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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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As with so many human behaviors, cheating is a common trait among us. Cheaters fall under my "self-absorbed, amoral robots" category, which pretty well coincides with arrogance, self-centeredness, and feelings of entitlement. The new governor of Ohio ate some crow recently, after having said something stupid. He had called a police officer an idiot for giving him a ticket. This raised the ire of many, including hishonor's wife. He was compelled to make a public apology in order to quell the uproar.

What if no one had called him on this gaffe? Early experience with his attitudes and behaviors suggests that he would have never apologized. His prospects for winning friends and influencing people during the next four years? I'd say average to not-so-good.

The educational system is frequently a mind numbing tomb for those who would benefit from an environment offering alternatives to fact cramming and exam day regurgitation.

I am referring to failure to nurture the creative spark, which is all to often extinguished during those precious formative years. Short-cutting, aka cheating, provides a productive mechanism of silent revolt for students who feel their energy is better spent pursuing intriguing endeavors.

My abysmal experience began in catholic school, with a psychotic nun taking every opportunity to whack my knuckles with a #2 pencil during piano lessons. Ironically, 10 years later I would prove to the most proficient typist at a public HS due to extraodinary reflexes and hand-eye coordination. What if that first grade music mentor proved capable of captivating me with the wonders of the keyboard, rather than the predictable outcome from those dreaded 30-minute torture sessions. In a similar vein the nun-squad would find fault with my habit of leaping ahead with lesson plans, practicing cursive writing prior to the classroom agenda. By the third grade I was no longer an inmate of the black robed villians.

Public schools provided an outlet for my creative talents with science fairs and other activities, but I will always resent those captive classroom hours of note taking. Cheating wasn't a frequent event during my 16 year association, but some of my fondest memories are of the remarkably creative methods utilized.

Those who doubt the stultifying impact of the educational system may wish to become familiar with Ken Robinson's critical view...........

Sir Ken Robinson was born in Liverpool in 1950. He is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

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