Taking the Scenic Route

Blah, End of the Semester, and Bad News

24th May 2008

Blah, End of the Semester, and Bad News

*warning* depressing post…

The kids are coughing again, I am joining them, and as I write this I hear a cough from Zach.  Oh joy.  I just feel so blah.  Might have a low grade fever too because all of my clothes hurt and I just have zero energy.  If I didn’t feel so crappy, I would probably find Zora’s new fascination with band-aids cute, but I don’t feel good enough to really appreciate every little flaw on my body pointed out and having a band-aid put on it at this point.  (which I have to remove soon after because I am sensitive to adhesives/latex).  Not one of my favorite days, but could be worse.   I wish I had the energy to clean because this place sure could use it.

 A frustrating end to the semester for Zach
      AKA….cheater, cheater, pumkin eater…
I haven’t been able to write about the drama here the last few weeks because, well, you will understand.  It sucked though.  As Zach was looking over the last assignments of the year, he discovered a student cheating.  Not just a little cheating, but turning in the exact file, down to the other student’s name in the header file.  Then he went back through the semester and found other similar examples (even one other student who didn’t bother to erase the first student’s name out of the header file). 

When all was said and done, there were seven students, most of them international students.  It was so disheartening and frustrating.  It was, of course, in the in-person class and not the online classes (which would be much harder to cheat from anyway, but most students who take online classes aren’t getting together with other students…much more self reliant as a whole.  They don’t even ask as many questions). 

If he continues to teach, there are some loopholes he will have to close up.  He just didn’t think students at this level would do that (the grad student who participated was especially shocking), it just didn’t really cross his mind that people could be that way.  He now knows why older, more experienced profs are hard asses…they have to be.  They have been burned, they have been taken advantage of, and they don’t want to go through the PITA work of dealing with cheaters. 

It is a major PITA too.  He probably spent more time researching and documenting than the students did on the assignments.  He was told to give every cheating assignment a zero and turn in all of the documentation to the department.  That meant almost all of the students, except one, failed the course.  The one that didn’t got too low of a grade to take the next class.  For the international students, it could have bigger consequences, even if they don’t get “Failed because of cheating” on their transcript.  If international students don’t pass a certain number of hours, their student visas can be revoked.  The department heads will decide if there is any further action (adding a “cheated” notation after the “F”,  or kicking them out of the program, or kicking them out of the school…it is at the discretion of the department heads and possibly the Dean, if it gets passed up to them, and if there is any history of cheating)

Now he is getting emails begging him to change the grades and acting like they are innocent.  Emails begging him because their lives are going to be royally screwed up by this.  I am sorry, but it isn’t his fault that you are going to have your financial aid revoked, or not be able to be a GTA next semester, or are going to be on FA probation.  You did this to yourself when you chose to cheat.  All of the students cheated more than once.  I think if it had been once, then you pulled your head out of your nether regions and didn’t do it again, I could feel a little sorry for, but when you cheat all the way through a class, it shows a lack of character and good judgement.  You have nobody but yourself to blame for your actions and the consequences. 

So, the last few weeks, which should have been time to relax and enjoy our family, and the closest thing we ever get to a vacation, have been fraught with frustration of having to deal with this mess.  So irritating.

And, if that didn’t suck enough…My Grandma’s friend and neighbor was murdered


She lives in an independent living community attached to the nursing home in the very small town of Buhler.  It is an award winning, wonderful facility in a one stoplight town and most of the residents are from the surrounding community and she has known them her whole life. (probably related to a few too)  She already suffers from anxiety and similar issues, and now every time she opens her door, she sees the door of her friend, the one the killer walked through. 

She said she thought she had heard pounding on her door that night (she has a fan and white noise machine to help her sleep), but assumed she was hearing things since she often does.  (she can’t physically hear her neighbors, and there is no way she heard pounding on her friend’s door, but she might have heard the killer pounding on her door)  If that isn’t enough to make you shudder, I don’t know what is. 

My mom stopped by the next day and grandma was out for coffee with her buddies (a really good thing).  Mom brought by some flowers produced by plants she transplanted from Grandma’s farm to her own farm to cheer her up.  She put the flowers in the vase and was grabbing the trash as she was ready to out the door to meet grandma at the coffee shop, when Grandma walked in.  It totally freaked Grandma out that the door was unlocked and it took her a bit to calm down.  Mom felt about as horrible as you can feel.  They decided to get out of there, away from the stress and the police and the news crews.  They drove to Wichita for the day and enjoyed some dining and shopping.  It turned out to be a good day for them both, but how much does it suck to have to deal with something like that when you are in your late 80s.  I hope she can recover from this, but I am really worried.


This entry was posted on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 7:52 PM and is filed under Extended Family, Health, Stress, The Kids. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 4 responses to “Blah, End of the Semester, and Bad News”

  1. 1 On May 25th, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Ah man. Talk about a rough time for you all. Yikes. I hope things start getting better, and soon.

  2. 2 On May 25th, 2008, Anonymous said:

    I hear you on the cheating stuff.  My hubby deals with it regularly.  This last week he had a student take another students quiz and start copying answers as my hubby was collecting them.  Then the student got upset because my hubby said he couldn’t do that and gave him a “0″.   CRAZY!!    Then the school comes to hubby and says that he has to pass all the students.  If they don’t pass the 1st time around they have to be given extra projects/homework so they can pass – for up to 2 years after they took the class!!     Makes me upset because it makes my hubby upset and upsets our lives.  

    Hang in there!! 

  3. 3 On May 25th, 2008, Anonymous said:

    Oh my GOD and OH MY GOD!!! I am so sorry about what happened to your grandmother’s friend. I’m not sure I want to see the clip, I hate how the news zeros in on every calamity and tragedy.

    I can’t believe the students who cheated more than once were actually begging for another chance or something more lenient than getting kicked out or being set back. I agree, do it once, you’re naive and it was a dumb mistake and you’d better learn from it. But more than once and to be so stupid as to not remove the other’s name, wow, do you even give a crap, really? These students are selfish and need to be knocked off their horses for a while if they ever stand a chance from learning from this. I feel terrible for your dh, to put in all that hard work into teach the class and it was essentially a waste of his time. Not to mention they haven’t given a passing thought as to the stress this has caused him and you, I’m sure. I abhor cheating, especially as I love to write, and I think they’ll deserve exactly what is coming.

  4. 4 On May 25th, 2008, Anonymous said:

    I can’t imagine what your grandmother must be going though.  I admit, I am quite the chicken and I would doing anything to move away so I wouldn’t have to face the thoughts every day. 

    As for the cheating, I can’t imagine the nerve it takes to try to talk one’s way out of the mess they created for themselves.  It also makes me angry because I work extremely hard for my grades. Personally, I would get a tutor and ask for as much help as I could, and as a last resort…drop a class I didn’t think I could pass and go back for another try the next semester.  Cheating is an insult to everyone involved.  It says, “I can’t pass on my own.”  “I shouldn’t have to work as hard as others to get a good grade” and “The instructor isn’t smart enough to catch me”.  And quite frankly, as a non cheater I would have serious issues with a student being permitted to get away with it.  After all, if they don’t have to work hard for their good grade, why should I?

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