When I was young I did not know that INTEGRITY had its touch-down in every aspect of our life. In fact, sparsely did I know what it meant when my father inculcated in me a significant attribute of adorning it the right way . It had to do with academic integrity but it taught me many useful lessons in life not just one. He had said, ‘No cramming, copying and mugging up answers, come what may’. The story goes as below…
One day when Dad returned from PTM (Parent-Teacher Meeting), he looked serious and glum. I had expected him to congratulate me for being among the highest-scorers but the signs of appreciation seemed elusive. On a surprising note, he immediately asked me to bring my notebook which I used in the classroom to take down the lessons. A few pages down the line, he realized that I was a big time crammer and had scribbled the whole answer from my notebook as it is in the answer sheet, repeating the mistakes as well. As an answer to a story writing question, I had replicated one of the stories that I had read in a book given by Dad . It was an act of dishonesty and cheating because its author was someone else. The seriousness on his face grew harder.
I had scored 85 of 100 and I was happy about it. Even my teacher was happy because I had replicated the same answer that she had dictated but I could see Daddy was not happy at all.. Before I could really make out what bothered him, the declaration was made and put across harshly. You are not going to cram and vomit just as dictated in the classroom. From today onward, you got to produce your own version of conversations, rhymes, stories, and answers. This mugging up will take you no where. You are being a copy-cat. It is killing your creativity and understanding power. You have turned into a cheater as you have given no credit to the writer and used his story where you were supposed to write one of your own. I was dumb-founded.
Giving up a compulsive habit and taking a new path was a tough call. My father helped me out and taught me the art of articulating my own versions of lessons. He helped me to pick on the crucial points of the chapters and frame my own sentences. I did have to compromise because the teachers were fond of reading what they had taught word to word. Initially I was not happy to lose marks but very soon I realized that my way of looking at things had changed drastically. Now the only aim was to score the best marks as well. A few classes up, the subjects, their severity and the course-content began to take a toll on fellow students, cramming actually dint help anyone. Understanding the concept and presenting it in a crisp from became the key of scoring numbers. Here it helped me to gain my ground. Even in my board exams, I wrote my own pieces of sentences covering every important point, crafted my own essays and came out with flying colors.
I had learnt it hard way that mugging up, presenting the same as written somewhere was equivalent to cheating. There were many moments when I remembered the answers word by word because I had become a great crammer, however, I worked upon the sentences in different ways and applied my father’s words very seriously. There were several essays ,many stories that could be copied from one place to another and it would never be known to anyone. However, I never gave up on my integrity.
Sadly, our education system promotes it through the marks system and children see it as a short cut to score marks. It is absolutely an issue of integrity. Emphasizing on the concept and the logic should be the motto of education. I am glad my parents guided me the right way and I am proud of myself that I did the right thing right way. Later, I realized that this one word ‘Integrity’ had many aspect to its existence. It not only affects and governs our actions but values, methods, principles, expectations, and results.
Integrity itself derives its qualities from honesty and basically it is about the wholesomeness of ones character. Today when I blog or write, I realize how plagiarism thrives but then at the same time I feel proud of my way of doing things. I am proud when I put down my own version of write ups. That one lesson had changed my attitude in learning and life forever.
Students copy assignments, research papers, thesis and use many dishonest means in academics. It really needs to be curbed in this internet age because there is no dearth of information. Hence one news or article can be easily copied from one place and put at another one but that’s wrong. So lets weave our own set of stories and answers like I did. Lets be True and do things right!!!
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂