Lurking eyes within the classroom

Lurking eyes within the classroom

The final bell rings, and nervous students file into their seats surrounding my desk. 

Anxiously, my foot taps the floor like a metronome: a beat is never missed. 

I toss my pencil back and forth in my shaky hands as my mind scrolls through the facts found in the notes and textbooks I spent hours cementing into my mind. 

Suddenly, a crisp, blank Scantron sheet appears on my desk, and a freshly printed packet of intimidating questions follows directly behind. 

My pencil jumps onto the answer sheet and hesitantly writes my name in the long, rectangular identification box. I flip to the first question, scan the answer options, and scribble lead into the the second bubble from the right: answer B. My eyes head towards the succeeding question, but they pick up on something other than the words within the test packet: eyes.

The set of curious, confused eyes to my right have turned their attention from their personal test materials and are now searching for refuge on my Scantron sheet. Their presence is now known to me, and it seems to be all I can focus on. 

Cheating is plagiarism; it must be taken more seriously.”

With each bubble my pencil scribbles in, the nervous, sweaty hands to my right imitate my movements, marking the same answers as those filling up my own bubble sheet. The hours I spent studying and preparing are suddenly slipping away as my focus is shifting from the information within the test materials towards the hovering eyes that seem to be glued to my desk. 

The set of eyes linger on the crispy, white pages on top of my desk; they strip from my mind all of the information I once thought I knew so well. As I begin to struggle through each question, my mind can’t help but spin. Searching for the information it knows it holds, my mind becomes a blur. But still, it notices the lurking blue eyes to my right. 

Without confidence, I reach the final question, fill in the final bubble, and cringe as the imitator at my side does the same. With much dismay, I gather my materials and place the pile of paper into the metal, gray turn-in basket. 

Moments later, the owner of the lurking, blue eyes stack their papers into a neat pile of plagiarized work. 

The time I spent studying and preparing was meant to benefit my personal grades, not those of my neighbor as well. 

As the passing bell sounds, the blue eyes give me one last glance, and then they simply leave the room as if nothing had ever happened. 

Cheating happens every day and all around. 

Cheating is plagiarism.

It must be taken more seriously.