Keller @ Large: A Tale Of 2 Cultures

BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s call this story a tale of two cultures.

In one corner, 70 students at Harvard University who signed up for a gut course called “Introduction to Congress” where the professor reportedly told them attendance wasn’t mandatory and they could probably expect to get an “A”.

But something got into the professor’s ginseng tea and he started to get tougher, a turn of events that apparently led to cheating by the students so flagrant it even ran afoul of Harvard’s lax, look-the-other-way standards.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Keller at Large Sept 17 2013

According to the New York Times, “students’ grasp of what constitutes cheating is weak,” so Harvard is now looking into adopting honor codes and designing a system to enforce them, a process that should be complete, given the university’s track record, by the end of this century.

In the other corner, there’s 54-year-old Glen James, a homeless man with serious medical issues who lives in a local shelter.

James found a bag at the South Bay Mall the other day containing $2,400 in cash and nearly $40,000 in travelers checks. He could have walked off with it.

But unlike the privileged sons and daughters of Harvard, James’ grasp of what constitutes cheating is not weak.

He turned the bag into police, saying in a statement: “Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny of the money I found. I am extremely religious – God has always very well looked after me.”

I have an idea.

Let’s move Glen James into one of those cushy suites at the Harvard dorms, where he can instruct the kids in ethics and morals. And let’s move the cheating preppies into a homeless shelter, where they can learn that having to work for your “A” grade is not real adversity.

There’s what you call a win-win situation.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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