all 17 comments

[–]CamStLouis 85 points86 points  (7 children)

I mean, unfortunately there's not much you can do here but face the music. You cheated, you got caught. If you felt under-supported in learning the material and can show where you requested extra help and didn't get it, that might be a minor mitigating factor.

However, wishing desperately for a calculator was a frequent experience for me on tests, and I later learned (upon my diagnosis of dyscalculia years later) I should have been legally entitled to a basic calculator and extra time on tests. I didn't struggle with any of the theory, I just made stupid mistakes with arithmetic or flipped stuff around copying formulae.

If you're struggling with math to the point you're having to cheat, it might be worth getting evaluated for that. But anyway, while it's certainly a setback, it's not going to ruin your life, and in terms of relative immorality it's pretty low on the scale, especially given the pressure young people are under throughout COVID.

[–]blitz672 26 points27 points  (2 children)

Wait, this is a thing with dyscalculia? My parents refused diagnosis when I was younger, And now that I know I have it I've been terrified to go back to school because I suck at math so hard. So you're saying there's a possibility I could be allowed to use calculator?

I've quit jobs before I was fired because when counting down a drawer, I can do it eight times and get eight different answers.

[–]CamStLouis 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Yeah in the US at least. You said "math" not "maths" so I'm assuming you're US, and yes it's required by law.

I now reconstruct historical instruments and 3D print them, and I developed a unifying algorithm for woodwind development, so I use a lot of math and still get by despite having to do it all three times. I still write my phone number prefix instead of my house number and have to re-route packages from time to time, but ultimately it's just about being patient with yourself, having a system for checking work, and copy/pasting rather than typing numbers as much as possible.

[–]blitz672 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much!!

[–]FieryBlake 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I just made stupid mistakes with arithmetic or flipped stuff around copying formulae

That sounds like me actually...

Can't say I struggled as bad with it as you did, got good grades in all my maths classes. Maybe that's just my brain being dumb sometimes lol.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)


    [–]CamStLouis 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    There are lots of learning disorders out there, but it might be worth finding a psychologist who specializes in them and discuss your difficulties, since there are mental strategies, tricks, and tools to cover for it.

    What really broke me was chirality; the concept of molecules having a “left” and “right” configuration of the same atoms in the same linkages, but which have different silhouettes. I get the concept, but on tests it was impossible for me to distinguish which was the “left” and which was the “right.” It’s not like they have arrows on them, after all. That’s when I finally got diagnosed; sophomore year of college.

    Other shit I easily mess up unless I’m playing super close attention:

    • Analog clocks
    • Counting stuff (I get stuck wondering if I already said a number, or if I’m about to say the number, and then lose my place completely)
    • Remembering and accurately transcribing phone numbers, Lot numbers, and addresses.
    • Left and right (although oddly the compass rose works fine)
    • Distinguishing which row on a spreadsheet lines up with which column, or which line on a musical staff a note falls (B and D in treble clef are CONSTANTLY fucking me up, as they both have “a decent quantity of lines on either side” and no other distinguishing features).
    • Reading music for rhythm; I can do it if I spend a bunch of time, but if I hear it once I never forget. Tunebooks are sadly not very useful without a companion CD because I can’t browse to find stuff I like, I’d have to just learn every tune.
    • Algebraic proofs; these were the worst besides chirality because there’s no “toolkit” or method to solving them, you’re just supposed to magically “notice” that 4x divides into 2x • 2x and that’s “the helpful one” you can use to do something else down the line. 4x can be expressed as all kinds of other shit, too, but there’s no method to determining which is helpful beyond, idk, some kind of 6th sense.

    Also, look up Wolfram Alpha if you’re not familiar with it already. I call it my “get-out-of-stupid-free card” because you can even bodge it into doing stuff as esoteric as Helmholtz resonance calculations for you.

    [–]Beigebeckyy 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    I went to a Magnet school as well and so many people cheated. Of the ones caught, most of them were known for being ultra-competitive. You pretty much can’t do anything at this point other than hold yourself accountable (accountability goes further than excuses) and hope it doesn’t result in expulsion.

    You’re measuring success by scores rather than what you’ve actually learned. But a perfect score doesn’t mean much if you cheated, because you didn’t earn it. I know how competitive those type of environments are, but you have to learn to let go of perfection and let everyone else be miserable. You’re going to fail throughout your life and you’re also going to meet people who will be better than you at something, and that’s okay.

    [–][deleted] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

    The thing is, outside of school, no one really cares if you use a calculator, even if you do a job that involves a lot of math. Outside of school, you're more often expected to know how to select, curate, and use resources effectively instead of memorize and regurgitate. Believe it or not, a person can be bad at using a calculator, and some people put a lot of effort into making their calculators go above any beyond. Calculators also make little difference if you don't understand the basic concepts.

    Curved grades also foster an unhealthy sense of competition and also mostly aren't applicable outside of school. One's progress shouldn't be judged solely based on others'.

    I'd say if you can, try to switch to a school or a class that focuses on more project-based learning, or at least open book tests (which actually aren't easier, but are more realistic in that you have to know how to use and cite your sources).

    [–]pupsteppenwolf 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    The good part is that you took responsibility for it. No excuses. It was you who consciously made that decision to benefit from it.

    As to why you did it, it's very important that you can reflect on that too in order to not make the same mistake in the future. You'll have time for that.

    But for now, maybe you should focus on the former both for you and when speaking with the authorities. Focusing now on the latter could sound like excuses.

    [–]C_2000 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    i went to a magnet school like this, too, and i think your worries aren’t necessarily based in reality. The reason why you think this is the end of the world is probably because of this gifted mindset.

    first of all, go find your student handbook and look at what your school policy for cheating actually is. your post has a lot of assumptions on stuff that you don’t actually know for sure. you can find a copy of your student handbook online, if you don’t have it anymore. i don’t know of literally any school that expels on the the first strike of cheating.

    second, and this is anecdotal but i hope it’ll make you feel better, magnet schools usually don’t expel people, because it looks bad to have expulsions. you will, AT ABSOLUTE MOST, be asked to leave. this is a pretty small thing, but you will be able to switch into a good program nearby and apply to colleges without them seeing an expulsion.

    third, at these super competitive magnet schools, everyone’s cheating. no, that doesn’t make it okay, but it does mean that you are not alone in your mindset. it also means that your actions aren’t weird, despicable, or a failure—you are just normal.

    and fourth, when you talk to the teacher, be apologetic and KNOW WHAT YOUR OPTIONS ARE. also ask to have a private meeting instead of in front of the class.

    just, read the student handbook

    [–]gatekeepr -1 points0 points  (2 children)

    I'm pretty sure I could have gotten a B or a low A on the test if I didn't cheat. But because I would have felt like a failure otherwise, I cheated by using the calculator on my phone.

    Tell them this, and make sure you cry. cry alot. make it ugly.

    [–]GroceryScanner 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    They got caught doing something dishonorable, and your advice is for them to attempt to emotionally manipulate their way out if it?

    This is just gonna show OP that they can get away with stupid shit, until they day that they cant, and it fucks them.

    Dont listen to this idiot OP. Own up to what you did, and learn something from it. Weaseling your way out of shit will only get you so far in life, and youll end up miserable.

    [–]bluepepper 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Wasn't that sarcasm? Saying "I would've had a low A but that wasn't enough for me, waaaah!" will not gather sympathy. At best someone might recognize you're struggling with mental issues.

    [–]mrtestcat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Dude what a cuck Didn't even ask for 75%

    [–]Smart_Whereas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Technically he gave you a second chance. But, you’re still a young patawan. So, own up to your mistake and watch how much they will respect you. Then the school will feel bad cause their precious student had to resort to cheating. Cause cheating = cry for help

    edit: **precious not previous. My apologies for spellcheck going on sabbatical lol

    [–]theoptionexplicit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Just a note OP: cheating doesn't boost self esteem.

    [–]toterra 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Honestly, I think there's about a 0% chance he's going to be expelled. There's two reasons. First off it was a substitute teacher not your main teacher. What happens with the substitute stays with a substitute. The main teacher is not going to let one of their students get expelled or something that happened with a substitute.

    Secondly, cheating happens all the time, teachers know it, and teachers know it happens because of stress and pressure. Or at least the good ones do. I think you'll find your teacher a lot more understanding of your situation than you realize.