Introducing “Your Daily Shot of Soju” This is going to be my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend. Yes, I changed the name. I like this one better.
Something for you to read:
It was last Wednesday, when the sixth graders were taking their listening test, that 4 girls were caught giving signals during the test to help each other out.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been told that cheating is wrong. As a teacher you think I would be steadfastly opposed to it. Think again.
I think cheating is O.K…as long as you don’t get caught.
During my Macro-economics course, I would routinely come in 20 minutes early on test days. While other students frantically attempted to memorize equations at the last second I simply scribbled them down on my desk in pencil. When the test was over I would casually wipe away all the evidence and turn in my paper. Granted, I only got a 2.0 in this class (I suck at Macro…strangely enough pulled a 4.0 in Micro) but I shiver to think what I would have got if I hadn’t of written down the equations.
Was I morally wrong? Did I hurt those students who actually studied? Will I ever have to use these equations in my every day life without having the benefit of looking at them?
I think I can answer all of those questions with one simple word, and it does not start with a “y.”
A recent study has shown that among small business owners an increasingly large amount of Dyslexics have started businesses. The study theorizes that a reason for this is that those who run small businesses are those who are adept at verbal and delegation skills. Dyslexics have difficulty processing written information and therefore develop greater intelligences in other areas to cope. Some of these methods are an enhanced verbal ability and an ability to delegate. One person is even quoted as saying that he was able to get by in high school by talking to his teachers and getting them to bump up his grade.
These are multiple intelligences that go back to my previous post yesterday. But what does this have to do with cheating?
What is cheating other then a coping method? When you take into account all the time and ingenuity it takes to pull off a successful cheat (In some cases. My macro example didn’t take much skill or energy, but I maintain that it was a smarter option than staying up all night cramming equations into my head) it really isn’t all that different than skills in language and kinesthetics. The only difference between those who blatantly cheat on tests and those who try to sweet talk the teacher is that one has been deemed socially unacceptable while the other is regarded with simply a frown and furrowed brow at worst.
I attempted to categorize which of the intelligences cheating would fall under and I think that the cheating skills would definitely qualify as an Interpersonal Intelligence which allows people to work together to accomplish goals, as well as Intra personal which is simply knowing ones own weaknesses. While some would tell you it’s noble to fight through and challenge your deficiencies I would argue that it might be smarter and more efficient to simply recognize your weakness and try to work around it.
If you get caught however, it’s your ass. By using these methods you accept a certain risk. Essentially you are betting against the house that your intelligences can trump the systems.
Which is what these girls tried to do. The only problem is, they lost.
Winter fashion is upon us here in Seoul. Keeping a warm torso and upper body is very important to health. However, no man would want you unless you keep showing off those legs.
Piece of Pop Culture I Miss Today:
NBA Basketball. I know the Pistons are probably over rated right now because of their easy schedule. However, I really want to check out how the new guys are doing. I want to know why Flip Murray is suddenly not getting any minutes and why Jarvis Hayes can’t hit a jumper to save his life in the past week and a half. Also, I want Stuckey to blow up big time.
Piece of Pop Culture that I’m Diggin on Today:
Girlfriends who take care of you. Today, I had to come home early from work because I was sick. So I’m taking a nap, and around 4 o’clock I hear my door bell. I curse whoever it is that would wake me up from my Nyquil Sleep and open the door.
It’s Rachel, and she has with her: Half a friend chicken (because she was afraid I wasn’t eating), cookies, apple bread from the bakery, a panini and microwave pizza, an assorted array of juices and fruits for vitamins, and two half gallons of milk (because she knows how much I hate not being able to buy full gallons).
She stayed just long enough to drop these off and check to see if I was running a fever. She then went back to work because she snuck out for an hour to get all these things for me. While in America, with the dating games we play this might be seen as over the top but here it is only the mark of a good girlfriend.
Everybody: Your definition of a keeper.
Another thought on cheating:
When I was writing my thoughts on cheating I wondered if this meant that I therefore endorse plagiarism. After thinking nearly 5 seconds about it I decided that plagiarism falls into a different category than the creative cheating I was describing above. Plagiarism requires no special intelligences, just the ability to write your name on someone else’s paper. You could argue that writing your name on a paper is not much different than me writing down equations on my desk, and you would have a valid argument.
This is where degrees of gray come into play because I value writing as a universal skill that everybody should possess and Macro-economics as a skill that only a few need. I deemed myself one of those who did not need that skill. Call me a hypocrite but I am at peace with my stance. However, again if you can get away with it then who am I to call you an idiot, maybe you’re not…but you probably are.
Cheating is only valuable if you can apply those intelligences that develop good cheating into a viable skill. This is the great leap that many chronic cheaters fail to make. But again, I don’t know, because the goods one don’t get caught.
Fun with Engirish:
Today the students had their speaking test. I had to listen variation to this dialog about 80 times today.
Student: I get up at 7:30. I have breakfast at 8 o’clock. I go to school at 8:30. I go home at 2 o’clock. I go to Hogwan (private school) at 4 o’clock. I have dinner at 7 o’clock. I study at 8 o’clock. I go to bed at 11 o’clock.
Was that difficult for you to read? It was difficult for me to pay attention.
The weird thing is that many of the students forgot their dialog (they were supposed to memorize it). This shows that instead of understanding what they were saying, they were simply reciting something they had written. No different than when I recited Bible verses in private school that I couldn’t remember 5 minutes later. The dialogs essentially asked the questions; “what do you do during the day?” and “what time do you do them?” It didn’t seem like the students were really grasping what this meant.
If the students truly had an understanding of what they were saying, then they should be able to make it up as they go. Albeit, with expected miscues that come with learning a new language.