Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cheating in School - OFF TOPIC

I have been reading what percentage of students admit to cheating. I am not surprised that some majors have a high percentage of cheating, but I was astounded to read 54% of engineering graduates admit to cheating. I am sure there would be some cheaters in any profession, but 54%!

The person you hurt when you cheat is yourself.

I know very well that this sounds like something that your teacher might say as some saying or lesson. However, it is entirely true and profoundly true. The hurt, the victimization of yourself is profound and deep.

Cheating is wrong also. However, I doubt the efficacy of saying that cheating is morally wrong is sufficient to limit it. I have never cheated, nor even contemplated cheating in the least. I think to cheat would be horrible, you would have to associate with a crummy person -- yourself.

However, back to victimization. If you cheat you will not drive yourself as hard to study to master a topic. You will not learn as much as if you resolved to study hard. This is the lessor loss of cheating. The major loss is that you will not master yourself, challenge yourself, nor test yourself.

To master a topic and get good grades you will have to study hard, and push yourself. You will have to resist doing other activities that might give an evening's fun instead of grinding through and comprehending something. You will have to manage time. You will have to control yourself and know yourself.

If you will feed back on tests and papers and learn your limits, learn what you need to do to be better, you will grow in abilities.

If you cheat you will never know if you have the wherewithal to take a challenge and overcome.

How much preferable to learn skills of learning, tackling tough problems, managing your time and yourself, in learning Chemistry 101, or Medieval History or some other class, than having to start learning these things during a serious challenge in your life after you graduate.

Finally, I don't think cheating will give you much better grades. The students who don't cheat, have discipline, work harder, are abler learners with more effective study habits. You will be mostly competing with the other cheaters.

In the end you will be someone who will cheat again. After all if you rationalize cheating once, why not a thousand times? You will be a person who is ill-equipped to meet hard challenges. A person who can't really push themselves when faced with a tough problem. A person who will instead focus on the easy angle to reach some goal. A person that is not likely to do anything with their lives.

Also, you are a person who isn't that well educated since you didn't learn as much as your grades might indicate and not likely to get much better educated.

Back to the moral reason not to cheat. If you cheat in one activity why wouldn't you cheat in another? Like your significant other?

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