It's lunch time Tuesday which means another volume of the Cheating Chronicles, a weekly blog dedicated to stoolies that have committed some kind of fraud. Usually it's academic in nature, but I'm open to other hustles provided I won't be federally investigated in the process. So please use your best judgment before sending me something extremely fucked up.
For the newcomers, here's last week's edition:
If you like what you see and have a similarly stupid story about cheating, send it to me for the blog. All you have to do is email your story to email@example.com and I'll take care of the rest.
This week we have our first taste of stolen property, an extremely creepy interview for the school paper, a near expulsion over mistaken gender, a B+ bluff, fraudulent SAT's, and one of the most genius tricks I've ever encountered.
Let's get to the submissions…
Buenos Dias Amigos
In 9th grade I was taking Spanish One. Didn’t know a lick of Spanish, and was not prepared to learn. About two weeks in I stole my teacher’s “Teacher’s Edition” text book. The only work we would get assigned came straight from the book, and his (now mine) had all the answers. He was not the brightest guy so he really thought he had just lost the book. And since he wasn’t the brightest guy, it didn’t raise a red flag that all of my homework was perfectly done while my tests were far from that. During tests I would just look at someone else’s paper and skate by with D’s maybe a C here and there. Like I said earlier about his brightness… cheating wasn’t all that difficult. I didn’t even have to cheat that hard since I knew I wasn’t even going for an A. It was just funny to see him not using the teachers book during class and fumble around with the answers from time to time. I ended up getting a C+ on the year. With that not being a good enough grade to advance to Spanish Two which was my goal all along..just enough to pass… I ended up opting for the standard diploma instead of the advanced. A year or so later my mom was raiding my room and found the book. Well I think this happened because a friend asked to use it and it was nowhere to be found. I felt bad I couldn’t help the guy out since he knew how much of a blessing the book was for me. The teacher later got asked to leave the school because he was a creepy guy so I don’t feel bad about the cheating/stealing. I ended up having to take a semester of Spanish in college and was in the same class as my roommate. He tried hard and got an A. I'll leave the rest up to your imagination on how that ended up for me.
I'm pretty sure this is our first story of someone physically stealing property to cheat and honestly guys I didn't think it would be a Level-1 "Teacher's Edition" Spanish textbook. I'm thinking an old test or maybe a pop quiz for the next period. Burglarizing room 206 off-hours takes a lot more courage. The fact it was used on homework through the year brings up a fair question.
IN HIGH SCHOOL - Is it better to have a copy of the final so you can ace the biggest part of the grade? Or is it better to have all the answers to the homework so you don't have to do any of it throughout the year? I know in college I'll take the final 100/100 times because there's basically no such thing as real homework. But in high school you gotta slug through that bullshit nearly every single day. Worksheet here. Definitions there. Conjugate a list of 20 verbs about playing sports and going to the grocery store. On it goes and it fucking blows. But then again you could just as easily copy that in lunch if you have semi-social skills. It's a tough debate.
Personally I'll take the homework, but that's only on the basis that I don't have to pick a lock to steal the textbook. Some lines I won't cross and that's one of them because I guess I'm just a huge pussy.
I Swear I'm Not Being Creepy
Through the unfortunate combination of the death of print media and a drastic shortage of journalists at an Ag school, I was able to I write for our University’s newspaper. I was a biology major for God’s sake. Even still, I had a weekly column about stupid shit and would cover various sporting events (oddly enough, our women’s golf team somehow had a recruiting pipeline in like South Africa, so they dominated and that was the best beat to cover). It was a fun gig and kept me from going to the bars 6 nights a week.
Anyway, there was a girl I’d been wanting to take on a date for a couple months but she wouldn’t give me the time of day. She was the president of a sorority on campus and I guess was not that interested in my Great Clips hair cut and portly frame.
I decided I needed to change my approach. I leaned into being a journalist (again, I absolutely wasn’t). I messaged her and said I was writing a column on “outstanding leaders at the university” and wanted to interview her. Name dropped a couple prominent administrators on campus who I would be “meeting with next week for interviews”. I said I really wanted to dive into her life and get to know her. It was going to be a “featured interview — might be two or three full pages in the newspaper”. Just layer after layer of bullshit.
So, obviously, this worked. Who doesn’t want to get interviewed about how fantastic they are?
I met her at the sorority (hardoooo) and “interviewed” her for about an hour. Made up questions as I went — mostly questions I’d have asked on a real date. Nothing about leadership. Yanno, parents, siblings, hobbies, etc. But there’s enough overlap there that the line was fairly blurred. I scribbled and jotted fake noted on a legal pad — I acted very professional.
Towards the end I realized she thought the whole thing was legit. I guess I should have anticipated this. I had hoped she would catch on that it was a Hail Mary charade, but it was over her head. She started asking when it would be published and how she could get a copy. I didn’t have the heart to tell her.
In running back the film a few months later, I think I dug in too far and played the part too well. Method acting at its finest. I was Dustin Hoffman from All the Presidents Men. A real journalist. I think I even started sweating about a fake deadline and how Adobe InDesign sold out print media users with their updated interface.
Anywho, I realized this would never transition to a second “date” and, in fact, she was going to be devastated when no article ever came out. That night was going to be the beginning and the end.
And it was.
I avoided her for months and months after that because I didn’t want to have the conversation about the lengths I’d gone to for 60 minutes of conversation. I think if she’d asked, I would have said it got axed at final review by the editors for being too raw and too real.
Regardless, I know way more about her now than I ever would had if we went to the movies or split a plate or nachos at Applebee’s. And make no mistake — it absolutely was a date.
This isn't a cheating story as much as it is 100% pre-crime. I'm uncomfortable even criticizing this guy because I don't want to get murdered in a grocery store parking lot. That said, you're an absolute psychopath for doing this. It's like a bad Ben Stiller movie from the late 90's.
At the same time it's such a slam dunk way to get 1-on-1 time with anyone I can't help but respect the creativity. Just maybe use it to land a job interview or make a career introduction as opposed to an immensely creepy attempt at a 1st date.
And while on topic - No… it's definitely not a date. If anything, it's evidence that most guys should remain quarantined when this is all over. Thanks for scaring all the babes.
That's What You Get For Being A Try Hard
It was the spring semester after initiating in my fraternity at Illinois, and on a power trip being able to have pledges do shit for me, I decided to have one go to an extra credit guest speaker talk for me on a Thursday night. Kid comes back with a glowing summary of everything I needed, I spent maybe ten minutes condensing things into a one page summary, and fired it off and submitted it.
Mind you, this was the most basic of basic classes offered online at Illinois, LER 100 (labor employment relations). The answers to all of the tests and quizzes literally did not change from at least 2008 until 2015. I had a guaranteed A in the class, and absolutely did not need this extra credit at all.
Fast forward a week later, I get an email from my professor about a discrepancy with my extra credit summary. Turns out the guest speaker was a man (with a super gender neutral name like Sam or Taylor), and I referred to the person as a woman throughout my report. Not only did I have to give up this poor pledge's name (who wasn't even in the class) to avoid one of us getting expelled, I had to disclose it six years later when trying to get my law license after law school. Thankfully only ended up with only a reduced letter grade in the glass, and absolutely got what I deserved for being a try hard to boost my GPA for a class I already had a guaranteed A in already.
Cheating when you don't have to cheat is a slap in the face to guys like me everywhere. That's exactly what you get for making a half-class pledge sit in on a Thursday night guest speaker when that pledge could be sober driving actives to the bar, or cleaning up the pregame, or basically anything other than sitting in an 100-level extra credit class. Pledgeship is about the house, not the individual.
The real punishment though is that you're now a licensed lawyer. That means you took the LSAT, went to law school, paid for law school, took the bar, passed the bar and are now presumably doing something in the legal industry. Consider me extremely jaded, but you'd be better off if your trouble prevented all of that from happening. Instead you get death by a zillion cuts starting with your 2400 annual billable hours. Lord have mercy on your soul. (Christ have mercy). Lord have mercy. (Christ have mercy.)
In my senior year of high school me and my friend both had the same economics teacher. We both missed a test due to a field trip, and we had to come in and make up the test. We both pushed off making up the test until the end of the semester. Knowing we hadn’t studied for the test and would probably fail it if I took it, we had to think of something.
So before class one day, we went up to our teacher and asked him why our makeup test wasn’t graded. He looked confused, and I was afraid he would remember we haven’t actually taken it, so I quickly accuse him of losing it and I begin to look and act “worried” as that day was the end of the semester and grades would be due. He all of the sudden “finds” me and my friends test. I received 88 and my friend a 75. My friend was pissed the teacher thought he was dumber than me.
Our lawyer friend should take some notes here. This is how you manipulate a situation to your benefit without folding like a lawn chair. Not that I generally recommend this move - it's complete savagery. But if you can pull it off, by all means go ahead and drag your balls all over the high school hallway. Just a remarkable level of confidence that should hopefully follow this guy everywhere through life.
As for your buddy, tough look with the 75. Obviously that's better than (a) having to take it and (b) bombing horrifically. But at the same time we're talking high school economics which means drawing 2-dimension graphs that ALWAYS look like an X. Every now and then you have to divide whole numbers. If your teacher is blindly giving you a rock-solid C on a nonexistent test, you might need to clean it up before heading off to ISU.
My High School Hockey Goalie Got Me Into Syracuse
So it's my Senior year in high school. I start looking at colleges, checking out SAT and GPA requirements. I visit a number of schools and eventually land on Syracuse being my number 1-5. Fall in love with the school and need to go there. So I check out the GPA and SAT requirements.
At this point I had done ok on my PSAT's (1250, this was back when a perfect score was 2400), and my GPA was around a 3.0. I check out Cuse's requirements…..average GPA 3.75, SAT's 1600. I did some adding and subtracting (C- in Algebra 1), and realize there's no shot.
I decide to go early decision to try to help my odds, but that meant I'd need to apply in a month. The only way I was getting in was if I (1) crushed the personal essay, which was due in a week and heavily emphasized as a big deal, and (2) blow that 1600 on the SAT out of the park. The test was that weekend so I go in on Saturday to take it with a couple of my friends. I played hockey in high school, so needless to say all of my friends are dumb as shit (sup boys). Except one of my best friends growing up who happened to be a whiz at math (he was the goalie, of course).
Now anyone that has taken the SAT's knows how many variations of them there are, and how much they would talk about not cheating because questions could look the same but have one small difference that changes the answer completely…yeah so i'm sure you see where this is going.
My buddy and I open the first section, it's the exact same. Writing. We start angling our books so we can see what each other wrote. I remember thinking "this is ironic, but no way it happens again". We open up the next section, Math. I peak over, his first question is the exact same. So is the second, and third…and soon we realize so was the entire section. I'm talking the exact same order for the multiple choice answers. We do this section by section until we realize we have the exact same test.
I copied 80% of his math section. I get a 1750 and write my college essay on the "5 lessons I learned working at subway". The first lesson was "never judge a person by their footlong". They called me personally (Early Decision thing) and told me my essay had them on the floor laughing and based on that and SAT's I was in.
Thank god for goalies.
Something like this happens and I'm inclined to call it Destiny. Like the College Admissions Gods wanted you to get into Syracuse, so they gifted you the exact copy of your test in the hands of your only smart friend (sup boys). The only question then is whether you have the courage to act on this opportunity and you did. So in a way, you earned that 1750 just as much as someone taking it on their own. That's the level of the playing field - not just in standardized tests - but life in general. Personally I blame Wall Street, but a lot of that has to do with me recently watching the Big Short. I highly recommend it.
The Kind Of Genius You Can't Test For
Straight to the point story about an efficient way to buy yourself more time on an essay.
Due date and we're all passing in our essays but I'd only written 1 page and wasn't nearly done, so I put a staple in the top left corner and put it in with everyone else's. Multiple days later my teacher calls me up and apologizes for somehow losing the "other pages" of my essay. By that point I had actually finished and brought it to school the next day. Cheated and had my teacher apologize for it.
I think my favorite submissions are the ones where you're physically beating the system. Earlier we had a guy boldly tell a HS econ teacher he lost his test. That's borderline reckless. In this case, you command a lot more control over the problem without having to completely go all in on your academic credibility. No one in their right mind would possibly accuse a student of only turning in one page of an essay when there's a staple at the top. Just a remarkably clean academic heist that has me jealous of my younger days. Kudos to you.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'd rather hire and work with someone like this than the top student in your class. Give me the creative brain that can take some chances and find a loophole over Johnny Powerpoint all day. Maybe not the safest route but if we're in the business of creating value (everyone is in the business of creating value), then you're going to need to think outside the box. And let there be no doubt, single staple essays is outside the box.
Let's keep the submissions coming so we can start organizing these moves into one condensed list. It would be a nice present for everyone returning to a college campus next semester. 50 Ways To Skate by Barstool Carl is just me trying to do my part. Help me help you.
Got a story about cheating or generally committing fraud? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are anonymous.