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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dispatches from Academia.
A reader sends in this email from a student in which the student actually offers a bribe in order to take an exam at a different time.
Morning [Professor],

This morning I was placed in charge of running the [Famous Entertainer] In-Studio Event here at [Corporation X] (where I work) and it takes place [Month Xth], 2006 from 4:30-7pm. I need to know if there is any way to take the exam sooner or to take it around 8pm when I can try to get there. The only thing I could offer you is a pass to come see this in-studio event (unfortunately only you and a guest could come, not the whole class). Let me know what you think I should do.

"Only you and a guest could come." Fantastic. Beside the unethical nature of the email, the terms of the bribe make absolutely no sense. The student wants to take the exam at a different time because of a conflicting schedule. Accepting tickets to the event causing the conflict would thus create a scheduling conflict for the professor who presumably would be administering said exam. If you're going to try to bribe someone, at least give the person a feasible offer.

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