This is final exams week, and today I gave my first final exam. And (woooo hooooo) I already have this section of exams graded.
I also returned research papers that I had spent too many days grading. In one of those research papers, I found an entirely NEW homophone error. A student had written about "soap Oprahs." I sat there scratching my head and puzzling. What on earth. . .and THEN it hit me: the student meant soap OPERAS. I just had to laugh. I can't imagine what absurd mistake I will encounter next.
Also in those research papers, I uncovered two instances of plagiarism. So, after the exam was over, as I was returning research papers, I had to confront these students. As soon as I pointed out the purloined paragraph in the one student's paper--he immediately said--oh, I just forgot to put in the quotation marks. (Yeah, right!) Then he said, when I asked where the source was listed (it wasn't)--oh, I must have had that on the OTHER piece of paper. Really?
And, the final insult came when I returned to my office. The phone rang--it was a student who was to have been in that exam. He missed it--and so when he called he said--there's no point in me taking the final exam, is there? Well, I pointed out, you MISSED the exam, so your question is moot. Huh, he said. I am not sure if he didn't know what "moot" meant, or if he just didn't catch my sarcasm.
Well, at any rate, one down, one to go.