Monday, April 11, 2011

lies, lies, and more lies

I've often wondered how regularly my students lie to me. Of course, they have an excuse for everything. "I have a family emergency." "I was throwing up all night." "My alarm didn't go off." "I was there--I just forgot to sign in--I promise!" "I took cold medicine right before class and slept right through it." "I didn't know the paper was due today." "I ate something bad at the Diner and got food poisoning." "I didn't get your email." "I had a panic attack on the way to class and couldn't come." Or, what's better, "My friend had a panic attack on the way to class and I had to take her back to her dorm room."

How many of these excuses, all of which I've heard dozens of times, are true? Fifty percent? Ten percent? One percent? I believe few of them, especially because most of them come days after the offense occurred, but hardly ever have evidence to prove that students are lying.

Except, one day last week, I caught two students in lies and I had evidence to call out both of them. And believe me, I did. It was a whopper of a day, let me tell you. Witch Blondie even made an appearance.

Anyone else in a profession where you think you're lied to regularly? How do you handle it?


Doctor Blondie said...

How often do you think patients lie to their doctors?

"I swear, I eat healthily and never eat sweets"
"I only drink sometimes"
"I smoke 5 cigarettes a day"

"I fell on the bottle when I was naked, that's how it went up my ass"

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I recently when to a program for the students on integrity. The life coach/speaker talked about how those lies/excuses are really a lack of integrity. If you made a commitment to go to class, turn in an assignment,etc. and you don't do it you lack integrity. The excuses/reasons don't change that fact that you didn't get what you committed to doing done. It's better to just admit the truth and take the consequences than fall back on the excuses. It was a very eye-opening perspective for all of us.

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

In fundraising people lie to you a lot as well. Hmmm...can't fulfill that pledge because your daughter needs braces? Then how in the world did you afford that trip to Europe? Etc. etc.

Katie's integrity comment is interesting. I'd be curious to know how you'r handle a student who just came up to you and said, "I'm very sorry, my alarm didn't go off and it won't happen again" about missing class v. someone who (you suspect) is telling an elaborate lie. I'm guessing you'd be more lenient on the person who told the plausible truth and apologized.