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The Cheating Chronicles - Volume 06

Blah blah blah. Quarantine sucks. Let's get this fuckin party started. 

This is a blog about cheating and committing and fraud. It's made up of your stories. Here's last week's edition if that doesn't make any sense. 

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 carl@barstoolsports.com and I'll take care of the rest.

This week we have a guy painting his nails, a depressed physics teacher, a textbook psychology scam, a very manual B- and university wide investigation into an unreal hustle. 

Let's get to the submissions...


This Guy Painted His Nails For An A

Junior year of high school, we had to read a lot of classic books for our Literature class and take tests over them, mostly multiple choice. For the entire year, we could get away with reading the Sparknotes and get an A or B. Before the last test of the year, the teacher tells us she’s writing the test for Wuthering Heights specifically around the Sparknotes so you had to read the book, and she waited until the day before the test to tell us. Long book in old English, and my buddies and I haven’t read a page. One guy swipes an answer key from under the overhead projector after school and texts about 10 of us who haven’t read the book all 40 multiple choice answers. All of the other guys wrote them on slips of paper or printed them out very small so they could put them in their shoe or put it on the chair. Teacher finds out about the scam in one of the early periods and has a Couple TA’s come in and walk around during the test, demanding that everyone’s hands stay on the desk as she knows there are answer keys out there. Everyone else who was relying on this fails. 

Not me. The night before, I went to staples to the aisle with all the sharpies and found the 4 most different colors. I proceeded to make a 4 dot key on my left pinky nail, each colored dot corresponding to a letter A,B,C, and D, and then wrote the whole key out on my fingernails in tiny dots. To say the least, keeping my hands on the desk was not a problem. Most satisfying cheat of my career.

That was a nice twist. Going through all these high school submissions makes me realize just how lazy I was with my TI-83. That thing went everywhere. History. Religion. Spanish. And it was always loaded with answers because that's how you got through high school in the early 2000's. But now I'm realizing it was my generation that made school officials woke to the splendor of technology and thus we're back to painting our nails. You may not realize it now, but we're inspiring in a new wave of creativity and ingenuity. 

Another thing I love here - you accepted the casualties going in that some of you are going to fail. Someone is going to get busted. It's not an all or nothing effort in the least bit. And in this case, you sound like the only survivor and it's even better knowing that you 100% do not give a single fuck that you're the last man standing. That's part of being a dog in the classroom. And before anyone criticizes, remember that you were the one at staples the night before picking out multi colored sharpies. That kind of effort separates boys from men from world leaders. 

District Wide Cheating Scandal

I was a junior at Waubonsie Valley High School, which is located west of Chicago. We had a new first year teacher for our Physics class (almost like a trial run for him) and he was weird and way to enthusiastic about physics.

So in high school, we take our physics final a few weeks before finals week because some seniors are in the class and graduate before our official finals week. Due to this, the final has to be over two separate class periods. This dude gives us the WHOLE final on the first day and tells us not to look ahead and to stop halfway. So of course everyone is already thinking about looking ahead. He hands out the final, and then tells us he needs to run out of the classroom for like 10 minutes and tells everyone not to cheat. He didn’t even bother asking another teacher or someone to step in and watch us. Well one of my buddies in the class snapped some photos of the second half of the final and sent it to a few of us after class. Keep in mind there are also two other physics classes at our high school taking the same final. One thing leads to another and by the next day, everyone in the school has the second half of the final.

Class the next day goes as normal and we thought we were in the clear. We show up to class on Thursday or Friday and the teacher is literally in tears. He explains that the school found out that someone had to of cheated because pretty much everyone aced the second half. We then find out that the final is also used at the other two schools in our district (Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley) and they had not taken the final yet. So he had to spend all night rewriting a new final for the other two schools.

So the deans at every grade level are now in charge of figuring out who cheated and how someone got the answers. They end up calling down a total of probably 90 kids into the offices for questioning. Some of my friends who aren’t even in physics were called down and questioned about it. They end up narrowing it down to a few of us in my class and give us zeros for the second half of the final (I can’t remember if everyone got zeros on the second half or only us) They can’t fail us for the whole thing because so many people were caught cheating and it was literally a district wide cheating scandal.

We end up finding out it was some chick in another physics class that ratted everyone out because she did bad and didn’t use the answers. She agreed to hand over her phone to the dean who went through her messages and traced it back to my buddy.

Our teacher is so upset we end up spending the last week or two of class literally just sitting in silence all period long cause he didn’t have the heart to teach and couldn’t believe we would do this to him.

There's something about a broken high school teacher like this guy that makes my smile. I know that's fucked up, but you can't tell me this guy boldly giving up on the last 2 weeks of school isn't a hilarious image. I'm picturing a science purist. 

But softer

Someone who understands that generations of inspired physicists is so much more valuable than one good physicist. So he gives up his career to shape your minds and in return you give him a district wide cheating scandal that most definitely ruined the next 3-5 years of his career.

The other thing that stands out here is the investigation component from the deans office. And it makes me wonder just how wild of a job it is to be a dean at an American high school. Enforcing rules upon an excessively unruly group of developing humans sounds like a miserable job. Everyone's lying their way through puberty, hustling publicly funded education and generally wasting time. And the deans are the ones tasked with keeping shit in order so teachers don't completely lose it like Gale here. 

Makes you wonder what kind of life experiences prepare you to deal with all the teenage assholes of the world. Or more importantly, who voluntarily wants to take on that responsibility? People don't talk about it much, but deans have it the worst. High school kids for the most part are complete assholes. For evidence, read this blog. 

Classic System

It was a few years ago in high school but this is worth the read.

A ton of my friends and I took AP Pyschology junior year of high school and we set up a system. We had about 20 units in which there was a multiple choice packet and a worksheet for homework.  Every time these were due my friends and I scrambled to copy a trusted friends homework in the 10 min before school started in the morning in the library. Looking back I just wonder how obvious we were and how desperate 10-15 guys at one library table trying to copy homework looked. We did this for every unit, the packet and worksheet probably took over 3 hours to complete so we saved ourselves probably 60 hours of work.

This same trusted smart friend in the first hour of the class would write down the multiple choice answers to each exam. This began in September of the year and lasted all the way to April. It started out with just a group of maybe 10-15 guys using the answers but as word got out about our system it got out of hand. I am not fully sure exactly the percentage of people cheating but out of maybe 150 students taking the class at least 50 were cheating by the time April rolled around. People would hide these answers in many ways such as typing a note on their phone, writing down the answers on a piece of paper, and my personal favorite; writing the answers on the label of a propel bottle to have ultimate security from being accused of cheating. 

Fast forward to April and we all have A’s in the class despite not doing any work. Keep in mind this is an AP class which is supposed to be hard and all of us dumb jocks are killing this class. In April we had a mid term exam in which the teacher tricked us. He switched the order of the exam questions for each separate class and as a result he found that maybe 50 kids had the exact same answers. (How did he not do this sooner?)

His response was that he had a list of suspected people who were cheating and we had 2 days to come forward and be honest to mitigate the punishment. Of course we all took the bait and admitted it, receiving 50% credit.  My friends and I were reminiscing about this the other weekend and we came to the conclusion that he definitely never had a list of names, he was bullshitting us and we fell for it. Since this was an AP class you can take an AP exam in the spring to get college credit. What do you know, all of us with A’s as a result of a pure cheating scam got 1’s out of 5’s on the exam. This seriously fucked with the schools data and administration had trouble finding the reason so many people were getting good grades in the class and then failing the AP exam. 

In conclusion, I did not learn a single thing from high school psychology and recommend future generations to take advantage of the system and cheat. Just don’t fall for the guilt trip that the teacher will try to use when he/she catches on, he got us don’t let him/her get you.

Really is just your classic cheating system start to finish. Couple entrepreneurial spirits spark the flame of the rebellion and come April the entire school is up for grabs. I've literally seen it a hundred times in my life. 

Part of me has started to feel bad for teachers like this guy. He was probably delighted throughout the year to feel that he was reaching his students and making a difference. Finally he got a class that would vibe with his lesson plans and it showed on test day. If you were him there's a 0% chance you'd suspect cheating either because - simply put - you wouldn't want to see it. I'm sure there's a name for this kind of paradox but you get the point. 

Ultimately though you should take comfort that this is HS psychology. You are in the vast majority of 17 year olds that did not absorb one thing in two semesters of taking a psychology class. Not great, but if anything that prepares you for college because psychology is such a cupcake bullshit course at the next level. So while the 1 on the AP exam is pretty embarrassing, you'll be ready for the real fight when you get to campus in the fall assuming there's a campus in the fall. 

38 --> 88

I was a finance major in college but had to take an organic chemistry course as an elective, I thought sure, no problem. Turns out it’s all pre-med and nursing students taking the course and I don’t understand a damn thing. There were 3 quizzes or tests, as it was an 8 week course - organic chem 102 or whatever was the following 8 weeks. Well, I also played baseball and this was the fall semester, and I was very much desperate to be eligible for the upcoming season (had a good year, hey how ya doin’). You know as well as anyone how desperate some athletes are to be eligible. Test 1, I score a 38. Test 2, a 74 (definitely cheated on this) For the final, I know I was not going to get anything higher than a 75. So I sprung into action. The teacher was old school and kept grades in those old grade books. One day, he left it at the front of the class where I finagle my way to sit right next to it. My intention were not to change my grade but I thought, shit, I can change my grade and be eligible here and not stress on the final. So I did! I took my pencil, and changed the 38 and completed the 3 into an 8 — 88 for those keeping track. Boom, mission completed but i was nervous as can be because the chick I sat next to, saw this all go down. I’m like Fuck, do I have to commit murder now after I just cheated? Is my coach going to find out and I get kicked off the team? Everything was going through my head. I left it all alone and waited until my coach would call me in and tell me I was ineligible. Never happened, grade came out and B-.

You got balls kid and I like it.

Investigation

I went to a notable school in the south on a music scholarship. There was an online course called "Computer Proficiency" that many students were required to take. It consisted of three interactive sections -- Excel, Powerpoint, and Word. You took a pre-test before learning anything, and if you did well enough, you automatically passed the course. There was no actual schedule for the course, only the due date at the end of the semester.

Naturally, as college students do, many kids would wait until the last few days of the semester to attempt the course. Quickly though, they realized that the questions were in-depth and the whole interactive "excel in a browser" concept was dumb -- one wrong click on your way to create a Pivot Table and you got the question wrong.

Freshman year, a couple buddies gave me $20 to do it for them. My sophomore year, however, an entrepreneurial friend of mine (I'll call him T) decided to take us to the next level. He put the word out that I was acing the pre-test for people, and we were charging $80 (the job only took me about 20 minutes once I got good). I remember the beautiful thrill of receiving texts from him -- "got another one," complete with their login information -- on a regular basis. Quickly surpassed double digit clients. $1000+ under the table is a lot for a college kid. 

It was the Fall semester, so of course Christmas was just around the corner and I had the means to get some great gifts for the family. Life was good.

One day I got a call from my guy…

T: "Dude. They got us."

Me: "Haha fuck you."

T: "No I'm serious they got us"

Me: "No, you're joking. You're fucking with me."

T: "No"

You get the idea. They saw the same IP addresses and the short completion times. The kids I did the course for all received emails from the department head informing that they failed the course due to cheating. T was getting calls and texts left and right, fielding questions from kids who were scared to death they were about to get expelled and blow their parents' trust funds because they were too lazy to complete an online course on software they would absolutely need to use in future courses.

Meanwhile, he was formulating a plan.

Each kid had to schedule a meeting with the department head to discuss the situation. So T fed them all the story.

1. No money was exchanged.

2. T was not involved

3. We met up and I 'helped them' complete the course as a friendly favor. 

4. We used my laptop, hence the same IP.

After all their meetings, I get an email from the department head to schedule a meeting of my own. T checked in with everybody to ensure they stuck to the script.

I went in to meet the guy and… I'm immediately relieved. He starts stroking me for how fast I was finishing the tests -- "record time," he said. Asked me if I wrote a code that was completing the tests for people.. that's how good I got. He got into the whole "these kids need to learn in this course so they don't go on to fail accounting" but mostly he was just loving on me, amazed I wasn't a computer science major. Thanks Gary.

Did the best we could on keeping the money but some kids were pretty hot about it. Since they stuck to the script so well, we gave some of them back 50%.

Funny enough they completely eliminated the course from the course requirements the next year.

Again, imagine being an adult and quarterbacking this investigation into some bullshit computer proficiency test. Although to be fair and before we go any further - that really is all you need to know when you graduate. If you can't work in excel get the fuck off my team. If you can't make a powerpoint sizzle how the fuck did you graduate from Michigan State? Stuff like that. No one will ever expect you to know how to calculate the Weighted Average Cost of Capital off the top of your head but lord all fucking mighty if you don't know what a VLOOKUP is then you're not in finance. Clients pay for Microsoft deliverables don't ever forget it. 

In this case, I respect the hustle a lot because $1000 is actually a lot of money to everyone. Not just college kids. And that you were smart enough to use the proceeds to pay off the witnesses is even more impressive. This is the kind of personal statement material that gets you into Yale Law and I'm not joking. Take some life risks and learn some shit in the process. Like (a) get your story straight, always. (B) you get what you pay for. (3) IP addresses are going to come back and haunt all of us some day. And (d) you know you're onto something when the college changes its curriculum. 

Think about that last one for a second. How many students can impact a university-wide academic requirement? Imagine being the guy as a junior and senior on campus that got the Excel pivot table test cancelled for good? You can't set the total on free drinks or casual sex high enough. At the end of the day, you should get so much more than a beef and that's about the most impressive compliment I can pay anyone, ever. 


Got a story about cheating or generally committing fraud? Email me carl@barstoolsports.com. All submissions are anonymous.