I’ve never been good at cheating. I probably only tried it twice in school, and here are those examples…

The first time was in the second grade, and we were learning our multiplication tables. I was not picking it up. I may have missed some days being out sick, or I may have just not been getting it, but either way I had no idea what was going on. We did an exercise in class where we filled in numbers on a page of multiplication problems. Since I did not know what was up, and since I have always been afraid to ask questions for fear of looking stupid (another issue for another time) I copied straight off of the kid next to me. Exactly.

We take our papers up to the teacher to review, and I am right behind the kid I cheated from. The teacher looks his work over and sends him off with some corrections to be made. I saw it, and since my work was the same as his, I simply started to follow him back to our desks. The teacher stopped me, wondering why I was not letting her review my work. Now, in addition to be being a bad cheater, I also cannot lie. So I told her I did not know what I was doing and had copied. I knew what I had done was not right, but I also was simply trying to do the assignment…in my own ignorant way. But ultimately it all worked out, as I got the explanation I needed, and which I would have received had I merely asked in the first place.

The second one was bad, and I cannot claim youthful naivete or anything so innocent for this one. I was a senior in college, getting close to the end of the year. Things were starting to get weird for me, with the living situation, with a failing romantic relationship, and generally the stress of what happens after graduation. Well, I had a paper due for one class which I put off until way too late to make happen, so I decided to cheat (first strike). I had a paper from the previous year on a related topic which I thought I could just turn in for the current class (second strike). Finally, I simply photocopied the paper with the title and date and class whited out, then typed in the new info (strikeout!).

Of course it was discovered what I’d done. Luckily, since it was my first such incident, the professor chose not to fail me for the class, but she of course failed me for that assignment, dropping my overall grade for the class. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

So I can either take solace in the idea that I’m so honest that I cannot cheat well, or I can simply be embarrassed that my efforts at cheating were so pathetic. Maybe I’ll take option three, and choose not to cheat/copy anymore. I will do my best, and if that’s not good enough, so be it. dang……