I’m working on a paper on why students cheat so much in high school, how they rationalize it, and what it means for improving high schools. I’m in the pre-writing stage, re-reading and coding some of my first year college students’ papers on their high school experience. Here’s an excerpt from one of them. The humor lies in the typo and unintended pun:
On top of being a straight A student, my parents also expected me to participate in extra circular activities. By being involved I as able to show colleges I was a very well rounded individual who could balance the demands of school and extra circular activities.
Extra circular activities, the mind whirls. Could it be crew? Could this particular crew row in a giant circle in a large roundish lake? A donut eating club? A cross country team that runs in large circles around the city, school, track? A student government that sits in a circle? A folk dance club?
Friends don’t let friends develop spell-checker dependency.
Here’s another decidedly less funny excerpt from another student’s paper:
There was one word to describe my math teacher junior year: Exacting. This teacher had his class curriculum sealed tight. He knew every part of his Power Point slides and what he was going to write on the board. He always followed the book closely and I was seriously struggling. In his class, I was like a fish out of water, desperately trying to grasp the concepts of pre-calculus. I spent a majority of my time trying to slack my way to a good grade and not actually take the time to learn the concepts and functions taught. I frantically tried to find loop holes and backdoors around assignments and test but had no luck. I gave up, trying to find my way around the assignment and started to read the book and try and learn the curriculum. However, while I was flipping through the pages of my book a short sentence in the bottom left hand corner of the page caught my eye, it read, “See teacher’s edition”. Suddenly a light went off. I went straight home after school ended, turned on my computer and proceeded to find a teacher’s edition book of high school pre-calculus. I found it and purchased it. I felt relieved that I had mastered the impossible and found a backdoor to success in my math class. The teacher’s edition book had everything I needed, from test answers to assignments. After that I never ran into a bump in the road and coasted through the rest of my junior year.
And finally, this sixth-grader has the makings of an excellent Donut Club prez. His paragraph is titled “The Fake Doughnut”.