Ballin’

15 10 2008

As some of you know, I’m a PhD student here in Ohio. Part of my duties as a Graduate Assistant (to get paid!) include being a Teacher’s Assistant to 3 different freshman-level classes. On Fridays, I hold sessions with them, answer questions, help them prepare for upcoming exams, collect their weekly journals and whatever else they need.

Until 1pm today, everything was super-cool. My kids’ writing has improved tremendously and I actually enjoy reading their writing. I have lots of international students, older students and athletes and the mix makes for good debates. My biggest problem is with my doggone basketball player..and there’s a big problem.

Today, I was chatting it up with another TA and we started talking about the oddball journals we’ve received since school started. One student in particular has a peculiar writing style – one that always ends in paragraphs that say “that was an example of ***”. My one basketball player also has a different writing style, but his always has tons of examples from his basketball practices and his girlfriend. Cute right? Well, as we were talking about journals, I started reading some of the ones I’d collected and something caught my eye. My basketball player’s journal ended with “this is an example of ***”. Hmmm.

Then I read further and saw his started with “this week in ***” and my other student’s started with “this week in ***”. Oh goodness.

Both journals had the same number of paragraphs, the same examples with the same named people. Somebody was cheating. So the other TA and I immediately looked through all of our journals to find others. He found one. Another doggone basketball player. *sigh*

Of course, we had to inform our TA director. She read them all and was livid. We make ourselves more than available and they’ve never come for additional assistance. They never said anything to her either, so she was pissed that they’d try to get away with this. She then called the coach and left a message. Coach called back within 10 minutes. We have a meeting with them all on Friday. Basketball players are a trip. I remember one asking me to do his Trigonometry homework in high school for – get this – milk and cookies at lunch! I’m not Bernie Mac.

Y’all, this could mean dismissal from the university. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone being kicked out of school, but you can’t cheat and get away with it. I feel good that I’m establishing myself as a serious teacher, but I feel so guilty that they could get kicked out.

It sucks.

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7 responses

16 10 2008
Mel

Get ’em Dr. Coop!!!

Hopefully I won’t have to deal with that in 3rd grade.

17 10 2008
Trinimerican

I would feel the same way you do. I would have done the same thing you did.

18 10 2008
*Coop*

Mel – 3rd grade? I sure hope not, but you never know.

Trini – I was so angry. Still a bit upset, but no need to stress myself out. Plus we found out that my student cheated off the other 2 students who admitted to working together. He’s gonna fail the class.

18 10 2008
Mel

Hey you never know! lol

18 10 2008
steph

i had to deal with that a few weeks ago. i simply went into the class and announced that i’d noticed that some of the preposition poems were exactly like some that were on the internet. I said how serious the situation was and that the student who copied the poem has one day to redo the project and turn it in. we contacted the student’s mother and the student turned in a brand new project the next day. her mom was very apologetic and stated that the student would be disciplined. i felt bad for like 9 seconds only because the student is soooooo sweet. i still love her!

but college basketball players should not receive any sympathy. they gotta do work just like every other student. thats just like mike vick and his sorry ass. they start that cheating and lying crap in highschool and no one corrects it. they need to learn their lessons. i’m sure they’ll only get a slap on the wrist.

look at it this way… you’re a freaking maverick now… you’ll be able to run for president or at least be some old man’s VP!!!!!!

22 10 2008
Meikmeika

You made the right decision. Just think that if you weren’t speaking with another TA regarding your students interesting writing style, this person would have not been caught. It also makes you wonder how long he’s been getting away with what he’s been doing.

Guess he figures he’s gonna be rich and won’t need to use the skills he’s currently learning so he might as well take the quickest and easiest route possible. So sad…..

22 10 2008
*Coop*

Steph – I can’t say “maverick” without laughing! LOL I think my student has potential, but I don’t think he even wants to realize it. He’s all about sports.

Meika – Exactly! No telling how long he’s been getting away with this stuff.

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