Last night, I ran another 3 miler as a follow up to Tuesday's start back to running. My legs were a little stiff at first but they warmed up enough and the run went decently (slow but steady). Today, though, I can really feel the back-to-back runs in my quads. It's been awhile since I've felt sore from running; strangely, it's kind of an enjoyable feeling.
Am I sick in the brain or what?
In other news, I have a student issue weighing on me, which has been making my brain sore. I had a student plagiarize an essay. My policy on plagiarism is very rigid: Students who deliberately plagiarize (submit work that is not theirs -- and this student's work was NOT hers, it was copied from various websites) fail my class. End of story: failure. But...the student is now pleading with me for a second chance, and I'm on the fence about it.
Part of me feels like I need to stick to my syllabus' policy, which is harsh (I take the hardest possible line of punishment the college allows because I feel plagiarism is a serious affront to academic integrity), but I typically feel that students who plagiarize need the harsh lesson -- you steel, you pay. However, another softer part of me feels that people do deserve second chances, and that perhaps a merciful approach provides just as much of a "teachable moment."
As I was running last night, I tried to sort through a solution, but I felt like I could argue with myself for both sides and 3 miles weren't enough to come up with a way to solve my dilemma.
What's your opinion? Deliver the hard lesson, or take the opportunity to allow someone to learn from her mistake and correct it?
Man, to even be thinking about allowing her a second chance means I'm getting to be a softie. Some colleagues and I were talking about how parenting has changed our teaching the other day, and I said I didn't think it had changed me much: Now I see how it has.