Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Follow instructions

Some students believe that they are entitled to a grade of A no matter what garbage they produce.  For these students, then, actually reading instructions might seem like an unnecessary bother.

For certain other students, there may be more a of a matter of principle at stake.  These may actually read the instructions--sometimes even carefully--but may believe that flaunting directions with impunity is a great opportunity to rebel.

The truth of the matter, however, is that failure to heed instructions can have disastrous consequences.  If instead of following instructions to mark the right multiple choice answers on exam, you deliberately mark wrong ones, that could result in a very low score.  If you ignore with impunity instructions that the term paper should be on a topic relevant to the course, you might end up with a score of zero.

Refrain from hacking into good students' computers to steal their papers and other work

Often, substandard students might be tempted to hack into better students' computers--or, if they lack the competence to do this, to hire someone else to perform this morally repugnant task.  This is a stupid and shortsighted idea.

If a substandard student submits a truly excellent paper, professors will likely become suspicious.  It just does not make sense that a student who scored 37.5% on the midterm completed a paper worthy of a score of 95% or higher.  Even if the professor does not use Turnitin to detect plagiarism, he or she wold probably also notice seeing two identical--or nearly identical--papers.

Quite aside from the disciplinary consequences of submitting a stolen paper as one's own, there may also be serious criminal consequences for hacking (or hiring someone to hack).  If you think that life can't get worse after being expelled for plagiarism, just wait until the judge sentences you to spend several years in the slammer! In fact, offenders might face both state and Federal charges. On top of this, of course, these disgusting psychos might be further punished by their parents.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Arrive on time for class

Occasionally, there are reasons that justify arriving late for class.  If you have been asked by police to stay behind as a material witness to a major felony, that would probably justify not being on time.  Similarly, if you accidentally cut yourself and sustain major bleeding, a quick trip to an emergency clinic might be justified.

There are, however, a number of non-legitimate reasons for arriving late.  These are just a few:
  • Wanting to finish watching a soap opera before heading off to class.
  • Not budgeting sufficient time to get to class if there is a traffic jam or other obstacle on the way.
  • Sloth.
  • Lack of willingness to hurry.
  • Taking an unimportant phone call or completing a frivolous text message.
  • Just not feeling like being on time.
  • Waiting for a friend going to this same class or one in a neighboring classroom so that he or she will not have to walk alone.
Arriving late for class is very disruptive to the rest of the class.  In addition, it tends to mark you as a substandard student.  Being late is, in most cases, very stupid!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do not bring large exotic or farm animals to class

Colleges and universities certainly want to encourage diversity and ensure access for individuals with disabilities. If you want to bring a seeing eye dog or cat to class, that will probably not be a problem. If you need a stuffed animal to be comfortable, that may be OK, too.

Nevertheless, professors and their institutions have to draw the line somewhere. Not only is having a seeing eye giraffe, elephant, or hippopotamus quite disruptive to the educational process; these also take up a great deal of space and, at least occasionally, cause significant damage to the buildings. Because of their obstructive qualities, these may also bring the institution out of compliance with fire and other emergency evacuation regulations. In terms of logistical concerns, those that are not properly house trained may cause serious littering problems and unpleasant odors that will interfere not only with your own learning, but also that of your classmates.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Limit contact with aliens

There is something to be said for having an open mind, so at first glance, this advice might seem disconcerting. Why should you not take the opportunity to benefit from the potential wisdom of visitors from other galaxies?

One reason is pragmatics. This type of interest can become obsessive and detract from your studies. I am not saying to shun these creatures--just limit your socializing to no more than two or three hours a week.

Another reason has to with your credibility. Although it is clearly possible--and by some accounts even probable--that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe (or, for that sake, in parallel universes), most reputable scientists doubt that these fellows have actually visited Earth lately. In addition to possible constraints of possibly not being able to break through the speed of light barrier, the time dimension throws in an additional curve. Civilization on Earth may have been around for a few thousand years and may not last beyond the next thousand years. If we go back in time from the beginning of our Universe (which, by the way, raises some problems, according to certain theoretical physicists which I do not make any claim to understand), being of by just a fraction of a percent could mean that a civilization would be missed by a large margin. The bottom line is that if you claim to be hanging out regularly with aliens, you may suffer a serious loss of credibility. Professors try to grade you only based on your work, but in borderline cases, someone who comes across as a nutcase might end up with the lower grade.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Maintain a wholesome lifestyle

Being of sound mind and body is essential to being a good student.

Watching morally marginal TV programs will pollute your character and will twist your mind away from seeking rational, ethical, and innovative approaches to business. Sleazy magazines are disgusting and will pollute your mind.

Excess alcohol consumption is damaging to both mind and body. Hangovers mean loss of time to study and contemplate course material. Illegal drugs--besides supporting organized crime and terrorists--are truly disgusting and do bad things to your body.

Foul language pollutes not just not the speaker's mind but also those of innocent listeners.

A diet of fast food may be more convenient and may--at the moment--seem more satisfying. However, for a healthy body, fruits and vegetables are critical.

Certain activities are not appropriate before marriage. Aside from this moral consideration, these activities can also entail very severe consequences.

Disturbing the peace, shoplifting, and other crimes tend to be a reflection of a deranged mind. Not only are these morally wrong--they also program your mind for a life of evil and callous disregard for the interests of society.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't gossip during class

When one has heard some really juicy stuff, it may be tempting to share that with a classmate. Some individuals may be so tempted that they will resort to do so even during an important class. You should be very sure not to fall for this temptation. While gossiping, you may miss some of your professor's words of wisdom. Gossip may also pollute your character, making you focus on scandal rather than on how you can maximize profit in an ethical manner.