could really be said for the course beyond "interesting." Certainly not useful.

At best, courses are useless and interesting. Usually the teacher just spends the class rehashing what was in the reading assignment, making either the reading or the discussion superfluous. In some cases, both were.

Writing papers is a waste of time. I've been doing it for years now and the only time I get a bad grade is when I don't hand them in. Are there seriously college students who STILL don't know how to write papers? What the hell did they do in high school?
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #100
147. Here's the fundamental misunderstanding about education...
people think it's a commodity and that if you pay x amount of money you should get y amount of education and if you don't it's a "rip-off".

The thing is, you weren't paying for "knowledge" you were paying for the *opportunity* to get knowledge. If you didn't take very good advantage of that opportunity (by challenging yourself, by doing more than the assignments asked if they were too easy, and by participating in class to make it more interesting both for yourself and other students) then whose fault is it if you didn't get a very good return on your investment?

And since when is utility the measure of knowledge's worth? What ever happened to learning for learning's sake?

I don't mean to go off on you, but I get *so* sick of students who sit there like lumps, who haven't done the reading, who act like every assignment is a colossal inconvenience to them, and who refuse to answer the most basic questions let alone make the effort to ask questions of their own and then bitch and moan four years later because they haven't learned shit.
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #38
104. HA! Tell that to the med school and engineering students.
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johnfunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
39. Show no mercy. None.
And let him know that rules mean things. He is not [privileged, he is not special, and real life does not cut most people breaks.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
40. From one professor to another: Good job.

I hope you were serious about grading it an F and submitting it to your honor court.

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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
43. College is NOT about learning- it's about making grades...
any way you can.

I learned that 25 years ago, when i left U of I in cham-bana in disgust, and decided i could do without it.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
44. I don't know. I think most of this administration still has them beat...
...assuming they aren't one in the same.
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garthranzz Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
45. I have a reputation as a hard grader - the hardest in the department
even though I let them rewrite all but the last essay, and will take only the higher grade.

I have a plagiarism story that tops that. Students were supposed to do a series of short papers - about 6 for the semester. One student had done the first two, but not the next two. Three weeks late, I reminded him I couldn't grade what I didn't have. He sent in a paper that was good - too good. Lifted straight from SparkNotes. While I was pursuing action, he sent another, lifted from two critical websites with no connection to each other. Two pieces of criticism taped together. The semester ends, he turns in a third paper - from a professor's website. All caught with a quick google. Then he has the temerity/chutzpah to email about his grade.

And then there's the students who don't show up all semester, or a third of the time, and expect to get everything done in a week.

They mistake leniency for entitlement, and complaining for responsibility.

But most work hard, though even the elite come in with minimal critical thinking skills. And poor writing skills.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #45
64. My most outrageous plagiarism story:
When I was in graduate school, one of the guys about two years behind me was a true bullshitter with an ego as big as all outdoors, not to mention a bad habit of groping any woman who came near him. (We later learned that professors at his alma mater, a major state unversity, had given him glowing recommendations so that he would go somewhere else for grad school and not inflict himself on them for another however many years.)

Anyway, the professors in my department were looking for an excuse to throw him out, and he gave them the opening: He plagiarized a paper off the professor who had assigned it.

Yes, that's right. He handed a professor one of that professor's own published articles from about ten years before.

Well, ten years was not long enough for that professor to forget his own work. I was not present, but apparently this normally mild-mannered man was ranting and raging and practically throwing desks at the student.

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
46. Business majors, legacy admissions, "pre-med since birth" children of doctors...
All seem to have the idea that whatever field they've chosen, it's a destiny decreed by God, and they can't handle the concept of anyone not agreeing that would be the Best Thing Possible. Always amazes me how many students think it's the professor's job to make sure they get a good enough grade. And with college administrations stupidly embracing a "market-driven", "customer service" outlook, where The Customer Is Always Right, some of the professors are being told that IS their job -- otherwise parents might (shudder) SEND THEIR OBNOXIOUS SPAWN ELSEWHERE, and their tuition with them.

Makes me glad to be in the sciences. Grading is based on solving exam problems using the knowledge acquired in the course. No solution, no credit.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. As a bus. prof. at an "elite" school I find this stereotyping objectionable.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 04:36 PM by spooky3
Unless you have data showing that the vast majority of bus majors behave worse than the vast majority of science majors, you have no basis for painting them with such a broad brush.

There are always going to be some individuals who cheat, or are lazy, or are obnoxious, but that doesn't mean that all or even many students fit that description, regardless of major.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #51
164. You are absolutely correct. Plagiarists are not bound by disciplines.
A friend of mine had a published short story plagiarized by a Princeton undergraduate for his senior thesis. That kiddo plagiarized several writers in his thesis - and the department did nothing about it until the Princeton student paper investigated and found incontrovertible evidence.
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
47. This is one scum that wouldn't have graduated otherwise
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:50 PM by Patiod
I studied hard, and accepted the grades I received, which were As and Bs in economics, finance, marketing, accounting, etc.

My only roadblock to graduation was calculus. I was one of the only people at my school who hadn't had Calculus in high school (I was in AP English but Stoner Math). I can handle numbers okay, but not theoretical number concepts. I tried:

- remedial classes
- long sessions where friends team-tutored me, and tried to get to a breakthrough
- paid tutors
- I even took the class more than once

No matter what anyone did or said, I could NOT wrap my mind around differential equations. To this day, the very thought of dy/dx makes me want to cry. But it was a firm requirement to graduate with a business degree, and Edward James Olmos, the heroic calc teacher from "Stand and Deliver" was nowhere in sight.

So I admit it. I cheated in Calculus I in order to get the "D" I needed to graduate.

Then I had to pass Calculus II (without having understood a single concept from Calculus I). I did NOT want to cheat again. Fortunately, someone clued me in that the football team was taking Calculus II as a group at night. EVERY SINGLE TEST WAS TRUE/FALSE. And it was graded on a curve, so a 50 was a passing grade. I somehow got in the class. Thanks to a chapter about matrices (which I understood, and scored 100 on that test), I passed the class with something like a 52 average, still without the most basic understanding of calculus. But hey - I didn't cheat.

I'm embarrassed about what happened, but I felt I'd exhausted every possible option. I didn't feel I "deserved" the degree, but on the other hand, I couldn't see pissing 4 years, an otherwise good transcript and God knows how many thousands of dollars down the drain just because I couldn't grasp calculus. If I were planning to be a statistician or work with numbers, I would have changed career plans and changed my major, but that was NEVER in the cards.
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lies and propaganda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
49. i was hoping this headline was a joke.
cause i can thinkof about 128384765673939330 other worthy scumbags
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
54. C for any effort at all ... Wow
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 04:47 PM by high density
I was very content with Cs in subjects I cared little about. (E.g. Western Civ, Chemistry, Geology) I got a C- in "English 101" and I can't explain where the professor pulled that grade from. I don't really care, either. I guess I did a poor job reading perverted stories and then writing about them. I guess it's a good thing that my job function doesn't include doing that. I got plenty of BS grades that went both ways throughout my four years.

I found that my college transcript is generally worth nothing in the real world and that job experience is much more valuable. I spent way too much time learning things to make me "well rounded." It's hard to force info on people if they don't care about knowing it. As a computer science major I also spent a lot of time learning math that has no purpose in the real world and a lot of theoretical computer things that are just as useless.

I'm glad I don't have to go through college again... If an employer paid my way to get my masters, I'd probably do it, but beyond that I have no desire to earn more diplomas.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #54
69. The problem is trade schools and colleges have become conflated.
It sounds like what you were looking for was a trade school for software engineering.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #54
163. Four years of College: $260,000. Filling the correct checkbox on the job app...
Edited on Mon Dec-18-06 03:30 PM by lumberjack_jeff
... priceless.

I've become quite cynical about the ability of fresh grads, wholly ignorant in the field to which they are applying, being given jobs instead of someone with 25 years of relevant experience.

Your transcript IS largely worthless (unlike your degree) because the degree got you in the door - and each subsequent door - past lazy HR managers who consider the checkbox a shortcut to doing the due diligence to determine an applicants level of expertise.

It doesn't matter how badly you screw off in college. No one cares - provided you get the dean to sign the certificate.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
56. As a former college professor, I can't disagree with a thing you say
And you're right, it was the business majors from affluent families who were the worst, the George W. Bush types who didn't have any academic aptitude but who went to college because that's what affluent youth are supposed to do between ages 18-22.

The students from less affluent families were usually the types who had overcome obstacles to get to college, and they appreciated the opportunity.

If I were Czarina of Higher Education, I would make a college education free but WITH HIGH ADMISSIONS STANDARDS. The high admissions standards would not involve standardized tests but would definitely include evidence of one or more intellectual interests in addition to good grades.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. I don't want to stereotype, but I always thought that
business majors, particulary economics majors were the nasty bunch of jackasses. IMO their degrees are shit along with most of the programs. MBA's are only worse. Then there was this study done that showed economics majors and lawyers (corporate muscle)to be the least "altruistic".
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #61
70. Since I major in business management, I will say their degrees are most definitely not "shit."
Not every damn business major and not every damn economist that comes out of the college of business is a worthless piece-of-shit prick like GWB. You ever heard of economists like J. Kenneth Galbraith who actually believed in social spending as a way to stimulate the economy? You think Warren Buffett says he pays too much taxes or too little taxes?

You paint with broad strokes at your own peril, and maybe you should walk a mile in the shoes of somebody trying to analyze earnings reports, economic forecasts, and prepare cash flow statements, income statements, and the like, while trying to keep up-to-date about the newest accounting laws and what is and isn't legal accounting procedure. Do that, and then come back to me and tell me the stuff I've been studying for is "shit."
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Did I saw every one who came out was....? Nope.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 05:41 PM by happydreams
Reading comprehension 101.




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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. You never qualified your original statement.
You said:

"I always thought that business majors, particulary economics majors were the nasty bunch of jackasses. IMO their degrees are shit along with most of the programs."

Not every business major is a jackass. Your statement was unconditional, as opposed to being conditional.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. "Nasty" means "most nasty" and most does not mean all.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 06:06 PM by happydreams
Edit: Plus I've always respected JKJ so I couldn't haven't meant all.

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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #74
80. That has no relevance on the fact that you omitted "most" in the first place. n/t
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 06:55 PM by Selatius
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charlottelouise Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #70
97. Thank you, Selatius
I teach business administration at a small school. It isn't an easy or dumb program, at least not according to our students. I know what I assign and expect, and it's nothing in comparison with what, say, the accounting faculty pile on.

Ethics are a part of the curriculum, at least where I teach. A semester of business ethics is required, and it's taught by the Religion/Philosophy faculty. Not all business schools are soulless.

Finally, close to half of our majors are first-generation college students, making it through on scholarships and loans. They're looking for a better life for themselves and often for their families as well (a lot of them are adults returning for a degree). I can't say that I blame them, either.
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #61
113. Well thank you for the broad brush
Signed,

a radically left Econ major....
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distantearlywarning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. Good idea.
That's exactly what I think should be done also. Free education with high admissions standards. Weed out the jackasses from all socio-economic spectrums, and allow people who are really truly interested the opportunity for higher education. Right now it seems like college is just the expected thing to do for middle-class to upper-class kids, regardless of whether they actually have any brains or ambition. And people who are poor should completely forget about the Ivy League, while idiots like Bush get to go to Yale because daddy can pay for it.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
57. Why get him kicked out of school?
I agree that he was an arrogant jerk to dare approach you after practically plagiarizing his entire paper. He should have breathed a sigh of relief when he received a C as opposed to an F or a notice from the judiciary board. I wonder if he's on drugs.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #57
136. With an attitude like his, he shouldn't be there in the first place. (n/t)
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
62. How common is cheating these days? When I was in undergraduate
school many years ago at an East Coast University I was astounded when about 3/4ths of the class were caught cheating. I never knew about it until then.

If the grade is on a curve the honest students actually suffer from the skewed curve.

I was going on the GI Bill shortly after the Vietnam War and didn't quite fit in with the frat boy crowd, hee, hee.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #62
106. Read "The Cheating Culture"
by David Callahan, (Harcourt, 2004).
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
67. Cheating is why Dick Cheney gets to retire rich while you, on the other hand, get to bury...
your dead son six feet under at Arlington.
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
72. I'm in college now (senior) and I agree 100%
I go to one of the most wealthy colleges in the US, and boy, the culture of entitlement is obscene-- people don't do to class, do any work, and yet they still expect a good grade :wtf:
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
76. Ok, here's my Dad's story
He retired from a Jr. College as an instructor in hydraulics, heavy equipment, etc. He decided he would think about retirement when he started getting CALLS FROM PARENTS TRYING TO GET THEIR KID'S GRADE CHANGED. In college. These kids are over the age of eighteen, and they are having Mommy and Daddy calling their mean ole nasty teacher who would dare give them a less than superior grade?

He lasted about two years after that started. Probably hasn't stopped. :eyes:

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #76
82. No it hasn't.
I've received those calls. My reply is always the same: "I do not discuss student grades with anyone other than my students or the review board. If you're son/daughter wants to discuss his/her grade, he/she's welcome to visit me during office hours and we can go over the assignment together."

In six years of teaching college, I've only once discussed a students grade with parents. That one time was shortly after I began teaching, and convinced me that I never wanted to do it again. I never have. I teach adults, and I make it clear that I'm always open to discussing their grades with them.

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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #76
112. Parents like that are scary...
I didn't realize how good I had it until I went off to college and heard the other people my age talking about their parents. My parents never once tried to look at my 'report card' once I got into college... never once tried to stick their nose into things... even when I was younger they never did things like searching my room. I was a bit shocked to learn that apparently parents searching through their kids underwear drawers is commonplace. :\
Although from what I could gather, I think most of the parents who do things like that feel that same entitlment that was mentioned earlier... they're paying for this education, so they think that they should be able to get the grades they pay for or somesuch nonsense like that.
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Chomskyite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
78. I'm a professor myself
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 06:36 PM by Chomskyite
I think a zero is probably too good for a case like this.

What annoys me, though, is when students try to convince me they don't know that claiming someone else's work as their own is wrong. Some of my colleagues accept this out of freshmen. I don't.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
79. Students cheating isbad enough,but what about when
the school encourages cheating by selling the answer books in the bookstore!
I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.Being a aviation oriented school many classes final exams used the FAA exams.The school sold the FAA test questions and answers in the bookstore.Way to many fellow students just memorized the answers but had little actual comprehension as to the why's and what's of aviation matters.
Frankly,the thought of pilots not knowing what they are doing scares the shit out me.

Another thing about student cheating.In High School a teacher assigned a report on some famous person.After they were turned in and graded the teacher read several out loud to the class.She then read the entry in the encyclopedia on the person.They were all identicle.The students just straight up copied the encyclopedia entry.Needless to say they all got big fat F's for the semester.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
81. You must have tenure already.
My brother lost tenure at the JC he was teaching at. He was commited to only giving students the grades they earned. Because he would grade his computer science classes honestly students would complain to the administration even when they had done no work. Despite the fact that he had several years of good reccomendations on reviews he was denied tenure.

He commited suicide shortly afterward.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. I'm very sorry to hear that.
:hug:

I teach computer science and know full well what he endured. Luckily not all colleges are that bad. I regularly have students complain about my grading, but there's little they can do about it. It's computer software...it either works or it doesn't.

Still, I occasionally see some interesting crap. I was teaching a class in Java and assigned the students to write a simple program as an assignment. When I recieved the assignment from one of my students, not only was it an obvious plagarization, it was written in the wrong language (c++)! I gave the student an F on the assignment and he had the nads to take his protest all the way to my dean.

The stories I could tell you about the desperate things students do to pass would make your head spin.
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Tiggeroshii Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
86. I've cheated a few times to pass a class
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:27 PM by Tiggeroshii
It was a language class and I had a friend -who spoke that language) give me answers for some tests I didn't study for(while we were taking them). It was a year ago and I'm sure the teacher knew what was up but he was too nice to act on it. It just seemed like something everybody was doing and at the time I didn't feel guilty for it.

Looking back at it though, I do wish that the teacher would have taken initiative, and did the steps to get all our lazy asses thrown out of school. A student cheating could get them explelled and that school had a policy that would make all units completed at the school prior to expulsion no good for transferring to another school. I've met people who have gotten F's for cheating, one had even been directly threatened with expulsion did they get caught again, yet decided they still had a few more chances getting caught before they were expelled.

Student cheating is by far the lowest form of scum and I feel like such for have doing it. I, unlike some, am glad to have learned my lesson the easy way (reconsidering the ethics) before a responsible teacher like yourself made me do it the hard way(conviction). I do still feel immensely guilty for what I have done and consider it among the most stupid things I've exhibited in the past 21 years of life. I assure you it will never happen again and has not happened since that incident.

My apologies to honest students who have not conducted themselves in such a delinquent manner as well as to the teachers like yourself who are consistently taken advantage by idiots like us.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #86
92. And of course the most important thing:
I bet you can't speak that language very well and wish you could. And these are cumulative skills - if you do not master the skill/material early on, you fall behind later on or even ultimately fail at it.

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Tiggeroshii Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #92
103. Very true.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #86
117. My problem with your post
You sound like the people who say, "I had an abortion, but I feel bad about it so I want to make it illegal for other people to get abortions." If you feel that strongly about cheaters being the "lowest form of scum," why not turn in your degree; or if that is not possible, do not ever make reference again to that particular degree (on job applications or in regular conversation). Just pretend as if it doesn't exist.
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Tiggeroshii Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #117
120. Um
I do not think this is comparable to abortion in any sense. Rather more comparable to a person who committed a crime, did not get caught for it, but still regretted doing it and will never do it again. I cannot reverse the crime though would if the case presented itself to me. I suppose I should correct myself in saying that cheaters are no more scum than shoplifters or thieves. For in the end, they are essentially stealing their class or the degree which that class contributes to by cheating and doing a disservice to just about everybody else. Revoking the degree(when 95% of the work put into it was honest)would probably be like taking back opened merchandise several years after stealing it, back to the store where it was stolen.
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Beelzebud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
91. I wish I had an opportunity to attend college. People cheating at it infuriate me...
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
94. They start practicing in high school, and it's nothing new.
I am a very intense thinker and tune out what's going on around me. it wasn't until years later that I found out that the reason I came in #4 in my class was that persons #1, 2 & 3 worked together on every test! Guess what happened when we took proctored SAT exams? I have to laugh every time the SATs are modified. They were fine as long as poor black kids got low grades. It was when white middle class kids started getting low grades that the SATs had to be changed.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #94
98. I was number 8 in my class
but number one on my SAT by over 100 points. I dare say nearly all of the other 7 cheated.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
95. I understand what desperation can do.
There are ways to fight it if you're determined to be honest.

I had two really tough courses at the beginning of my PhD program. During most of the tests, I went into classes feeling like I was going to have some difficulty. Both classes were in rooms that allowed us to spread out a bit. I always sat way off on my own so that I couldn't see anyone's test in case sheer desperation kicked in. Most tests, there was some desperation involved. I ended up getting a low C and a high B in those classes and only an easier class with an A kept me off of probation. But the work was mine.

That's very important to me.
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followthemoney Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
99. We live in a country where the Supreme Court cheats to put their man ...
in the presidency. Is it cheating to cheat a crooked system? Is it stealing to steal back my wallet from someone who stole it from me?

Golfers call penalties on themselves because, if for no other reason, the penalties are high and enforced. Did anyone ever see a baseball, basketball or a football player call one on himself? The coach would bench him if he did and teach him how to "play" the refs.

Nobody is calling the chimp on his NSA rule bending. I see cheating all the time. When does the new regime of honesty begin?
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #99
107. Right, welcome to
the Culture of Corruption....and college is where you learn how the system works.
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porkrind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
101. This asshole wants an education,
I suggest you give him one. Getting an "F" will be something that may make a big impact on him someday. Who knows, maybe several years of reflection on this might turn it into a valuable life lesson for him. This little piece of sh!t carbon might finally one day get squeezed into a diamond, don't give up hope. Meanwhile, he's earned his "F" and the disgrace that goes with it. Don't sweat it too much, my working theory is that ~30% of humanity are unredeemable assholes, but the rest make them tolerable. :)
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 06:34 AM
Response to Original message
105. Blech. Back in my tortured undergrad days,
I could not stand the cheaters. Or the people who challenged grades, let alone did it all the time. WTF? I never did that. Of course, I never had reason to believe I was graded unfairly, but mostly--challenging a grade was just something I would have never considered doing. It seemed so inappropriate and well, weak. I was shocked to find out, in my junior year of college, that some students did this anytime they felt like it. With tenured profs! Ugh. I'm disturbed to learn that these behaviors are now considered commonplace. It's good people like you don't want to tolerate them.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #105
137. Habitual challengers make me stabby
I was preparing to challenge a grade only once, when I was expecting one of the profs assigning a grade for my thesis to dock me several letter grades out of spite (he's off into postmodernism country, I'm not, and he rejected the validity of my entire topic offhand from day one). That ended up turning alright, to my relief, but I wasn't happy to even be near that situation.

One guy I had to put up with indirectly while writing the thing was another student. Professional martyr; if he ever got a grade below an A it was because the prof hated him because he was gay. Now, the guy wasn't that competent a student in the first place; most of his writing read like, well, the average style of English you'll find on the web these days, and he actively, consciously refused to change his writing/research/etc style to fix problems, because that would be Abandoning His Integrity or something.

Any time - any time - he got a grade lower than A, no matter how deserved (poorly written, turned in weeks late, plagarized, etc.), not only would he try to formally appeal it, he'd try to drag the university president into the festivities in the most dramatic way possible. (Once he barged into an academic senate meeting, apparently.)

Yeah, he didn't last at the campus that long. Thank God.

Now, how'd I put up with him, aside from somehow being latched onto as the person to whom he kvetched about all of this? He was also one of those types who assumed that the presence of information in a given source - a book, web site, paper, etc. - implied the advocacy of said information. If the topic was controversial - say, eugenics, which was a significant aspect of the thesis I was working on - then it must not be present! If they were, that meant that the university was actively supporting insert-evil-topic!

So what'd this dumbass do? He decided one day to prevent students from being converted to a few evil ideologies by going to my university's library, checking out books on the subject - whether positive or negative - and throwing them away when he got them off campus so nobody else would be exposed to them. Did this include a few books I needed for my own research? Why yes, yes it did.

*re-reads all that* Gods. I'm a crotchety old bastard and I'm less than a third through my life expectancy.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #105
140. I never directly challenge a grade, I will ask a TA why I got said grade
And how I can get a better one. On one occasion the TA raised my grade a bit after a second reading.

I think the appropriateness of challenging a grade depends on context. I was in an econ class this semester and there were about 300 students between the two sections. Tests had a large amount of written material. I know some people that challenged their grades simply because it was possible that out of 300 exams with written work on them it's possible that the TAs made a mistake. I almost did this but decided that the one or two points I could've gotten back weren't worth my time or the TA's time.
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #105
153. Only once did I ever challenge a grade/test...
...and that was in undergrad on a question that happened to be my own area of expertise and interest, and I <i>knew</i> I was right, and the test question had just been worded badly. The prof kinda-sorta admitted I was right but then blew me off, but did promise that if those two points made a difference for my grade in the end, we would re-discuss it at the time. You can bet I would have been back. As it turned out, I squeaked by with an A for the course by pulling 100% on the written final - an accomplishment I remember with pride to this day. It was a tough class, but it was also a subject I loved (vertebrate evolution), so overall it was a good experience.

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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
108. you gotta admit, he's creative with writing
He probably thinks its all a movie, like he's been enculturated,
where the writer can still edit the script during the shoot.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
109. The thing that depresses me is that they only seem to copy within racial groups.

I've just started a PhD in maths at Queen Mary University of London, and I've been doing my first ever marking this term; several things have struck me about the answers.

One is how *bad* many of the students are at copying - they hand in very similar answer sheets *consecutively*, so that they end up adjacent in my marking pile and I can't not miss them (there may be students who are good at it, too, but obviously I don't spot those).

The second, though, is that when that happens the suspiciously-similar papers nearly always have surnames suggesting that they come from the same or similar ethnic groups. We have a very racially mixed student intake, but it appears that they don't mingle much, at least not when it comes to cheating.

That said, the students I've been marking are first years, and it's the first term, so maybe they just haven't got used to integrating yet.
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followthemoney Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #109
135. Are you talking about inter-species cheating? Most of what I've seen is...
done exclusively among the HUMAN RACE.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #135
148. No, I'm talking about interracial cheating (or rather the lack thereof)
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 06:34 AM by Donald Ian Rankin

in the normal and correct usage of the word.

I'm aware that using the word "race" offends a few people - the "race is a social construct" brigade - but as the only such are those who are actively looking for excuses to take offence, and they're simply wrong and thankfully few in number, I don't let it bother me.

Incidentally, humanity is a species, not a race.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
110. Part of the problem is what they learn in high school...
most namely, nothing other than how to get into college in the first place.
The high school I went to was 'supposedly' in the top 200 in the country... not only did I not learn a DAMN thing from that school, but the ENTIRE point of that high school was just to get kids into college. They got rid of the gifted classes halfway through my time there and I was forced to choose either between AP (lots of busywork to get a college credit) or an honors class (with no requirements to get into said honors class, and the entire class was dumbed down enough so that ANYONE could pass it. And I am not exaggerating. I knew people in honors classes who were so incompetent and stupid that they didn't even KNOW they were incompetent. I can think of one offhand who took all honors classes and was convinced that he could get into MIT to study gods only know what. Something to do with electronics I think. Yet he didn't even understand that an electro-magnet was a magnet. I am not kidding. And he got pretty much straight As in his honors classes.)
In my entire four years there, I would say that I had three good teachers. And only one in a subject that I was interested in and had plans to use in the future. No coincidence that those three were teachers in the gifted program... the only program there that was geared towards teaching the kids rather than giving them a good college application.
I know that despite my intelligence and my readiness to learn, I was not ready for college when I got there. I did my best anyway, but what really did me in was my school's consistent tardiness in getting me my financial aid, and my own lack of money. It's hard to pass classes when one can't afford the books. My grades every spring semester were always better than the fall... because I'd just gotten my fall financial aid money about a month before the spring semester started. Well, except the one time when they REALLY screwed up and I didn't get it until early February... but I digress.
I've been thinking about how much my high school hurt me a lot lately, mostly just because with a new year coming up, I'm realizing that my 10 year reunion is coming up even sooner. :) Seriously though... as an intelligent person who needed and wanted to LEARN, rather than go the easy path and get a crappy office job, I was completely screwed over by that school. And I was required by law to be there five days a week, wasting time that I could have spent actually learning. I think I learned more on my own in elementary school alone than I ever did in all 13 years of school. Hell, if I'd spent those four years at home learning computer languages I'd probably be rich and owning my own business by now. And that was just a hobby of mine when I was younger. I can only imagine what else I might have been able to do with my life if I'd been able to actually LEARN or DO something during that wasted time. Instead I went out into the world, not knowing, not ready, and ended up crashing and burning. Thankfully I'm picking up the pieces now and getting my life back on track. Still, I was hoping to at least be on a track by this time in my life. We only have a finite amount of time on this earth, and too much of mine was wasted by the school system.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
116. That's a lotta scum, then. lol!
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
119. Oh, don't even get me started on the sense of entitlement some students have
Notice I said *some*.

I have a few in every class I teach, that somehow they have bought the grade with their tuition money. They just "expect" to get an "A" because they show up for class. Don't bother to study, don't bother to complete assignments, complain about the tests, and then are astonished at their poor final grade.

I firmly believe that college should be financially available to ALL, but that doesn't mean dumbing down the curriculum. If you aren't willing to put in the hard work needed to succeed, don't bother wasting your time and money.

AND PLEASE STOP WITH THE CONSTANT TEXT MESSAGING DURING CLASS!!!!!

LEARN SOME DAMN MANNERS!!!

:rant:
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
121. I earned my 4.0 GPA.
Sigh.

I worked so hard when I was in college, I think I made myself sick and still suffer the consequences. Now I wish I would have mixed in a little partying, but I'm with you: Cheaters are scum. The closest I ever came to cheating was relying on a few notes in the margins of an open-book essay test. I felt a lot of guilt over it, but I strongly suspect that had I asked if the notes were okay, the prof would have said yes. I just wanted them to remind me of what I had already thought of on my own. :shrug: Oh well...it's water under the bridge nearly twenty years ago.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
129. You can still flunk out of school
You really have to want it though. :P
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
138. In my very first section, this rich connected lazy girl was coercing
another student into "sharing" her work.

It was so disgusting. This cheater was smart enough to pick a smart, hardworking victim but not smart enough to notice what a short shelf life this choice would have. She was beautiful, too. So bizarre, really. Maybe just self sabotage. I just wanted to grab her and say, "You don't need to do this!" but, there's the law and also, she probably thought of me as a podium lackey.

Miss Thing withdrew from the semester rather than just do her work. (And this was one of those expensive Summer gigs that have limited enrollment and cost you your firstborn.) I was afraid of reprisals but luckily there weren't any. That I know of. Unless her dad is really patient. :scared:
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
139. No. There are lower forms of scum.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
142. You probably don't want to know how I made extra money in college.
But let's just say the business majors I knew were rich and lazy and didn't like to write papers.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
143. Really good post.
I think you should have flunked the kid.

Trying to be fair about this, I think it is imminently possible and a direct responsibility for the professor to make the process of learning FUN. Kids aren't involved in education, as we know it. They're lectured AT, and it's no surprise they get bored, uninvolved. Play with them, tease their minds, and be generous with praise. There will always be cheaters. That's life. We save the ones we can.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
145. When I was a TA, two students turned in EXACTLY the same paper
word for word, identical. I couldn't believe the nerve. When I asked 'em about it, they said they knew the TA's would be reading 'em (big lecture hall--three TAs) and they took the risk that the same TA wouldn't get their papers.

They were wrong. The prof failed 'em both.


Btw, all through the paper--which was on Machiavelli's _The Prince_ --they referred to Machiavelli as "Prince Matchabelli". I think they could have failed just as certainly if they hadn't cheated.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #145
146. Isn't Prince Matchabelli a brand of cologne?
:lol:
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #146
155. Yes, yes it is. And the author of the Neo-con BIble, apparently. nt
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. I graded a paper once about "Mr. Zander" - Alex Zander the Great. Ow. (n/t)
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #149
154. Yikes!! Wonder what that genius is doing now! nt
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #154
156. Two grams a day is my guess... (n/t)
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
150. thats probably how Bush got through Yale
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
157. REALLY late to pile on, but I think I have the "winning" cheating story..
Unfortunately, I don't know how this was resolved BUT...

I got my term grades in, and there was in "incomplete". I don't remember all the details, but he told me to come in to discuss what the "I" was about.

Coming in, he told me that I never took the final exam! I knew I took it, but he said he didn't get it.

He told me I could look at the pile of completed tests to see if somehow I didn't write my name right or something like that (this is like 12 years ago, and as you may read, the part you're about to read was the part I remember!).

Well, it was a short answer and essay test. As I was looking through the stack for my name (and there were like 200, this was Computers 101, required for all business students, etc) my handwriting just jumped out at me. (I have very bad err, "distinctive" handwriting.

Oh my God. Someone else ACTUALLY SOMEHOW took MY test, ERASED MY NAME and wrote HIS name in. Thank GOD it wasn't a scan-tron test!

I would have had to have taken that final all over again. In the end I got my "A" for the course, but I still don't know what happened to that other student.

THE THING THAT REALLY ICED ME was that "passive" cheating (looking over ones shoulder) is ONE thing, but boy, oh boy, this was WRONG.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
159. "we pretty much give C's these days for any effort at all"
Did no one notice that statement?

It's how we got here.

HELLO? tap tap tap IS THIS THING ON?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
160. LOL
"A degree should mean you are above average intelligence and worked hard studying a discipline." - too funny....in real life it all too often simply means people who have been handed everything.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 03:22 AM
Response to Original message
161. It wasn't just Vietnam. It was and is the notion that education--
--should be run like a business. The first rule of running a business is that you never piss off your customers if you can help it. If students are customers, then they expect that good grades are something that are in some sense for sale.
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
162. I have a relative who is a professor
and she tells me of numerous students who now argue with her over grades, and say things like they are the "consumer" and "customer" and they want their money's worth! :crazy:

The worse one was a business manager. WTF?!

I think back to my days as an undergrad and how I would never have dared say such things to my professors.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
165. Sounds like one of those young repaublicans.
Am I right?
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