Student: I don't understand why I got a zero for the final essay. It says here I plagiarized. That's so unfair. I worked very hard on this. You can ask my mother if you don't believe me.
Me: This entire part of your essay was copy-pasted from a website.
Student (raising her voice): What??? I never copy-pasted anything from any website. I wrote that myself. You can ask my mother who saw me work on the essay all night long.
Me: So you are telling me this is not copy-pasted from a website?
Student (almost yelling): I would never! Of course, not!!
Me: OK, let's enter this passage into Google Search. Oh, look what I found. Here is your passage verbatim on this website.
Student (starting to cry): Well, but the rest of the essay is good. I worked all night long. I don't deserve a bad grade for this.
Me: So you recognize that you plagiarized?
Student (sobbing and waving hands in my face): I never plagiarize!! You can ask my mother! She will tell you how hard I worked on this essay.
Me: Did we not just find this very text on a website?
Student: So? I worked hard! My mother. . .
Me: Copy-pasting from a website is not plagiarism?
Student (shrieking): I hate this course! I didn't understand anything you ever said in class. And I didn't understand any of the readings either.
Me: I'm surprised that I'm only hearing this now, on the last day of classes. Why did you never come to my ofiice hours, asked any questions in class, or emailed me to share your difficulties with the course?
Student (yelling at the top of her lungs at this point): Because what's the point if you are going to accuse me of plagiarism anyways? Why are you yelling at me anyways?
Me: What do you mean "accuse"? Didn't we just discover this entire passage verbatim on a website?
Student: This is so wrong! I worked hard!!!! Just ask my mother!
After which the student storms out of my office. My blood pressure goes through the roof and my hands are shaking. A colleague passing by sees me, looks scared, and asks if I need to be driven to the hospital. I later see the cheating student in the hallway complaining to other professors that bad, mean, horrible me dared to fail her for being a plagiarist.