Seven Sins: Sloth: A Mistaken Submission


Photo Illustration by Priya Reddy

Priya Reddy


Gif by Priya Reddy

The last five hours had passed in a frenzy of typing and then retyping, counting down the minutes until it was time to submit. As she clicked the small blue submit button that would take the essay out of her hands and into her teacher’s, she glanced at the time on the corner of her laptop screen. There were hardly five minutes left until the 10 p.m. deadline. As she watched the essay upload on, she repeatedly checked the clock until the small numbers in the upper right hand corner were about to switch to “10:00.” Her essay was submitted. She breathed a sigh of relief and then, as she looked back a minute later to confirm that she’d made it by the deadline, she spotted the name at the top of the submission.

Kashish Singal.

For a moment junior Trisha Anand sat still, attempting to understand how someone else’s name would appear on her essay. Her name was most certainly not “Kashish Singal.” And her name was clearly visible in size ten, arial font at the top of the website, so she hadn’t miraculously logged into the wrong account. Then, it became clear to her — in her haste, the frenzied, anxiety-induced scramble to make the deadline, she had submitted her friend’s essay in place of her own.

“I absolutely freaked out,” Anand said, “and so a minute later I messaged [my writing tutor]  and he didn’t respond for a long time, so I was freaking out for like ten minutes, and I was just freaking out completely.”

Anand had been running behind on writing her essay — a summative essay on The Scarlet Letter for English teacher Mark Carpenter’s Honors American Literature class. 

Though the assignment had been assigned weeks before, school, friends and life had conspired against her and so 3 p.m. the Wednesday it was due, found Anand in a mad dash to finish the paper in time.

The body paragraphs had come easily enough; she’d had to rewrite them a few times but at 3 p.m. she had enough to time — roughly seven hours — to restructure and rewrite those parts. It was the introduction and conclusion that were giving her trouble. She couldn’t get the phrasing just right, so Anand looked to her friend junior Kashish Singal for help.

I sent my essay to [Trisha] so that she could get an idea [of what to do],” Singal said. “She was struggling because she was basically writing an entire essay in one day and so I was like ‘Okay here’s my essay, and here’s how I kind of outlined it so you can use that as a reference.”

After looking through Singal’s essay she understood how to write the introduction and conclusion. And after writing her own introduction and conclusion, Anand was finally ready to submit. After she finally submitted the essay, relieved that it was over, she looked back to the screen, and there, blinking back at her from their position on the essay were the words “Kashish Singal.”

“His essay title just said ‘Scarlet Letter essay’ which was basically the same as mine,” Anand said, “so I just clicked it without thinking, rushing to make it, and I think I made the deadline spot on […] And then a minute later I saw the words ‘Kashish Singal’ on the name [line].”

Anand panicked. At the advice of her writing tutor Anand sent Carpenter an email explaining what had happened, anxiously awaiting his reply.

Later that night, Anand saw an email from him. He would allow her the benefit of the doubt, and let her resubmit. But for Anand the most nerve wracking part would be messaging Singal.

“I thought he was going to be super upset, that’s why I was super scared to tell him but he just started laughing, a lot,” Anand said. “And I was like ‘This is not funny, why aren’t you more mad at me?’ and I just apologized again and again.”

On the other side of the screen, Singal found the situation hilarious.

I wasn’t mad at all,” Singal said. “She was actually confused as to why I wasn’t mad, because it would probably show up on [] as 100% copied, but I just thought that was the funniest thing ever.”