Tangled Webs

For forty years, my father taught high school level Chemistry, Physics and Biology within Minnesota’s and Michigan’s public school systems. It was approximately one year prior to his 1982 retirement when…

I found him seated at our dining room table on a Thursday evening… preparing a weekly Chemistry exam to be administered the following day. At first glance, all appeared normal, that is, until I noticed he had set out multiple stencils before him (btw, this was in the pre-printer / photocopier era where the mimeograph machine still ruled supreme).

When I asked, “Why the four pager exam?” dad explained that several conscientious students (enrolled in his a.m. classes), had been complaining, confidentially, that cheaters were feeding his test questions and answers to the p.m. enrollees. Even his Grade Book readily confirmed how a disproportionate number of his afternoon students were acing his tests.

Ergo, to fight back, he planned on administering four different exams.

ASIDE: As frequent readers of my Dumb Donald posts may’ve already surmised, I’ve been a longtime Match Game fan. In all likelihood, that’s what motivated my following suggestion to my father…

“Why not delete the numerical values from your test questions and leave blanks? All you’d need to do is provide the easily changeable, missing data on the blackboard.”

Dad and I both chuckled, conspiratorially, as he re-boxed three of those stencils. He’d now be able to not only ferret out dishonesty’s circulation pattern but also identify the specific cheaters.

Even so, we both expressed our dismay. After all, cheaters were expending far more time and energy than it’d take to simply study the damned subject matter.

Beyond that, consider the risks to public safety / health if such “students” ever cheated their way through med school.

Summed up more generally…

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” – – – Sir Walter Scott

Such wisdom certainly is applicable to political science matters as well.

Take a long, unforgiving look at the tangled web which the Science-Denier-In-Chief, one Donald J. Trump, has been weaving, hourly, not only in his futile attempts to cheat his way out of his DIY pandemic but also in his (hopefully failing) attempts to dishonestly spin himself into a second term.

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!