Maximize The Moment: Volume 1, Issue 2
Now it's time to MAXIMize the Moment!
Everyday, Keith and Lee walk from Spanish together. "Tricia is looking good today, Keith. You are going to have a nice view during Chem."
"I'm glad I have something to look forward to about Coop's class. I better run, Lee. I was late again yesterday and Cooper is getting on my case."
As Keith walks into Chem class, he sees Tricia, star student, varsity athlete, and Homecoming princess three years running. "Hey, Tricia."
"Hi, Keith. Did you take Ms. Simon's English test this morning? I heard it was a killer."
"Sad, but true, Trish. I didn't recognize most of the poems on there and only knew about five of the vocab words. I know that I should have studied more, but I don't think it would have mattered much."
"I know what you mean, Keith. Ms. Simon's tests are so awful. I don't think she even teaches us half the stuff on her tests. It's really not fair. I'm so mad. Ms. Simon's class is the only one I have a B in and I really wanted to pull it up so that I could get a 4-point-O this quarter. Now there's no way that I'm going to get a good grade. If you didn't do well, I really don't stand a chance. My parents are going to be so mad at me; my mom really wants me to get into Georgetown—like she did."
"Don't worry, Tricia. You'll be fine. If it would help you feel more at ease, maybe we could sit together and I could help you study during lunch."
"Thanks, Keith. That'd be great. I'm not sure that we'll have enough time to get through everything during lunch, though. Maybe if you tell me what's actually on the test we won't waste as much time. Then we'll have time to talk about other things," Tricia says and flashes Keith her best all-American, Prom Queen smile.
What am I supposed to do now, Keith thinks. Ms. Simon specifically told us that she considers it cheating when students discuss tests afterwards. On the other hand, I'd really just be helping Tricia study, maybe in a little more focused way. And Ms. Simon's tests are so unfair that you practically have to cheat to pass—it's really her own fault that so many students share information about the tests.
Still, it just doesn't feel right. It's not really fair that Tricia should get information that other people don't have. I'd be pretty mad if I found out someone in my class got a copy of the test to study from. Besides, Ms. Simon told us not to. That'd be like lying to her, too.
What should I do? "Honesty is the best policy." Suddenly, that old phrase that I've heard a million time before pops into my head. "Honesty is the best policy," I think again. I have to be honest with myself about the fact that I know that it would be wrong. And I have to behave honestly and not give Tricia, no matter how cute she is, an unfair advantage. It just wouldn't be right. I have to be honest in my actions and to tell Tricia the truth.
"Tricia, just bring all your notes with you. Who knows what Ms. Simon is going to put on your class's version of the test? If we go over everything, then you'll definitely be safe. And, if we run short on time at lunch, I can call you tonight so we can talk about doing something together this weekend."
As Keith walks toward his locker he thinks, I'm proud that I made the right choice. I feel like I was being honest with myself and Ms. Simon, and even honest with Tricia. From now on, when I'm in doubt and I can't figure it out, I'll remember to MAXIMize the Moment.
This week's maxim is "Honesty is the best policy."
- "Honesty is the best policy."
Miguel de Cervantes
Featured character trait
- Honesty — I am a truthful person, in both my words and actions. I recognize that honesty requires telling the truth, not merely the avoidance of lies and deceit.
Character points (for substitution if this week's trait isn't one of your school's core values)
- Truthfulness — I am honest in my words and actions. I recognize that real honesty is not just about not lying, but also requires that I be forthcoming, not deceptive.
- Trustworthiness — I live in an honest and forthright way so people can believe in my word and rely on my promises
- Integrity — I live out my values in a genuine way, so others can trust me and my promises.
- What do you think constitutes cheating?
- What do you think your teachers consider cheating?
- Why do students at this school cheat?
- What sorts of justifications and rationalizations do you hear for cheating? How could some of those issues (pressure, not feeling prepared, differences between what you learned and what you are being tested on, test anxiety, etc.)be combated in more honest and productive ways?
- Even if you know you are not going to get caught, how can cheating have negative consequences?
- What does it mean to be an honest person?
- Is trustworthiness merely about consistently telling the truth?
- What are the benefits of being a truthful person?
- What makes it difficult to consistently be honest and forthright?
- How important is it to you that your friends, boy/girlfriends, teachers, parents, etc. are honest with you?
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