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!