Copying homework

It’s 2007, Bear Sterns was suffering from the failure of their subprime funds and there were initial signs of warning on Lehman Brothers. My classmates and I at Hwa Chong were preparing for the A Levels. There was homework and mostly, a completed copy of mine was being passed around to be copied. “Please copy with understanding”, I reminded everyone.

There were two types of people in my class who were copying my homework. There were the ones who thought, “if I was doing the same things as everyone else, then if we are all wrong together, I’m ok”. There were, of course, those who actually copied with understanding, could catch my mistakes and then made their answers better. Some were kind enough to tell me and help me do better though others were more competitive and preferred to get ahead of me in grades.

Are you chasing deniability or chasing excellence? And when chasing excellence, do you think of it only in terms of outcome-based performance, or socio-moral performance?