Hm, just realized I didn’t finish the story!
Last time on English 110 Plagiarism Saga: Student requested meeting on Tuesday.
I offered any time between 12 and 3. He said he’d be there. *sigh* So I asked when exactly he would be there. No response. In the mean time, the wonderful department head’s secretary was scrambling to find a time when he could mediate. Didn’t matter, because the student didn’t tell me when he could be there.
Finally, the secretary calls me and sets up an appointment for Wednesday morning at 10. She says she’ll call the student and tell him. Later, I get an email asking me to meet him during my office hours, which he knows I have “today at 5.” Well, that would be true. If the semester were still in session! *another sigh*
Skip to Wednesday morning. I arrive about 15 minutes early to the meeting with Dr. Blackmon which gives me enough time to show Dr. Blackmon the student’s paper and the one it was copied from. Student arrives on time, surprisingly.
When we get in Dr. Blackmon’s office, the student starts off by apologizing, then Dr. Blackmon puts the ball in my court, so I tell the student that he lied to me by telling me that he wrote that paper, and that it is every teacher’s job to give her students opportunities to learn, and that he cheated himself out of an opportunity (I know, I know! It’s that idealistic argument again, but it’s true!). The student keeps apologizing. Dr. Blackmon says that I said it pretty accurately, and asks if there are any more questions. Nope. I was stunned! The meeting lasted barely 3 minutes!
But, out in the ante-room (I’m not an old geezer! I just know that word… I’m an English major folks, forgive me. And No, I will not stop using that excuse! :) ), the student needed to say one more time that he was sorry, and that he was have some personal troubles. I explained to him the appeal process that can remove the XF (failure in the course due to academic dishonesty) after 12 calendar months.
He told me Merry Christmas as he was leaving, and I said it back and immediately felt silly. He’s Muslim–they don’t celebrate Christmas!
So that’s it. The saga ends. And none too soon, either, with just 4 days left until Christmas Eve! I totally spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with another TA, looking at a textbook for next semester (I’m teaching Writing II: Academic Writing for the first time–eek!), and chatting with friends and family. Didn’t address any Christmas cards, didn’t wrap any more presents… Meh, I still have a few days, right? Besides, the end of this plagiarism case marked the end of the semester officially!
Oh, did I mention that I got all As this semester?!?! Totally SWEET!!!