WOOOO TWID, COMING DOWN THE HOMESTRETCH!!!
Having now had an entire quarter of getting to know students from the teaching side, I am betting that student was not doing well in the class, did not take good notes, and was looking for an excuse to blame someone else for his poor performance. Not being allowed to take torn-out pages from his notebook (or, more likely, notes he had copied from someone else and was claiming were his) was probably not the reason he walked off, but rather, the excuse he will use when he has to retake the class.
That seems pretty likely. On the way in, I quipped to the TA, "well, at least I'm not at the bottom of the class!"
I've definitely noticed a substantial difference between students who are struggling to understand the material, and students who are trying to half-ass their way through the class. It's the half-assers who tend to try to cheat. Irony... they usually cheat by copying from other half-assers, because the strugglers aren't going to help them (they're working too damn hard at really learning) and the top students definitely won't help them.
That sounds about right. Two days before the Genomics final draft was due, I was waiting for my GT&E classmates to talk about our final presentation. I had already submitted my final draft (in fact, I got the grade for it the day before, because, I like Genomics), and a classmate who I've never even noticed came up to me and was like "Hey, you're in my Genomics class, right?" "Umm... there's only one Genomics class?" "Yeah, can you help me with..." "No. I'm :waving at my laptop: busy doing something else for another class" "Ok, how long are you going to be here today?" "As long as I have to for :wave at laptop" this. Then I'm going to go to work because I need money."