RANT: Correct me if I am wrong but.....

canuhandlethis8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
69
0
I was out sick last week from class. I emailed my class the following email:::

Hey all,

I was out last week sick, i was wondering what Mr. Racers first test covered.

Thanks


Today I get an email back from my professor which is the following email:::

Thanks so much for sending me an e-mail asking for information as to what was on the exam you haven't taken. If you ever do something like this again I will see to it that you will be expelled from this college.



I feel very offended and appalled, I've busted my ass in school and never ever ever EVER cheated my though anything, my records are clean! I was not asking for anything specific (answers, questions etc..) just general question.

Is his old *ss overreacting, or am I wrong? Because I'm about to write a nassssty email lmao!
 

Unspoken Demise

macrumors 68040
Apr 16, 2009
3,687
0
>9,000
I can see why the professor thought you were trying to get a head start on the test, but I think you meant it more innocently. Make sur enot to CC your professor in the future. Sounds like a buttface to me. :p
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,480
9
London
To me that looks like cheating: no one else who took that test had access to that data so you gaining it in advance of taking the test (assuming you are going to get to take it) would give you an unfair advantage. Just about the exact definition of cheating.

I'd say you're lucky to get away with it at all: anyone caught cheating or attempting to cheat would be in serious trouble when I was at Uni.
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
4,719
0
Northern VA
Well, if nobody took it, then how would the other people know what's on the test..unless your teacher said it himself that "____ will be on the test". And if he says that, and you were absent, and you ask him, that's not cheating...:confused:
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,777
5
dallas, texas
If you were in class when the professor covered what the exam itself would cover, then yes you are cheating. The way you phrased it definitely made it seem as if you were asking for what the test was on is from the perspective of someone that had already taken the test, which would be cheating.

If you were just trying to be reminded because you were gone for so long. Why not directly email your professor and explain your situation, i.e. "Hello Professor ___, I have been sick for the past week and just want to be clear on what the exam I missed last week covered..."
 

electroshock

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
647
0
Comments:

1. He's overreacting.

2. Consider writing that nasty email as a word processing document, save it to your HD, then don't send it so you blow off steam. Because if you touch off a war with the prof, things could eventually come down to a "he said, she said" kind of situation sometime in the future for something unrelated and your prof unfortunately holds the upper hand.

3. You've got to live with the same prof working there for the next X years... try to save warfare for after you successfully graduate. :) You don't need to have political roadblocks thrown up in your face between now and graduation day.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
Sounds like a typically dumbass academic - supposedly big brains, but little actual intelligence (unlike managers who have tiny brains and still no actual intelligence).

If you wanted to cheat you wouldn't email the teacher, you'd simply ask someone you knew who had done the test. Besides which, it would be rather stupid of them to give you the same test after everyone else has already done it for that same reason.

Just ignore the fool and hopefully you won't have to deal with them much longer.
 

justaregularjoe

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2008
344
0
okay well "What was covered on the test?" is QUITE a bit different than "The test just covered Unit/Chapter XYZ, no new material, etc.?"
 

instaxgirl

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,438
1
Edinburgh, UK
I read the email as an "I know there was a test but I don't know what subjects it was meant to be on" rather than "what were the questions" but maybe my mind just isn't all that suspicious :rolleyes: If you meant the former then shame on you etc

I'd be steering clear of that professor. I would probably not respond because he sounds like a jerk who'd never believe you meant it innocently (if you did) and you run the risk of getting another horrible email back. Just go with it.

I had a lecturer jump down my throat last week (about something I'd actually spent time trying to phrase delicately). It's not nice, and it's not the first time it's happened to me. I generally try to just fade into the background after I have a run in rather than making myself more memorable to them. Basically my advice is to suck it up, only sensible way to go.
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
If you wanted to cheat you wouldn't email the teacher, you'd simply ask someone you knew who had done the test. Besides which, it would be rather stupid of them to give you the same test after everyone else has already done it for that same reason..
From the professors point of view, it didn't look good. Did he over react? Maybe but I'm sure there are tons of cheats out there; this one just looked like a cheat and stupid at the same time.

Now I would write a letter to the professor explaining your intent, not that you wanted to know what was on the test, but what the test was supposed to cover because you were sick and do not recall him talking about it (being sick and all). I would also offer to take a zero on the test, because of the mistake and apologize again.

A cold hearted professor will give him the zero. If he comes across as being honest he'll get a makeup test and that will be that. But one thing is for sure, this test is going to be MUCH harder then the original test, I can promise you that!
 

yojitani

macrumors 68000
Apr 28, 2005
1,855
10
An octopus's garden
Look at it this way. Did anyone have access to the information you were requesting BEFORE they took the exam? Probably not. So what you were likely doing was asking for an unfair advantage. Your professor might have been a little more within reason to ask you what you were playing at before making the threat, but in most cases professors aren't really there for undergrads (which I take it you are) and don't want to take the time for them. It is unfortunate, but that is how things are as they stand. Still, what you did was probably unintentional, but easily perceived as cheating. Hopefully, you'll learn something from this.

Luckily we have superior beings in our midst, like some people on this thread, to help us discern between brains and intelligence:rolleyes:.
 

canuhandlethis8

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
69
0
Yeah i was absent the whole week... and I was NOT asking for anything in specific...the class is American History Though 1700 so it's a pretty intense class. This is really bothering me because I know I'm an honest student. And going in there face to face with the guy would totally piss me off even more.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
No I don't think the professor is overreacting at all. The e-mail is worded as if you're trying to cheat. That might not have been your intent but that's certainly what the wording tells me. If I were the professor, I would've thought the same thing and probably given you an F on the test.
 

neonblue2

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2006
524
0
Port Pirie, South Australia
It doesn't sound like you were trying to cheat to me but the language you used is so broad that I can see how some could see it that way. A better question would have been, "I was out last week sick and I was wondering what subject Mr. Racer's first test was on.", rather than using the word "covered" that can imply the entirety of the contents of the test.

The best thing to do would be too apologise for the misunderstanding and explain what you meant exactly. It may just be, as some others have said, that nobody knew the contents of the test beforehand and that he thought you knew that. Even so, I don't see how he's much of a professor if he jumps to conclusions this quickly based on so little information. A better response would have been to inquire and gain some hard evidence before threatening one of his students.

This would be so ironic if you were studying law...
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,945
180
Canada
if it were me, I would send another email explaining that you weren't asking for specifics, but general subjects and that you were in no intention trying to cheat.

Refer to your academic standing and the fact that you do bust your arse off without cheating (in a polite way).

Tell the prof that, after re-reading your email, you can understand how he could take your email as a request for detailed information and apologize.

Sometimes these academic heads just need a little butt kissing to feel better about themselves. Doesn't make it right, but in this situation, he is in command.

Explain yourself and let it go after that.

Cheers and good luck,
Keebler.
 

Little HZ

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2008
241
0
New Mexico
If you were just trying to be reminded because you were gone for so long. Why not directly email your professor and explain your situation, i.e. "Hello Professor ___, I have been sick for the past week and just want to be clear on what the exam I missed last week covered..."
As someone who taught at a Big Ten university for many years, I find this to be the best observation. As a teacher, I would have assumed it LIKELY that, since you copied your e-mail to me, you were asking the question innocently enough, but you were, at least potentially, asking for an unfair advantage, nevertheless. Based on the cheating I DID see, I would have had to consider the chance that you were hoping to get some inside info. That is to say, I very much wanted to give students the benefit of the doubt, but to be fair to students who showed up and took the exam on time, I had to keep an eye out for potential cheating. I would have replied more temperately than your teacher did, but I would have included a stern warning to become familiar with university policies on tests and grades, and to take more care in the future.

Leaving your classmates out of the loop and going directly to the teacher would have been the best strategy by far!

P.S. I never gave the same test to students who missed a test--exactly because it is too easy for students to get information about the test they missed from classmates.
 

heehee

macrumors 68020
Jul 31, 2006
2,462
223
Same country as Santa Claus
I was out last week sick, i was wondering what Mr. Racers first test covered.
It might not be what you intended to do, but you did ask what the "test covered".

Thanks so much for sending me an e-mail asking for information as to what was on the exam you haven't taken. If you ever do something like this again I will see to it that you will be expelled from this college.

I feel very offended and appalled, I've busted my ass in school and never ever ever EVER cheated my though anything, my records are clean! I was not asking for anything specific (answers, questions etc..) just general question.

Is his old *ss overreacting, or am I wrong? Because I'm about to write a nassssty email lmao!
No need to be offended, he didn't expel you. Just write an email and explain yourself.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
if it were me, I would send another email explaining that you weren't asking for specifics, but general subjects and that you were in no intention trying to cheat.
Now I don't really care, but... I'm kind of lost...

I can envision two scenarios.

1) A student misses class during the time in which the coverage for an upcoming exam is announced. It would be very reasonable to ask what that coverage was, as this is information everyone else had access to before the exam. If that's what you intended, just say so to him/her.

2) OTOH, if this is about asking for information covered on the exam based on what students discovered by taking the exam, I can scarcely see it complying with the academic standards of any college or university I've ever been associated with. Professors have the option of using mechanisms like alternate exams (or not) to deal with absentees. But asking for people to tell you about the coverage based on the exam (not based on the announcement) is wrong no matter what level of generality is involved in the questions, unless the professor gives the student the carte blanche to do this.

Now if I were your professor I wouldn't nasty-gram you, but that doesn't make asking the question any more right...

I don't understand why anyone would think (2) is honorable or appropriate behavior.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
I would have expelled you for not reading the syllabus to figure out what chapters the first test covered.

Also if you were out sick for an entire week I would fail you.
 

Signal-11

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,475
2
2nd Star to the Right
It might not be what you intended to do, but you did ask what the "test covered".
Depends on the mood of the reader at the time. I normally give the benefit of doubt as it seems to be innocent (emailed whole class, CCd the prof, confused about the reaction) but read another way, it could definitely read as asking for an unfair advantage.

No need to be offended, he didn't expel you. Just write an email and explain yourself.
No. Do it face to face. A misread email got you into this mess, it's not going to get you out. Call, ask for an appointment or visit during office hours. Then make your situation clear.

Personally, I don't like being threatened. Especially as a reaction to something that I'm innocent of. I'd apologize for the misunderstanding but I would make it clear that I'd like an apology from him as well. But that's me. I wouldn't recommend it.
 

wywern209

macrumors 65832
Sep 7, 2008
1,503
0
do you rly want to know?
The way that your email was worded, it is possible that you were asking for answers on the test. maybe use better wording next time. apologize for the bad wording and send him/her a better worded email asking what you wanted to ask.
 

Maccin475

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2009
99
0
I can see why you are pissed. You were good intentioned but the way you phrased the email, it sounds like you were looking for some "extra" help. I'm not implying that you use dishonest means to get through school in any way. Just send your professor a follow up email, clarifying your earlier email, i'm sure he'll understand.
 

FrankieTDouglas

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2005
1,489
1,957
Stop ranting.

As someone who taught college courses for two years, I would feel the same as the professor. I read that and instantly thought of someone looking for a review of the test everyone took. If you're going to send this stuff out, use some basic sense and not include your teacher in the mass email. That's just dumb. Don't give a teacher a blatant red flag.

On a related note, don't facebook friend request your professors. If they add you, remember they are on your friend list and can see status updates and wall posts you make on classmates' profiles. I've seen some interesting stuff on facebook from one student to another, and all I had to do was login to my account and there it was, sitting in the news feed.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
That would give you an advantage over the students who were in at the time. I'd consider that a form of cheating.
 

GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
3,211
373
Terminus
Say this:

"Professor, I was simply asking what chapters I need to study for the exam I need to take, not any specifics of what material from those chapters you actually put on the exam. I hope that doesn't warrant expulsion."

He'll feel like a huge moron if you include that last sentence.

EDIT: Unless of course you knew what chapters it covered and were literally asking people who already took the test for hints on what subjects were picked to be on it. In that case, you deserve everything coming to you.