Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand, Russian-born writer

After comments from several of you about my last post on doing the work, I must admit I came under a great deal of conviction...

Now let me state right up front I've never been a lazy person. That doesn't, however, exclude the fact that on past occasions I've found easier paths to get to a desired result. While my personal creed has most assuredly flopped Mitt Romney-style from the end justifies the means to do the right thing no matter what,  I still tote some baggage that apparently some of you remember quite well from days of old. Ancient history.

Yes. I'm talking specifically about school...that is. The other type of cheating is a completely different post/issue.

Not long ago, I received a text message from my teenager while I was at work, and she was supposed to be at school.

What is the Ring of Fire?

Thinking she was goofing off in class with some of her classmates, I quickly responded:

The after-effects of the new hot chalupa at Taco Bell... 
...or the title of an old Johnny Cash song I used to have on an 8 track.

Dad! I'm serious!

So, now I'm thinking she's using me like ChaCha to look smart in front of her friends.

A group of active volcanoes in the Pacific rim that goes along Eastern Asia around to Western North and South America. Why? (True. A better question would be why in the world do I know that?)

Are you sure?

Wait. Are you cheating on a test?!

Dad? Are you sure?

Yes! But I'm not answering anymore questions! Not good young lady...

I'm wondering why a teacher would let students have phones at that...out during a test? Is that education today?

The conversation with the teenager had a bit of a tainted feel to it later that day as I lectured on the values of actually learning a school subject (in this case geography) and the attributes of integrity as a foundational cornerstone to one's character.

Ouch. As I remember these recent events and recalled (with some of your help, thanks) my own antics from school...yep...the conviction starts pouring over me in buckets. Granted, I have used one of my former 'creative escapades' to illustrate the importance of doing your own work in school while talking with young people today. The story goes like this:

My very first semester of classes in college included the foreign language of Spanish. In my very first class of said subject, I quickly noted that the professor, along with everyone else in the class, spoke exclusively Spanish the entire class. I was completely lost not to mention embarrassed more than once by my feeble attempts to start adding to my class participation grade.

At the conclusion of class, I immediately went to the professor:

Tony C: I'm sorry. I must be in the wrong class. Is this an advanced Spanish class?

Professor: Hola. Senor Antonio, did you have Espanol in high school?

Tony C: Yes ma'am. Two semesters.

Professor: Did you make an A in those classes?

Tony C: Yes ma'am. Both semester.

Professor: Then Senor Antonio you are in the right class. Bienvenido.

Now the truth of the matter about my high school Spanish grade is that while my transcript shows an A grade in both semesters...Pam H actually made those A's...not yours truly.

A quick trip to the Registrar's Office and a drop/add slip took care of the problem. Well, except now 'Я говорю по-русски...плохо'.

But, I'm not even sure if that's the correct phrase in Russian to be quite honest.  Kids...just do the work! Believe me, you're much better off in the long run...and a much better person to boot.

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