Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Emails I Wish I Could Send: Academic Integrity Office Edition

Dear Staffer at Academic Integrity Office,

I hope you felt at least the teensiest little twinge of embarrassment when I replied to your request that I highlight the relevant plagiarized passages in a student's homework response because you quote, "couldn't see the plagiarism," by sending you back the entire original document highlighted with the two paragraphs from the Gradesaver article which I helpfully included in my original report fully highlighted right beneath them.

Literally googling any 4 consecutive words from the student's original response should have easily confirmed that they copy and pasted 2 paragraphs into a Word doc, verbatim, and stuck hir name at the top, if actually skimming the article I included proved too difficult. Perhaps the Office of Academic Integrity isn't used to handling such thorny issues as 'The student copied and pasted two full paragraphs from the link I included in my report into the homework document I included in my report,' and the fault lies with me. But then again, comparing those two things might have taken you an extra few seconds, so I'm glad my additional involvement was required to help clear up that mystery.

As an adjunct, I already lose money every time I spend an unpaid hour or two preparing an Academic Integrity report (which, for reasons some Associate Vice Assistant Dean somewhere must have once found compelling, combines every possible Academic, Personal Conduct, Mental Health, and Campus Crime report into a single online form. 'Check this box to report if a student has plagiarized. Check this box to report if a student has expressed depressive or suicidal thoughts. Check this box to report if a student has assaulted you. Check this box to report if a student speaks to invisible demons in class.' Must be a real timesaver whenever a student decides to play for bingo!). But one thing I've always prided myself on is being a real stickler for upholding the standards of Academic Integrity and coming down hard on cheaters, even when it makes my life harder or threatens to drop my numbers on the Student Evals. Thank you for doing your best to make sure that maintaining that rigor remains juuust inconvenient enough to make me question precisely how dedicated I should remain the next time I bust a less egregious plagiarist than this doofus.

Hugs and Kisses,
Doc Slash



Monday, September 26, 2016

9 Years Ago. RYS Flashback.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We Love It When "I'm Sorry" Really Just Means, "You're Fucked."

To the students who thought it not important to show up for the mandatory conferences where I give out free advice on how to revise your horrid, horrid drafts.

I know, I know. It's my fault, right? You couldn't find the office. You thought you were signed up for a different time. I have to ask your forgiveness. I only discussed these conferences at the beginning and the end of class for the last three periods. I only passed around the sign-up sheet three times and reminded you to write down your time. And I've only told you where my office is five times, in addition to its location being clearly printed on the syllabus.

But you lost the syllabus, right? Far be it for me to mention that my office is also listed online. You know that "Internet" thing that you all are so obsessed with? This is one time that it could have been useful! But I probably should have shown you exactly how to find me online, right? And who am I to expect you to listen in class? You're trying to sleep/talk/leave!

I know this because one student who did come to conferences (two hours late) told me that he really didn't know what I expected from the papers because he's "just trying to stay awake" during the 2:00 pm class. It must be rough.

Well, all I can say is, I am truly sorry. And when you get your un-conferenced final drafts back, I guess I'll be sorry then too. But probably not as sorry as you will be. I guess I'll be hearing from you all a lot more after that.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016


This Week's Big Thirsty.

Q: What Myth or "False" Belief About Proffies Is Actually True?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pam the Parent Is Perplexed.

My husband is an adjunct math instructor and he told me about this site a couple of years ago. Our oldest daughter is a freshman in college and we've waited forever for this semester. We're very proud of her, we want her to do well.

But I also have warned her about her work habits, which were not the best in highschool. I told her many times that procrastination and laziness would be rebuked in college, and I was banking on that!

She's living at home this first semester so I got to see her work on her first essay for English Composition. She didn't work very hard and only did one draft that I saw. She asked me to read it and I told her of a number of small things I noticed like misspellings and missing commas. I know she didn't spend much time revising it, and truthfully I thought it was a little boring.

I love my kid, okay moms don't get mad at me. But I am realistic. I hoped she would get a middling score on her first essay so that she'd take it a little more seriously. So far all she ever talks about is how cute the boys are and how far away the parking lots are and about how they have falafel in the cafeteria.

Yesterday she came home with her first college essay. It was marked 100/100, and the teacher had written "Excellent and creative" on it.

Well, my mom brain said, "Yay," but then my PARENT brain read the paper. I saw the same errors I saw before. It wasn't excellent. It wasn't worth 100 points out of 100 points! It had errors in it. Attached to it was the essay assignment which said the essays had to exceed 750 words. This was about half of that!

She's over the moon about the 100%. And I as her mom am not.

Can anyone here who teaches English help me understand what's happened?

- Pam the Parent