Friday, March 4, 2011

Ultimate Secrets and Honesty

My son Luke is the ultimate secret keeper. If he doesn’t think he’s supposed to say something, he doesn’t. And there’s not even a hint of it on his face.
So when Luke said that something interesting happened last week, we listened.
Two bits of salient information: One, Luke is a teaching assistant in a chemistry lab at the university he attends. Two, Luke is scrupulously, painfully honest. If you ask him, “Does this skirt make me look fat?” and he thinks it does, he’ll say, “Yes, that skirt makes you look fat.” Luke hates dishonesty, even if it’s “polite.”
So last week, he was helping to oversee a midterm and noticed that a student was cheating. The student had a list of formulae on an index card slipped between his calculator and the calculator “slide.”
Luke reported it to the professor that runs the lab. The prof was a bit hesitant about doing anything immediately. The student had to be caught red-handed, documentation, etc. Luke continued to keep his eye on the student, who continued cheating. At one point, the student went to the professor’s desk to ask a question. Then, Luke grabbed the student’s calculator (everyone has their name on their calculator because they are so expensive), took it to the front of the room, slapped it on the prof’s desk, and pulled back the slide (revealing the crib note), and said to the student, “How do you explain this?”
The student came up with a lame excuse—the head professor gave him permission. The lab professor checked with the head professor, who had NOT given the student permission to cheat. Luke ended up being interviewed by the head professor. And the student was disciplined and had to go to the honor board.
At any rate, it became public today. And professors are now checking everyone’s calculator slide for cheat sheets during midterms.
But what amazes me is that while all this was going on last week, Luke never said a thing. Not one word. Now I wish I had some wonderful, amazing secret so I could tell Luke. But I don’t.
And the moral of the story is don’t cheat and don’t ask Luke if a particular skirt makes you look fat.


  1. Wow. It's so wonderful to hear of people that are so honest. You must be so proud of him.


  2. That was an awesome story Connie. Thanks for sharing. He is very special for sure.,

  3. He needs to wear his fencing gear from now on.Then he could point his sword ominously at cheating students and scare the excuses out of them.

    Great story, Josh will be thouroughly impressed.

  4. Ahhhhh, another story of dear Luke dealing with a touchy situation in a totally luke-ish way.
    Next time, smack the student with his own calculator...for this is a sign of extreme dishonor in most chemistry circles.

  5. Wow, you must be proud of him...I can't hold water!

  6. Cool! I love when honesty shines through. And I've learned long ago not to ask my children too many questions. ;)

  7. From now on, I will NEVER ask Luke if my skirt makes me look fat. NEVER.

  8. Yay for Luke. I'm a professor and I hate cheating.

  9. @Andrew.
    That is *very* good.

  10. This is great, I'm glad he was honest. Great blog entry!