That sound heard at 6:30 last night was of me putting down the pen after grading the last of the final exams.
The sound heard at 6:32 was the hard drive in my head experiencing a catastrophic crash.
Finals Week for all of the fifth quarter ethics classes is (almost) completed, with my evaluation of the oral presentations, and taking taking home the take-home exams. Whew! The presentation on the moral dilemma (there was one?) of the Holocaust fizzled before it got off the launching pad, the two presentations on the legalization of marijuana were changed at the last minute, and the presentation on the ethics of ‘winning vs. losing’ left all of us scratching our heads.
We heard some great presentations though, and I read some wonderfully engaging and intelligent exams. I did my best to graciously thank the students for their hard work, and encouraged and challenged them individually where possible. So it was a great term, with some great students.
But then there are the plagiarizers. Those shameless, sneaky students who try to pull a fast one on their too-savvy professor. I have to admit to enjoying the detective work, though doing sufficient research to grant a well-deserved ’0′ takes at least ten minutes. But it is an entertaining ten minutes, to be sure. My google page now lights up with the phrases:
“ethical egoism purports to tell us how to live” (who talks like that?)
“utilitarianism begins with one of the most important moral insights of modern times and couples it with a powerful metaphor which underlies our moral life. That insight is that…” (didn’t I read that in the textbook?)
“Muslim religious law covers virtually all areas of human behavior, telling believers what behavior is.” (is what?)
“The main weakness of virtue ethics is that it may not always tell us how much is too much or too little, or how best to deal with people who have value systems drastically different from our own.” (that sounds familiar… where have I heard that?… Oh, in my own lecture notes!!)
and finally, “Religion is important to everyone, even to intellectuals and retards.”