a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





we will now have a one-minute stretch break
November 02, 2002, 1:35 pm

This morning I was paid $82.00 to sit at a desk and grade papers that I had to grade anyway and intermittenly say, "Stop work and put your pencils down."

I LOVE giving the SATs. True, it makes me have to get up early on a Saturday, but there's nothing quite like feeling a certain moral superiority over the trembling juniors and seniors they enter the classroom and break pencils over what will ultimately decide their academic fates. Ah, the sweet smell of smugness in the morning...

I contemplated stealing a test book and putting all of the questions online for all you dear darlings to peruse for about 1/1900 of a second; I realized of course, that although I often *think* of harebrained schemes to get rich quick, I would never go through with them, and I would never willingly cheat on pretty much anything. I alert cashiers when they've given me too much change. I pause a video game and leave it untouched when my opponent goes to the bathroom. I don't like to cheat or feel like I've done anything not on my own effort.

We've had a problem with cheaters on my team lately, and because I'm stupid, I figured that NO ONE would cheat in my class because they all love me. Lo and behold, but I found three papers turned in to me that were EXACTLY THE SAME. Four paragraphs, all on the same subject, written VERBATIM from the other papers. *slapping forehead* Will these idiots never learn?!?!

I can't ever really remember cheating on anything before...okay, so when I worked as a waitress for a summer, I didn't claim all of my tips most of the time, but apparently this is commonplace. And in 1st grade, Jamie Gardner let me copy her math classwork because I didn't understand how to subtract 100s and I didn't want to look stupid in front of the rest of the class.

Mrs. Emgee announced that we only had a few minutes to finish our assignment, and I was staring dumbfounded at ten blank math problems. My eyes started to tear up, and Jamie, casting furtive looks over to Angie Badger (who disapproved of the exercise), let me see her paper. I was SO grateful to her for bailing me out, I cried anyway.

I don't remember ever feeling guilty at that moment, but an overwhelming sense of RELIEF. I had been saved by someone else's smarts! I am so thankful that the lesson I learned that day did not extend past Mrs. Emgee's classroom.

Today I finished all of the papers that I planned to grade for the end of the marking period; now all I have to do is grade their projects, and BAM! Marking Period Grades! Oh...I have to uh, still teach. It's only the first marking period. Damn.

I'm horribly conceited.

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