Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Preparing cheat sheets

I had a flashback to my college days. I was recalling the times when my classmates and I had to prepare "cheat sheets" for our Physics and Mathematics classes -- that is, lists of equations that we could use while taking a test.

I did these things sensibly. I made sure to list all the relevant equations that I might not necessarily remember. That's what a cheat sheet is supposed to be, after all -- a memory guide.

Practically every single one of my classmates, however, took a different approach. They copied down every equation that they could find in the book chapters on which we were to be tested. They even wrote down stupidly simple equations like "V=IR", which we had been using for years and should have had completely memorized. It was pathetic.

I also remember David, one of my Math classmates. He was a Computer Science major, and not a very good one. For one of the algebra clases, he wrote down an entire sequence of how to factor an equation. In other words, instead of learning the princples behind factoring, he wrote down an example (probably more than one) so that he could use it to truly "cheat."

This disgusts me. College students should know better than to do that -- that is, if they are genuinely interested in learning.