What is considered cheating? Everybody has different standards. Some will say that writing papers for others isn’t cheating. Or getting test banks isn’t cheating. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that copying answers out right on a test in a classroom is cheating!
1. A few months ago, I was taking a final in a classroom with about 100 other people in it. Everyone had the same test, and there were no spaces between desks. In other words it was one crammed room with plenty of cheating opportunities available.
This final was on Robotics, one of my favorite classes. I had done well in that class the whole semester. My lab partner and I even won a race, our robot was able to go the fastest! We beat the guys, and it was really funny to see them being sore losers and making excuses of why we won.
So when it came to the final, my lab partner sat on one side of me, and this other girl I don’t know sat on the other side. The test began and I quickly filled out all the answers that I knew, and couldn’t wait to get all the information down and get home so that I can study for my next final.
But then the girls sitting next to me had a different plan in mind, they wanted to cheat off my paper. My worst vice I would say is that I can’t say NO! (I’ve had it before with babysitting jobs, where I couldn’t tell the mother that NO I can’t babysit by her. So the same thing happened here.) I couldn’t say no, and I let them cheat off my paper. Because one of the girls was my lab partner and I had become her friend, I felt like I couldn’t be mean to her and say no.
This is an example where every midah can be used for good and bad. How sometimes we have to be mean because it’s the right thing.
2. When I first started college, while I was in seminary at the same time, I came into a situation that involved cheating. I was taking a test and was stuck on a few examples. The guy sitting next to me felt bad that I didn’t know the answers, so he figured he would “help me out”. He told me the answers to the multiple choice questions. But I didn’t feel right to write the answers down. So I went up to the professor, and told him that I was stuck on those questions and asked him to explain me the question. He did, and then I was able to answer the questions. I still felt as though I had done something wrong, so the next day I went over to a Rabbi at the seminary and told him the situation and asked him if what I did was okay, and he said yes, and I then felt better.
3. There was this married women with 2 kids who shared a class with me. She told me how hard it was that she was married with kids in college, and that she didn’t have time to study. She told me that 10 years ago when she was in college she studied really hard. But now because she has other responsibilities, she doesn’t have time, so she cheats on her test. She said she actually feels justified, that she’s not doing anything wrong by cheating. That she just needs to graduate already.
The next day in my philosophy class, some topic like this came up, where my professor said that she will let her son make any decision he wants about career choice, but one thing is certain, that she won’t let her kid take a break after High School, that he must go straight to college, while she can pay for it. Since if he takes a break, he may never get back to it. So I told her about this women in my class, who took a break and now feels justified in cheating. She said that’s a horrible thing, and the women is cheating herself. I of course agree!
4. Recently I started taking driving lessons. I took 2 to be exact and it was really fun. I don’t know why I waited till now to start. In any case, I went to this “5 hour class” and at the end the guy says he’s going to ask us a question and that will determine if we will pass or fail the road test. He says, if I tell you that 1+1=6, then how much is 1+1? I said 2, because I remembered my tax professor giving us a similar scenario, where he said that if he calls a tail a leg, then how many legs does a dog have? He told us the correct answer is 4, because no matter what you want to call the tail, it’s still not a leg. So I was thinking of this same scenario. So then the guy says I’m going to fail my road test for that, because no matter what you think is right, you have to listen to the driving inspector, and do what they say. To me that sounded like cheating. I’m still in the mentality, that you can’t change the absolute truth.