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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Post Script Complaints

Yesterday was just a barrage of bullshit from students, and it didn't end after I posted those brief anecdotes either: Later in the evening, I found a student's essay that was plagiarized, and when I spoke with him about it before class, it was a dizzying conversation that went something like so:

Jess: Student, I'm concerned because it appears that your essay is entirely the work of copied and pasted material from online resources, and I don't see anything here that is your own writing.

Student Rebuttal: It is too mine. I wrote it. I just used sources to help.

Jess: Okay, show me a portion that is your writing.

Student looks at essay and points out the first few sentences, and he says: This is mine; I wrote the introduction.

Keep in mind that I am holding the printed version of everything he copied from online, so I look at what he's pointing at, consult my print out, and respond: No, it's not yours. That's from right here (and I point to the EXACT material that came from online).

The conversation went back and forth like this, and it was literally mind numbing to try and convince him that no, he did NOT write the essay he submitted. In his mind, he seems to have thought that he did.

See, the thing that bugs me the most, and what I take very personally, is that I put a lot of time and effort into my classes to ensure that I teach the material thoroughly, accurately, and in an engaging manner. However, learning something is a two-way street and if they're not putting in the time and effort to pay attention, then I grow very frustrated by their apathy. Granted, most students succeed and are good students (some are even superior students who invest a great deal of time and effort in my classes); but at this point in the term, those that are exasperating me are just really draining the life outta me, and I feel like I only have a thin shred of patience remaining.

But...that's my rant for now. I don't want to continue to bore you guys with details about work, nor do I want you to think I'm rapidly becoming a bitter, cynical teacher; I'm just tired of this semester and am ready for the first week of May.

What I am looking forward to this evening is a run. Tuesdays are always crap because it's such a long day at school and I don't get any time at home, and thus I don't get to run and blow off some of that steam that builds over the course of a day. This evening, however, I plan to take full advantage of the kind of "angry" run that I need!

23 comments:

Ryan said...

I particularily like your rant and rave posts. I always wondered what college professors thought about D-Bag students. I say keep them coming. Maybe in some way you can incorporate your garmin, and time the splits of how long it takes to deal with idiocy on a daily basis.

Wes said...

Well, Jess... It IS hard work cutting and pasting all that stuff, then printing it and making it look nice!

TriGirl Thea said...

Yeah! I can identify with this one. A cut and paste job is enough to get you thrown out of college where I am - I lost two that way this year.

On the other hand I wanna get a stamp made up that says:

"Wikipedia is NOT an appropriate source for an undergraduate essay"

*jen* said...

I agree with Ryan...I like your vent sessions. I found your blog last week and reading your entries keeps me entertained. I love it! I am afraid I wouldn't have the patience to put up with students' b.s. excuses and bald face lies.
Oh, and my friend got me hooked on Dead Like Me about a year ago and I loved every single episode. I'm so sad it only lasted two seasons. :(

Cara said...

For some reason I love hearing about your work. Your run sounds fun as well. Angry runs are great.

AnthonyP said...

Like Ryan, I like your rant and rave posts as well.
I hope you have a good "angry" run tonight !

keith said...

there's no better way to deal with work frustrations, in my opinion.

unfortunately for me, sometimes the "getting out of work" long enough to run is a problem.

good luck with the little shitheads.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

If you can't rant and rave on your own damn blog, then what is the world coming to? :D

Your students are bold, very bold. And, someday, they will wish they had paid more attention when they realize what they missed, but it will be awhile. Just keep doing the right thing, Jess.

Froyd said...

FAIL THEM!

*jen* said...

Hi Jess, I'm considering the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct because I have family in DC and they are running it. I'm just worried it isn't enough time to be fully prepared. I keep finding more training programs and my ADD is kicking in and I don't know which one to follow! It's ridiculous.

Doug said...

Once again, I hear you. I had plagiarizers in my class last semester and it pissed me off pretty bad, and I was only the TA. Luckily, none have tried anything so far this semester when I'm actually teaching. Maybe I scared them out of it?

We'll find out if that still holds after they turn in their first difficult program tonight. God help them if they try anything ;)

*jen* said...

"march of pain", I like that! I'll be moving in the next month or so and have already scoped out a running club. I think joining the club will be one of the first things I do when I get up there. What was the Chicago '07 thing? I will check Hidgon out. Thanks for the info!

Marcy said...

Are you serious?!? Oy, oy, oy sounds like a nightmare. You are sooo ready for motherhood! :P ;-)

P.O.M. said...

Is it Summer YET?

Paul said...

Actually they are pretty funny. Hard to believe some people are that stupid. Hang in there.

Viv said...

LOL @ Wes...
How frustrating for you! I hope you can pound it out on the pavement tonight.

Firefly's Running said...

I believe that some students don't give a crap about their effort. I applaud you for a catching that student.

Erin said...

It's kinda fun to see you get worked up. I deal with idiots on a day to day basis. The terms I teach remind me of all the good work I do from 8-6 but when I catch a slacker or cheater, I feel betrayed also. It's not like I enjoy reading their mindless papers and researching their plagiarized papers. It's more work on my end to actually catch them than to just fail them on the assignment.

Shannon said...

I am tired of my kids too. I was thrilled that today was my last day with them and cheerfully wished them a nice Spring Break as they left. 11 days without them... priceless. :)

Mendy said...

I like for you to come on your blog and vent. It's meant for us to be ourselves, and glad you feel comfortable to do so. You have your hands full with those students.

I really hope your run went well and you were able to enjoy it.

Crystal said...

I like your rants...makes me feel better about my own ranting and raving. Who knows Jess, maybe you will be the next "Tuesdays with Morrie" teacher who inspires someone to great lengths...or just give the little bastards a bad grade and look forward to the next group of hellions

lifestudent said...

I am amazed by how few student seriously seem to understand the concept of "plagarism" and what it means to write something themselves. I think its a serious failure in the system that occurs way before they get to us ... and even more common than we like to believe :(

SLB said...

Ugh some people just don't get it, kudos for doing your best!