Academic Dishonesty

For those of you who follow my twitter account, you might have noticed that I mentioned some drama concerning cheating, or as our student handbook so eloquently puts it, “academic dishonesty”. This is, of course, a problem that will occur at any college and not just this college specifically, which I why I think it needs to be spoken about even more. There’s some crazy study somewhere that says that somewhere around 90% of college students will participate in academic dishonesty in some form, be it copying off of someone else’s paper, using a crib sheet, plagiarizing, or whatever other imaginative ways people can come up with to come out ahead. I don’t have the link to said study, but the link should be somewhere in a Cracked.com article entitled “[Number] Things No One Tells You About College”. Or something similar, for those interested.

Now, I will be upfront and honest with you. I cheated a few times in high school. I never plagiarized, but I shared answers or worked on a few projects with others that I shouldn’t have. I can see the appeal. You suddenly remember that you had a big test today, and in high school everything seems life or death and you need the answers and your best friend is sitting next to you and surreptitiously slides their paper closer to your desk so you can see their answers. Okay. I’ve done it. But I’ll tell you what: I’ve never, ever cheated in college. It just seems pointless to me, especially in fields where you have to take some kind of board exam to move on with your career. If you don’t learn it now, how well can you expect to do on your boards? I’m not a Jeff Winger, kids.

Mortuary science, if I haven’t stressed it enough, is a difficult and competitive program. There’s no point to me to not learn information that we so desperately need to know for our boards. I take all the information and I study it and I learn it and that’s it. It’s in my vault. Now, I understand that a lot of people don’t have memories that work like that and have to work very hard to remember it. That’s not saying that I don’t work hard. I’ve had a lot of nights that ended at 3AM to make sure I’m prepared for this or that exam. Now that I’ve found what I want to do, I’m compelled to learn it and do well. I work extremely hard to get my grades. And I get my grades. I’m getting my 4.0 at the end of the semester and damned if anyone can stop me. . . . Except maybe my accounting teacher, he might be able to stop me. I digress!

As someone that works hard and long and, yes, I’ll admit: I got the lowest grade of the semester back (an 89, so sue me, it wasn’t my best and I was disappointed) and started immediately cramming Oreos into my mouth whole and crying. It . . . it was a long week. Anyway, as someone this obsessed with my grades and doing the best that I possibly can, I was understandably upset when I found out that someone I considered a friend had been copying my answers. In two classes! Without going into too much detail, I informed the person in charge of the classes involved and the head of the MOS department. And nothing was done. And now, I’ve been told this person was caught cheating off of someone else in another class. As of yet, there’s been no disciplinary action.

Now, I don’t presume to think that I know what should be done in a situation like this. I did what I could to prevent getting into trouble myself, as if a teacher had caught this person and they said that I knew about it the whole time, I was just as guilty of academic dishonesty as the were. But do know this, possible-future-deathlings: in more advanced mortuary classes, you are split up and put in separate rooms and you have to take your tests alone. If, by some miracle, you’ve made it through most of the program by riding someone else’s coattails, you won’t make it much further than your first couple of basic MOS classes. The head of our department is very serious about the program, and if you’ll remember, only graduated 8 people last year. 8 people from the most popular major at our school, with somewhere around 200+ people in it.

Just be honest and do your best. It’s a little weird to me that I used to give that advice to my second graders when they were upset about grades and now I’m giving it to college kids, but it’s true. Don’t work below your potential, and don’t allow yourself to get complacent or lazy and you’ll excel. At anything.

In other news, the drop-out count for the semester so far is five.

Stay honest, lovelies.

Marissa

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~ by mementomorissa on November 1, 2012.

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