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Morality

2008.06.09. 06:07 :: Zeno Vernyik

Two weeks ago some of my students had the wonderful idea to complain to my superiors about me not correcting tests at all, and assigning points arbitrarily. Those dozens of students who visited me to check out their tests and discuss them can obviously testify that it is not true. Not to mention that I can prove that it is not so, since I can show both the corrected tests and my correction criteria to anyone interested.

This is all fine, I could prove not a word of it was true. My part of the story is basically settled. There are a few problematic points with the behavior of the students though:
  1. Complaining to someone's superiors without first trying to discuss a problem with the person in question is immoral and spineless.
  2. Doing it making sure that the person who complained will remain anonymous is even cowardly.
  3. Complaining about something that is clearly not true is nothing else but shameless lying.
Now, whoever does all three at the same time (which at least one, but maybe more of my students obviously did) is not worthy to be called human. At the same time, calling the person a slimy slug would be unfair towards poor slugs.

I always try to be as fair, flexible and nice as humanly possible without significantly endangering your education. What is the logic, therefore, behind stabbing me in the back in exchange for trying to be nice and fair?

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Lgaga 2008.06.09. 16:05:35

Being fair to someone might easily be unfair to someone else, it's hard to find the rather thin boundary (if there is any). I've always hated to get the same mark as somebody else for things I did better - just because the teacher was fair. Yeah, envious I am. :)

You are totally right though that reporting anonymously to superiors is spineless and cowardly.

Btw once we had a queueing theory teacher who found a bunch of hand-written cheat sheets after an exam (in his own office as that was the place for the test) and got so angry that he sent a letter to our mailing list telling the guilty to report to him or else he would take the time and compare the handwriting to previous tests and find out whom it belonged to - and that person would surely not finish university for several years... :) (The guy did report.)