These people have received more than their share of press, so I won’t deal with them now. They could right their wrongs, I feel, if they volunteered for the first manned flight to Mars; at the very least, they would be out of earshot for a few years.
I don’t understand cheating and lying. I’ve tried not to lie too much, if for no other reason than my memory is so bad that I can’t tell the same lie the same way twice. If I tell you something, it’s the truth as I recall it – which in a way is as good as we can hope.
As for cheating, I don’t understand how people hope to make a career out of it. Does cheating on a test or a business deal make a person any more capable the next time? If you steal the answers to your medical school exam, will you be able to pass the real test when asked to treat a patient someday?
I learned early on that cheating is for losers. In an early grade in elementary school, we sat two at a table. Bonnie and I were working on the little test that was on the back of My Weekly Reader.
Bonnie and I knew no better than to help each other with the quiz answers. It was as natural as loaning a No. 2 pencil. The teacher saw things differently, however, and made an example of us as cheaters. We were as surprised as we were embarrassed. Us, cheaters?
I remember that episode because not long after, a teenager named Danny recklessly ran over cute little, red-pigtailed Bonnie as she walked to school. He was the cheater, stealing my friend from me. They sent him away.
After I learned what cheating was, I also learned that there was no need for it if I studied. I would argue with the teacher if I thought he was teaching a topic all wrong (sometimes they did) or if I was given a grade lower than what I thought I had earned. I never let my eyes stray to another student’s test. What good would that have done for the next test? Anyway, learning was – and is – fun.
In college, I had a class in which the professor would hand out tests and then leave the room. All around me, students would pull their desks together and copy one another. I passed or failed on my own.
Cheating would not have helped me with some courses, anyway. I enrolled in bowling as a physical education class. Easy, right? But it was my first class, early in the morning, school was 40 miles from home, and I had a job that started at 8 a.m. I rarely got to the bowling alley and had to “withdraw failing.”
For the record, my bowling score hasn’t improved since college; if I break 100, I know I earned it honestly.
Now, let me hear your tales of lying and cheating. What you tell me will remain between you and me – and thousands of readers.