Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Lazy, Unprincipled Students

C.A. Stephens (1844-1931), A Great Year of Our Lives at the Old Squire's (Norway, Maine: The Old Squire's Bookstore, 1912), pp. 156-157:
Joel was very particular that we should not assist each other, and obtained a promise from us each to that effect. "You will never make good, self-respecting Latin students, if you depend on others to make your translations for you!" he exclaimed, with emphasis, and iterated this sentiment nearly every day. "Make up your minds at the outset, too, that you will never use 'ponies.'"

"What's a 'pony?'" a number of us inquired.

Joel laughed. "It is somewhat to your credit that you don't know," said he. "You will find out quite soon enough, if you go to a Latin school, or to college. But as there is neither safety nor merit in ignorance, I will inform you that a 'pony' is a translation, written or printed, which lazy, unprincipled students make use of secretly to get their lessons from, or rather to evade their lessons."

"Ho!" cried Thomas, "that must be jolly!"

"It is so very jolly that I never knew a student, making use of them, who amounted to anything," replied Joel. "It is cheating. It is also unfair to others in the class. But the worst effect of it is always on the one who uses it. It robs him at once of self-respect and self-reliance. I take it upon myself to say boldly that only a sneak will use a 'pony.' If I were reduced to the necessity of using one, I would tell every member of my class of it, in advance, and also my instructor; but there never need be any necessity of using one, where the student has studied honestly and well, to begin with."

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