Well, today I caught a plagiarist. Sigh.
I rather like one of the full-timer's suggestions. He feels that we should allow both adjuncts and full-timers to receive retirement benefits based on how many plagiarists we catch. I think I'm halfway there.
Students who decide to cheat in this fashion under me are just plain stupid. No really. I warn them explicitly that whatever the maximum penalty I can inflict is, they're getting it if they cheat. I can't STAND liars. I can't stand being deceived. And I truly feel that, although the person who may feel the need to copy a paper from somewhere else can be a good person who panicked and just went nuts, I also believe that a good person can just go nuts and blow the head off of the woman shagging her husband. Yes, I really DID just compare plagiarism to murder. No, I don't see a problem with that.
So! How was this student caught? I can tell you! The kids are required to submit their research paper to me via a service called www.mydropbox.com, and the paper came back with a 100% match. It checks for net sources, print sources, pay per paper sites, other papers submitted, etc. to see if the student copied any of the essay handed in. This IDIOTIC MORON screwed up on multiple levels. Let me count the ways!
1) First of all, during peer grading, he made a two inch left hand margin to make the page requirement. I warned him to NEVER play me like that. I warned him that playing me makes me testy as crap, and I want to kill.
2) Secondly, the day the paper is due he still has large margins. I remind him it's a zero unless he fixes it. He does so.
3) Thirdly, I remind the entire class that if their papers are not submitted to Mydropbox by midnight, it's an automatic zero. He forgets to do this. He submits a day late in the draft box, which would be the only box still open. So, regardless, it's a zero now...except...
4) Last of all, when the paper is then checked in the draft box, it comes back 100% COPIED. I click on the link which states that the paper has been submitted to mydropbox before. I think, well, maybe he failed the class with another teacher and this is his paper that he already submitted. Nope. It's his roommate's paper from last May's class.
So, I yank him out of class, redheaded temper going full blast. I guess technically it's auburn hair, but I've been using this fluid fire shampoo by Tressa that really makes it pretty damn red, so yeah, let's just go with redheaded temper. The whole class nearly shits in their collective pants because of the fury in my eyes. I ream him; he protests that it's HIS paper and his ROOMMATE used it last May. Well, guess what? You guys both screwed up. So, suck it up, boy. He asks me, what happens now? I basically tell him, you get an F for the class. Good bye. I used to only be able to give an F for the paper. I found out I can give an F for the whole class. Good. That's what I do because the person needs to FULLY UNDERSTAND how severe of a transgression this is. If everybody cheated his or her way through premiere tech, the degree would be worthless. The students would never get jobs and keep them, and nobody would hire them because the employers would know: easy A's. Nobody studies. Nobody learns. The degree means que dalle! I don't understand it. People pay money for classes just wanting the degree, not the knowledge to support the degree. What type of nonsense crap is that? Why bother to GO to school then? BAH!
On a wackier note...beware of the Kira. You just never know what'll slide out of my mouth. Hell, I don't even know.
A group decided to do their poetry project presentation on insanity. They brought a straightjacket and wrote quotes from some of the poems on it--cute idea. One of the students announced that he'd love to be put in the jacket. The presenter insisted that he would not like that because it's scary to be bound. "If you're not insane before you're put in this thing, you will be after you're left in it a while and can't get out," student J warns to the other student. Nope, student insists: I'd like that. I'm sure I would. Even for a while.
"Look, it's not as pleasant as it seems. Have you ever been bound and then woken up, still bound up?"
I looked up, surprised. "Why yes, of course!" I replied.
The entire class broke up into laughter. The student who had said the straightjacket looked great laughed the hardest, and he said, "Ok, quote of the day definitely goes to Kira."
And once again, I wonder...did I just say that? Oh well.