I’m Proud of My Student

November 10, 2011

What you will see is what one of my students turned in to me today. She has not been doing too well in my class and decided that she needed to do some sort of extra credit so she could help her scores.

For my class, if you want a good amount of extra credit, you will have to write me a paper. It’s got to be a minimum of 500 words and it has to be on a topic that both me and the student agree on. That makes sure I know to expect a paper on a particular subject and that student knows more of the details on what they are going to write about.

As long as this is done correctly I am willing to give them up to 50 extra credit points toward their final grade. That’s the equivilant of making up a homework assignment. All in all, that’s a pretty awesome deal.

So, today, this student walks into my class with a paper in hand.

“Mr. Bancroft, I wrote the paper you told me to write.” said one of my afternoon kids.

“We never agreed on a topic.” I laughed. “So what is this paper on?”

“The stuff we just learned about. You said I could write a paper on that.” she said.

“I did? I don’t remember this. Okay, that’s fine. I guess I will read this today after school.” I said as I walked back to my desk.

“Oh,” she blurted out as she was walking away. “And before you ask me, no, I didn’t plagiarize anything. Everybody who read this keeps telling me it’s cheating. And I’m not cheating.”

I was a little stumped.

“I never accused you of cheating, but okay, I’ll take your word on it.”

This last statement I made is teacher-speak for “Yeah, I totally suspect you of cheating. Now I will go over this with a fine-toothed comb.”

And I did.

The pink writing (my own) says this: “I have highlighted all the sentences that are from the textbook. This is called plagerism. It will not be accepted.”



There you go. You don’t get to see the two other pages and why would you want to? It’s just more highlighter and scribbles.

All the highlighted sentences are exactly the same as the textbook. Funny enough, I found it under the chapter section titled “Reproductive Anatomy.” How original, eh? I even pointed out the specific paragraphs and sentences in some places.

As I kept reading I couldn’t control my laughter. Overall, of the three pages of text she typed, five sentences might be original. (And this is my very generous estimation. The paper is mostly bright orange and yellow/green.

I’m not sure how this student thought this would be a good idea. Who thinks this can be done and I wouldn’t notice?

This really made my weekend.


Like I said. I’m so proud of my students.

And what a total rip!

I paid thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to a University. (University of Central Florida if you were wondering) and they gave me a printed piece of paper. 8 x 11. Standard copy paper. Not even any raised ink. The weight of the paper is barley heavier than what you print normally at home. It’s also a slight ivory color. OOOOooo. Swanky.

Don’t pretend you’re not jealous…

The fedex cardboard envelope they sent it in was worth more than that lame excuse for a degree.

Wow, I’m really steamed about this.

Can you believe that?

Copy paper!

Not even a letter came saying “Good job, support our college in the future. Here’s some information about alumni associations.” It’s like they said. “Here you go.” and then they just booted me out. Not even a simple handshake and goodbye.

Was I a bad guest? Did I do something wrong? I feel like I’ve been left out on the street corner. At least I know I can buy myself a bottle of windex and clean windshields for money. Hey, I know just the thing to use instead of newspaper…my degree!

Okay. Okay. I’m just steaming here.

To be fair, it’s a big school. There are lots of graduates. It would be very expensive to send out and print high quality degrees. It’s just a little disappointing to get something so… anticlimactic at the end of my academic career. I mean, people dream about earning that piece of paper, and in the end, it’s just a sad piece of paper.

If you were wondering, my degree is a Bachelors of Science: Science Education (Biology Track).

That’s right…future science teacher here. Nerdin’ it up. Awwwww yeah.

And just to be clear, the valuable knowledge I obtained while earning this degree is not the worthless part. The worthless part is the lame piece of paper I got. (I put in this disclaimer just in case any “high up” alumni are reading this.)

Until we meet again,