Question of Atheist Scruples – exactly how much does cheating matter?

So, the question:

You are taking an honesty test as part of a job application, and are asked if you ever cheated in school. You did once. Do you tell the truth?

Sure, because it’s amusing.

Grade 8 and Grade 9 at my junior high required split courses with half the year in Home Economics (meal prep in grade 8, sewing in grade 9) and Industrial Arts (woodwork/drafting in grade 8, metalwork in grade 9).

Grade 8 level coursework was not a problem and by grade 9, I’d already had a year or two of sewing with my local 4-H club. The metalwork, though… I could do the actual because it was fun and enjoyable to bend sheet metal and other stuff into boxes and light bulb holders but as soon as tests came around I was an absolute dummy.

Master Gould was an awesome teacher and really fun and encouraged cheating on all his exams. Back in those days, we had a school official rule that anyone with an average over 75 didn’t have to write the final for that class and Master Gould was bound and determined to get out of creating a final for anybody. I still recall sitting at a written class test getting hints from him and other classmates for the answer to a question. They kept saying, it’s something you can drink! but I wasn’t into Coke at the time so didn’t catch the hint at all. They finally had to blurt it out so I could finish in time. Hilarious.

This was back in 1989/90, though, and I gather from reading done recently that cheating has gotten a lot more sneaky and high tech in the past few decades, from printing your own labels for water bottles to whatever other zany notions redditors are willing to supply.

By no means do I condone cheating over legitimate learning, however. The question was, would I admit to cheating and I say yes I would admit it. I’d also add the caveat that I can’t know everything and things that I need to know for a job are not things I can lie about knowing and get away with for very long. I’m too damned honest. I’d much rather admit that I don’t know the thing and then express desire to learn what it is I don’t know.

What kind of cheating have you done? Did you get away with it?

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: