Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cheating - a failed but valiant attempt

So there I was sitting in my fourth grade class.  It was Mrs. McDonald's class.  She was tall, thin, and had short brown hair.  her face always looked like she had a question forming.  She was nice enough, but quite strict.  She always would write on my grade reports that I didn't apply myself, I talked too much in class, I needed to focus more.  I decided one day I was going to try cheating.  So many other kids were doing it, I wanted to know what I was missing.  So we had a spelling test and I figured that was the right time.  Now this probably wasn't the right test to cheat on because I am an excellent speller. I will blog about that another time.  I had watched others cheat and found that most of them would casually drop a pencil then pop a look at the other person's paper or would look at the teacher then if she was looking away would cop a look at the unassuming kid's answers.  I always was watching them.  I found it very interesting.

So on this fine day I made the move.  The test began.  I did the first few words on my own and then decided to catch a peak at Tom's paper.  Tom wasn't the brightest crayon in the box but he knew a lot of curse words.  He was the one who first introduced me to the word fuck.  I had absolutely no idea what it meant, but when he used that word the world seemed to slow down and sometimes stop if the right adults were present.  I looked over at Tom's paper forgetting all the cheating etiquette.  He had spelled the word wrong.  So I wrote the word on a piece of paper and passed it to him.  Then the next word came.  He spelled that one wrong too, so I did the same thing.  Apparently ripping little pieces of paper gets the attention of the assistant in the room who came to settle right behind me.  Kind of like what Gibbs does on NCIS.  I had no idea she was there.  I continued to "cheat" which was not anything like I thought as I seemed to still have to do all the work and got no benefit.

When the test was done, we handed in papers.  I was asked to stay in the room at recess.  I knew this could not be good and would most likely involve my mom and a belt.  The assistant was chuckling with the teacher as I walked slowly to the front of the room.  The assistant proceeded to tell Mrs. McDonald that I had been cheating during the test.  I was sweating badly.  Then Mrs. McDonald spoke.  She asked me why I was cheating.  I told her I wanted to know what it was like.  She asked me what I thought.  I said, well I guess I should have picked someone else because Tom was a terrible speller.  She then said,  Shelley, kids who cheat don't know the answers.  They are cheating to get the answers.  This is the first time we have ever had a cheater who gave the answers to the other person.  She then told me that I was too smart to cheat and when she wrote the things she did on my papers it was because I could do so much more than I was.  She told me she would let this go, but expected it not to happen again.  I think I totally pitted out my clothes during that conversation.  Tom had to take the test again.  He didn't do well at all.  I haven't cheated since.