I just need to vent this out.
Today (eh, yesterday) has been such an awful day. Four pretty big things happened to stress me out, but this one definitely takes the cake for the year.
I'm currently studying biology and chemistry. I want to go into medical research and development (specificlly neurological). It's just so interesting to me, and when it comes to workplace settings, the lab is the one place I feel most comfortable.
I got an email today from a professor of mine saying that while she was reading lab reports, she had moments of deja vu during one, went back to the ones she has already graded, and realized- that lab report had word-for-word and near-identical sentences and structure as my lab report (that I wrote with my group of two other people- Bob and Ellie, for reference).
Yes, plagiarism allegations here.
I take school seriously. I take labs very seriously. It's where I want to be! I have NEVER given or received unauthorized help for ANYTHING. At first I was in denial. Oh, this has to be a mistake! I emailed her back ensuring her that I wrote my section by myself, sent it to Bob and collaborated, couldn't get a hold of Ellie that night, and then it left my hands for good when I finally got it to Ellie for her to finish it off (she hadn't even written her part yet). I offer to forward all emails, all drafts I have saved, etc to help the investigation on this issue.
After talking with my lab partners, I found out that after Ellie had finished the report, she gave it to another student to proofread. For confidentiality reasons, we don't know whose the other report is, but we have our suspicions.
I get an email back tonight saying that after hearing everybody's input, she thinks she has a good idea about what happened, but because nobody has directly fessed up to anything, she has to treat us all similarly in the punishment: which ranges from docking points to giving us all 0s on the assignment to failing us all in the course.
I did the math. Having a 0 on the assignment would drop me from an A to a B. I worked my bum off for that A (I was taking three other courses, two of which were labs, plus I worked an extra lab this term too). Even half credit on the assignment would drop my A to a B. Having a B when I deserve an A? That in its own right is scary.
But what is worse is knowing that plagiarism allegations follow you. Even if you are as innocent as Christ, what matters is what is on academic record. It can keep you out of medical or graduate school, research opportunities, internships- any job in academia (and potentially jobs in any field of work; nobody wants to hire a CHEATER when there are so many applicants out there).
When I read the other report, it was so obvious that they had copied our material. The material copied was from one of my sections and Bob's section. Our writing is definitely better. We have flow. The copied sections in the other report aren't coherent with the rest of the writing. It is so OBVIOUS what happened- but again, what happened doesn't matter. What they say happened? That does matter.
So here I am, stressed above my limits. My whole future is really at stake here. If I end up being charged with assist in plagiarism, I'm taking it to the school board. I refuse to have my life messed with. If I had plagiarized at all, I'd own up to it. I believe every action has a consequence, and I'm not special. I get both good and negative as the world sees fit. But truth needs to prevail here. My career is at stake. My school records are at stake. I'm not okay with that. And all I can do right now is wait. The decision has to be made by noon tomorrow (today? the 20th) Mountain Time, so in less than 9 hours. I'm at the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what this means for me.
"One step in the right direction won't change the world, but it's a start. Someone's got to see the good in everything." -- Said the Whale, Banks of the English Bay
"Everything that you believe is everything you need right now." -- David Lanz, Whispered in Signs
|130 Days since: Binging/Restricting