A story of integrity – how I condemn cheaters

Got this package from one of the few universities I’m aiming to pursue advanced learning. #STEM

Let me tell you a story of cheating and cheaters.

I was never the achiever type, maybe because I don’t need to please anyone but myself. I am for the experience and the actual learning phase. I was never into the result of the test but more like the application in real life situation. Maybe this has something to do with….

Not so long ago, I took an exam in a lab (programming) course and there was this question that has something to do with a math calculation. I know how to write codes on my own, I wasn’t the best one in class but I can do proper syntax. My fault at the time was, I searched the web for that one formula. In my head I was like, “it’s just some point why do I have to do this” but I wanted to get that question right. After the test, I headed out for lunch, and a few minutes later, I found out that someone was caught cheating in the exam. The prof also found out half of the class cheated. He eventually said he will automatically fail them in the course. I asked about the details and found out someone submitted an entire code (exam) without even changing the name of the source (the name of the actual coder was submitted as well). I was so relieved because I wasn’t one of those people who took someone else’s work and submitted it as if it’s their own. People are trying to fight about it or ask for forgiveness etc.. so, an update came out that instead of auto fail, the scores will not be credited. I was still relieved. Worse come to worse, even if they don’t credit my score, I will still probably pass the course because my total score without the final grade is decent. I was confident that I will get decent mark, I even thanked the professor before I headed out of the building. Few days after, I had to fly to singapore to visit my long distance parent (or was it Thailand, forgot but we met halfway). Grades were released when I was overseas and I was appalled when I saw it. I contacted my friends and asked their calculated grades etc.. I was surprised to know that people who got lower grades than me and was part of the cheating incident got a better mark. I did my calculation and comparison to different people. I told my mother about it but it didn’t matter at all. I wasn’t able to question or fight for it since I’m overseas. So, I just let it be. It can or cannot be a subjective grade. Who knows anyway, but one thing is for sure at that time, I lost interest on everything.

Course by course, I see students cheating in front of me and getting rewards for higher grade. People call them smart and achievers but I see them as frauds. I didn’t give a fck about them, I just let karma do its job. The incident taught me a lot of things but mostly, one selfish act can create ripple catastrophe.

The thing with formal education, they rely heavily on the marks and not on the student’s passion to learn and their capabilities to bring that learned skill in the real world. They believe mostly in the results of the exam even if it’s written without integrity. There hasn’t been a way to gauge learning anyway. (Lightbulb for Education innovators out there)

Right now, my passion is in deep learning. I’m trying to juggle responsibilities and career advancement. So far, I’ve been searching for the right program that will fit my needs and my goals. And since the cheating incident, I never cheated, even in the slightest form. I can definitely say that I am wherever I am because I wasn’t a CHEATER.

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