According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Cheaters Never Win - Well, Almost Never, Right?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cheaters Never Win - Well, Almost Never, Right?

Does your kid cheat in school? Sam and I are wondering because a recent Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger suggests that a lot of kids are cheating - even little ones in the lower grades.

Shellenbarger says in her article “. . . .shaping the moral compass of children whose brains are still developing can be one of the trickiest jobs a parent faces.”

Shellenbarger goes on to speculate, with the help of a few experts, that first and second graders are taught to work together in the classroom and share ideas, so it may be naturally confusing when they’re asked later to take a test without help. Peer pressure to get good letter grades later on may spawn cheating too. One of the more believable excuses forwarded by Shellenbarger, however, is that kids may become so busy with sports, hobbies and social activities that they don’t have time to put work in on a paper or project, so they just cheat. Sam and I buy that argument way more than any other.

We have seen families where the parents are constantly on the go transporting their kids to ball games to piano or dance lessons or to some other activity so that their kids never grow bored at home and will grow up to be high social achievers. These people have transportation schedules more complex than the local transit company and seldom have time or energy to help their kids with homework later or to point out that it’s not right to copy someone else’s work - either at school or from the internet.

One of the good things I hope I’ve done for my kids is to convince them they don’t have to be busy every minute of every day and if they feel too much pressure to get an “A” just go for a “B” or “C.”

I can’t honestly say how I came to dislike cheating as much as I do. I’ve never liked to cheat. I won’t keep too much money given to me by a store cashier. I try hard not to exceed the speed limit and so on. I’d like to think my parents taught me honesty, but I can’t forget all the times my mother tried to get me to cheat when we were partners in pinochle and I can’t forget the times my father shot a deer at night out of season so our family would have food.

I really abhor cheating. I really don’t like taking dishonest advantage of another person, except in war and then I totally believe the old adage that all is fair. I don’t cheat on my taxes either.

I can honestly say I - almost never - cheated in school even if it meant I didn’t get as good a grade as I’d hoped. I always smugly thought that trying hard to be a little bit different when I wrote a paper (for instance) rather than copying a paper produced by an “A” student (like my girlfriend), was better than cheating. I confess I cheated some in my very last quarter of college though when I took a statistics class and couldn't figure out those mathematical formulas to save my life. I don’t do math. My only consolation for cheating was that almost all of us students in that class compared notes and copied each other’s homework. By the time I finished that class I knew for sure what I'd always suspected - statistics can be used to back  up just about any lie you can dream up.

Maybe I learned to dislike cheating in Sunday school. You can pooh-pooh that idea if you want, but I think it’s true. Shoot, I don’t want to go to Hades. Have fun down there if you go, but don’t look for me. Three bags of Sam’s finest (worst) on that.

No comments:

Post a Comment