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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: Golden Cow Award
By Mary C Legg
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And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron and said unto him, "Up, make us a god who shall go before us..." see the passage Ex 32:1-26
"Psst—number twenty-five, is it B?"
"dunno, ask Legg, she knows everything."
"Legg, what's number twenty-five?" Bill leaned over the laminated desktop, straining to see over her shoulder. Unperturbed, Legg continued writing the essay section, ignoring the buzz in the classroom.
"Well, what is it?" asked Todd across the aisle. "She knows if anyone does."
""She's working on the essay and don't you know it the spoilsport covered her exam," retorted Bill. "Can't see a thing. She'll ace the essay. She's like that. Her whole stinking family is like that. Bunch of square-heads. All of them got four eyes, too and hairrrrrrrry legggggs. Just look at them." Bill kicked at Legg's feet across the aisle but bruised his toe against the steel foot.
"Psst," whistled from the door—"Somebody's coming..." Footsteps echoed, passing the door.
"Whew, that was a close one," Janet retrieved her exam from across two rows. Papers ruffled across the room as students shuffled them back to their owners' desks.
"Doesn't she ever cheat?"
"Doesn't have to with a xerox memory like hers. Memorex—got it on tape." Dan growled, hastily rewriting the new answers written on his test while erasing the evidence.
Voices murmured outside the door. The students snapped to alert, snapping the books closed, textbooks disappeared below desks. Cheat sheets disappeared up sleeves while others got stuffed them in bookbags. The door cracked. Mr. Corker's voice floated through in, "No, I never worry about leaving my students unattended in class during an exam, they never cheat."
Legg didn't look up. Unperturbed, her hand sprawled writing across the page, leaving the mutiple damnation section covered by the blank sheet. Why cheat, when you don't have anything to hide—and after all, you studied to succeed? God gave you a brain to think on your own. Cheating destroys the integrity of the work—like mixing low-grade sand into the cement for a nuclear plant. Eventually the cracks will show and the thing will blow.
Corker stepped into the room, "Always called to the office at the worst times," he announced, cattily stepping along the circumference of the room. Eyes glanced suspiciously at him from every angle. Students' heads lowered studiously to stare at their papers. Odd papers hastily slid out of sight. The cat prowled amongst the mice.
Corker glanced across the room. Legg was scrawling through the essay, but the others hadn't started. Time was running out. "Fifteen minutes," he said, warning them of impending doom.
Strolling over to Bill's desk, he took the offending crib sheet portruding from the its hiding place. Bill's face reddened. It wasn't his, but now it was. Without commenting, Corker confiscated Bill's exam and walked across the room for Rebecca's from the other side. Kids never learn.
Moses went up the mountain to get the rules in writing. He left the classroom, no different than junior high school. Discontent to live by oral law and ethics that Moses taught his people, they established their own cult, making a fat golden cow in the image of their own egos. Some say it was solid gold, but usually such large monuments are cast of base metal and gilded. It doesn't matter, because they're not real.
Platonic philosophy argues that true art strives to copy the ideal beauty of the other world; not the corruption of this one. So also argues scripture, "Be perfect as I am perfect—" not just in the tongue, but in action. The argument continues into the New Testament, "study to shew thyself approved, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed..." 2 Timothy 2:15
What's a Golden Cow Award? Something made through popular demand made of faulty material by the mob, albeit without any moral or aesthetic standards as given from the top of the mountain.