Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I think I teach Charlie Brown

It's essay grading time again. These essays are about George Orwell's Animal Farm.

I would like to add that the kids were little terds today and put me in the foulest mood ever right before I graded these essays. Smart, kids. Real smart.

I didn't have that many crazy quotes this time, but here's a good one:

"For example he made the animals work while he ate his butt out."

Oh look. Two identical papers from the same class. And I do mean IDENTICAL. They must think I am the world's biggest idiot. Both are getting zeroes until they confess to me which one wrote it even though I already know which one wrote it. Boy did they pick the wrong day to plagiarize.

"This book is cool. I know that I didn't pay much attention but I hope many people love this book. Like Ms. Blake she has readed this book alot of time alright."

Oh wow. Here's a kid who planned her essay and wrote a rough draft and typed it and ran spell check and everything. She's too good for this group. She gets a 100. Her essay actually proves something.

I'm feeling better.

"Influenced by the Trotskyist and anarchist critiques of the Soviet Regime, and by the anarchist's emphasis in independent freedom, Orwell is a socialist."

I was kind of filled with tears of joy for a minute, then I googled it and found out that was a quote from an Orwell biography. Now I'm filled with plain old tears.

In a class of 28 students, I have 16 Zeroes.

I'm not kidding.

Some days I feel like my presence here is completely unecessary.


  1. "Influenced by the Trotskyist and anarchist critiques of the Soviet Regime, and by the anarchist's emphasis in independent freedom, Orwell is a socialist."

    Sounds like something found online. Not that a student couldn't have come up with that, it just sounds suspicious.

    As to your duplicate paper, you should grade it, then give them each half that grade.


  2. Clarification: You'd think that if someone were going to plagerize something on the internet, they should at least alter it enough not to show up on google.

  3. I had a senior in a creative writing course I was teaching hand in her poetry chapbook that mainly contained plagiarized sayings from those annoying motivational posters you see in cheesy executive offices. Like: "Some people Succeed because they are Destined to. But most people Succeed because they are DETERMINED to!"

    I know. I couldn't believe it either.

    And then her mother defended her. It was an awkward meeting, when I finally had to point out their combined stupidity.

  4. I think you need to write one of those movies about inspirational teachers in the ghetto starring Hillary Swank -- IN REVERSE. About a girl way too talented for this crap who hates these annoying little shits and wishes they would all just grow up. That's my kind of movie. Oh wait, that's South Park. Never mind.

  5. Jesse2:26 PM

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t pick up what my high school English teacher was laying down until nearly five years after I graduated. So I’m a little slow, whatever. The point is that I ultimately gained a huge appreciation for her work, got more into writing, and now happily get paid quite a bit to do it. (of course she knows, I’ve thanked her and go back to speak in her class and such). I think high school is just such a shit time, that maybe a lot of the good stuff doesn’t sink in until one has moved on, ya know?

  6. I often have that same "they must think I am a complete idiot" thought as well as wish "if they are going to cheat that at least they cheat well."

    Honestly in hindsite I don't think it even occurs to them that the teacher might make some sort of personal conclusion based on the behavior of the students.


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