When you’re an educator, you pretty much have to acknowledge that students are going to deceive, sneak and, sometimes, outright lie. Why? Because it’s easier to fib than to tell the truth. Lying, depending on the yarn you spin, makes you seem more sympathetic, easier to forgive. And students want professors or teachers to look the other way, who grant them absolution for best viagra and popular in uk whatever wrong doing in which they had participated. Indeed, telling the truth would more likely result in some kind of adverse consequence. Lying could ultimately end in the same way at a much harsher degree, but that only happens if the person to whom one has lied learns about the untruth. In the short term, though, the lie gives the liar a sense of solace and a second chance.
So when I step in front of a class, I know I’m going to encounter students who want to stretch the truth to benefit their academic careers. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little deceitful at times in order to save face. One of the most common fibs is telling a professor you missed class the other morning because you were sick, but really, your absence was because of your failure to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. That kind of verbal liberalism happens frequently. But I encountered not just an outright lie a couple of semester ago, but a liar who must have been so apathetic of my existence that she then told the true story while I was standing in the room.
Here’s the story. There will be no names or gender identification:
I had a student miss a couple of classes, and I had been alerted by a higher up on campus that the student would be absent because of injuries the student had sustained during the weekend. When the student got back to campus and showed up for class, the student had a bandaged hand, cuts on his/her fact and a black eye. We stepped outside the door for some privacy when he/she detailed his/her story. The student told me he/she had gotten in a car accident on his/her way home. I asked if he/she was OK and if there was anything I could do to help. The student said he/she was OK, and I told him/her that he/she could make up any missed work because he/she seemingly had a legitimate excuse.
We headed back into the classroom. I took my position at the front to get ready, the student took his/her seat near friends. They reacted to how he/she looked, and they expressed their sympathy and concern. Someone asked, “How did this happen?” I heard the question, and I was barely paying attention because I figured the student would simply recount his/her car accident story. Instead, the student told his/her classmate that he/she had been home and out on the town one night. He/she hopped on someone else’s back for a piggyback ride, and they both fell to the ground.
I stood at the front of the classroom in shock. The student had gone out of his/her way to lie to me, then forgotten I was in the room when he/she told the truth about his/her injuries. I’m sure my mouth was agape. I was probably a caricature of “Suprised Man.” I couldn’t believe it. Did this student think I was of no consequence, that my opinion didn’t matter? Or did the student simply space out and forget I was in the room? Either way, I was taken aback at the gall this student exhibited.
But it’s all part of the job, I guess. I moved past it pretty quickly, but it’s something I’ll never forget about this student. So, as George Eliot said, “Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult.” You said, ma’am. You said it. (Yes, I wrote ma’am. George Eliot is the pen name for Mary Anne Evans.)