Monday, June 27, 2005

Sentencing in the prep school felon case

News of the sentencing in the case of the former Dallas prep schooler/university student who was arrested in England. Got off light, I'd say.

Don't think I've ever mentioned it here, but this young Soprano-wannabe was enrolled in my mass media history class during his freshman year. Except he wasn't there. He found a loophole in the syllabus. If he showed up for the exams, which were the primary criteria for grading the large lecture class, he didn't need to come to the lectures. So he never did.

I learned that it is wise to keep file cards on the students. Each file card has the student's photo and his or her handwritten signature. After each exam, they turn in the answer sheets, pull their file cards, I look at them to make sure the faces match the cards, and the students sign and date the back of the cards. Sounds like a silly little system, but it keeps us both honest -- they can't claim I lost their test and I can't claim they didn't show up for it. The proof is on the card. I used the ploy because of what Prep Felon pulled.

He was paying another boy in class to take the exams for him. Took me two quizzes to figure it out because there were 108 students in this class and I didn't notice that the kid taking Felon's tests was actually turning in two Scantron sheets (the bubble-in forms that can be computer-graded), one for himself and one for Prep Felon. At the midterm I confronted the quiz-mule. He confessed immediately and stood there quivering in his Timberlands as I told him that his crafty young employer was receiving an F in the class and so was he. He could pass the message to PF. Also, I never wanted to lay eyes on either of them again.

Judging from Prep Felon's record, he didn't give a whip about grades anyway. He was too busy cooking up drugs and fake driver's licenses over in his dorm room. He was arrested the following semester. His folks bailed him out and he went on the lam across the pond, where he continued his lucrative crime spree by hooking up with the Russian mob.

The kid grew up with money, so his dorm room must have seemed mighty small when he moved in that freshman year. That British "gaol" cell will feel a whole bunch smaller.


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