Larry Berezen, Chief Operating Office of the advocacy firm, New York Parking Ticket, in his down to earth blog post this week, talks about an alleged pea and thimble parking sign trap in NYC. There an ambiguous 3 headed monster controlling 4 parking bays has, unfairly netted the city $72000 in just 6 months, as exposed by “The Daily News”.
I ran Larry’s post past Professor Roland F Chessman. a noted sociologist and a friend. That triggered him to share his own story about some foundation rules and ethics as it relates to students cheating in exams.
To make the ethical connection between their quite different stories, with their permissions, here is Roland’s story:
“In year 9 at high school when preparing for a midterm exam, I told my teacher that my Mum and Dad had said in some cases it is ok to use outside resources to help pass exams.
Wary, she responded sharply, You mother and father may say it’s ok, but If you ask me I would say it is not ok”
On the day of the exam the teacher wrote three rules on the board:
- “No Talking”
- “No Copying”
- “No Cheating “
As a fourteen year old, I figured using a paper I had in my pocket with notes I written to help me remember things I learned, was ok. Being my own work, it was therefore not a copy.
Moreover, as I had already tested the water it would be fine to use it, given I didn’t actually ask my teacher so never never said it was “not ok”.
But my ambiguity, as it applied to the last rule, left me with in no doubt it was a breach. So it stayed in my pocket as I wrote the exam “according to Hoyle”, to borrow a card players term.
Despite my unplanned honesty, luck was not with me on that day. Our wary teacher on collecting exam papers, asked all the students to empty our pockets on leaving the room.
My protests of innocence fell on deaf ears and my paper was marked “cheated” even after I explained that I had not used the crib sheet. I was told my parents would be called to the school the next day when my continuance would be decided.
Pending expulsion, my father bargained and almost pleaded with the school for a reduced penalty. When I was asked if I had anything to say, I considered arguing that my notes were not even closely relevant to any of the questions, so how could that be cheating.
But sensing my father made good headway by taking the mercy plea approach, to then revert back to to high ground was not such a good idea. So instead with all the humility I could muster, I said that I was sorry, and I would accept the punishment I rightly deserve.
Detention after school for half the next term was agreed, also on the understanding that I would do extra homework and re-sit a supplementary exam. As a further punitive punishment, I was required for community service at school on weekends to clean out drains and more. My Father offered that as part of his plea bargain to offset, as he said, the added work for the school. He argued it saved the school overtime for a maintenance guy.
Grounded for a month at home too, my Father saved on paying me pocket money. Plus I had to wash Mum’s car each week for a whole term , which saved her paying car wash fees.
My teacher, who voted for my reprieve, later told me that she would have given me an A, if I hadn’t cheated. She also said she believed me when I said I had decided not to use the “cheat –sheet”, as she labeled it, before reading the questions.
The lesson from the mistake I made, she said, was I should have declared it when she wrote the rules on the board.
His "come clean" story, points out how many people may choose to interpret them for advantage, be-it unintentionally or otherwise. But Unlike his teacher, who’s three rules were quite clear, rule makers may also be cleverly unclear, so after the fact they can say “it is not ok” and benefit.
Then as I have often see Larry Berezen say “If you are right, then fight”
And forget plagiarism and lying he says.Roland argues that people who cheat if they can, come from all walks of life, So pushing the morality line is flawed. Instead he says,
“Put your energy into winning mode, even if all you have is a Pair of Twos. It beats a copied Royal flush every time, especially with internet transparency almost guaranteeing it will get spotted.”
In more recently years, the good professor has enjoyed doing roving sage lectures and taking class in several top Universities. When asked, he says the famous University of Ovardnoks has a teaching code that is by far the best. There the sharing of ideas and using resources is part of life, which he says means it is ok. But to cut it there, on real life case study questions, means students must learn and know their stuff, else they don’t make it.
“Googling and using ad hoc collaborating, when under pressure in the trenches too, be it defending or doing a deal, he says is distracting, way too slow, and will usually lose it.
Roland’s also says he has only one rule for session exams:
“Use all your resources”
And if you don’t, you will fail you for sure.
There is also a distinct absence of a “No Cheating” rule . He makes it clear that the first rule covers that. He goes on to explain that, as ethics and fair play are requirements for survival, you must have legitimate access to “your” resources if you want to live to tell the tale. Hence he retains a right to say “not ok”, when and if it is not.
Roland also told me he never stopped washing his mother’s car and could never accept pocket money from his Dad even when his sentence was up. Instead, he went out and got a paper round.
Later in life as a grandfather, his Dad too would regularly join him at parent volunteer “working bees” days for his kid’s school, to help in fund raising events, cleaning drains and much more.
Take a look at Larry’s Post
Has this NYC Parking Ticket Trap Grabbed your Money Yet?
This hardworking NYC parking ticket trap has earned $72,000 in 6-months
The Daily News blew the cover off a NYC parking ticket trap today in an exclusive report:
Four parking spots by Prospect Park are generating piles of green for city coffers from drivers unaware the area is off limits during warmer weather months, records show. The city hauled in nearly $72,000 from 625 tickets issued to drivers who parked at the corner of Prospect Park West and Ninth St. from April 1 to Sept. 30, 2014, city data reveals.”
Motorists pointed out two factors causing the confusion:
· The parking spaces were enclosed by white lines indicating they were legitimate spots
· A street cleaning warning for several hours on Tuesdays, a signpost that leads drivers to believe other days are fine, despite the nearby “No Standing April-September 30, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.” sign.
NYC parking ticket trap revealed …….