Friday, October 05, 2007

I got my permanent crown this morning. I'm relieved it's done. No novocaine this time.

Last evening I covered ethics, academic dishonesty and how to cite in my class. It only tangentially relates to tolerance (more of a no tolerance issue, actually) but I think it is an important subject to cover, given my experience with students who cheat. I actually had quite a go-around with a student during the discussion. Finally I said, "have you been listening? It doesn't matter worth a d-mn whether you agree with the sanctions or what your opinion is about whether something constitutes academic dishonesty. And don't be telling me that you cheat!" That pretty much ended anyone else in class wanting to volunteer to say anything that was in opposition to my viewpoint. (Now I'll probably get a bunch of evaluations at the end of the semester that complain that I am not open to students' input.)

I know it is hard for some students to grasp that this subject isn't the same as us discussing whether tolerance is a virtue or whether teachers should be moral agents, there simply is no alternative perspective that is valid. It isn't a debate, it's one of those rare times when there are no shades of grey. I'm trying to save them from making a bad decision that will cost them big time.

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