Apple: Hey, Ringo! Look at my new iPod! Isn’t it beautiful!
Ringo: It surely is. Where did you get it?
Apple: It’s a birthday present from my parents. I like it soooo much. I will bring it with me to school every day.
Ringo: Uh-oh, you probably can’t do that. Don’t you know that our school has enacted a ban on digital media players? They said iPods had become the latest tool for cheaters.
Apple: What the… I haven’t heard about any classmates using iPod to cheat. Where did they get this idea? I think most of the teachers are technologically illiterate, aren’t they?
Ringo: Ha, that’s probably why they are worried. People are always afraid of the unknown... But seriously, they are not worried for no reason. After all, it’s possible to download some crib notes, formulas, dictations, or even audio files to your iPod and use it for some devious ends in the exams.
Apple: That’s true. But it all seems so cumbersome, I mean, to cheat with iPods. Who’s gonna have the earbuds on when taking exams? It’s just like yelling silently at the teacher, “Hey, look at me! I am cheating with my iPod! Come get me if you can!” Besides, aren’t we asked to clear the desk and put everything down to the ground except for pencils and erasers?
Ringo: The school administration probably thinks banning these gadgets will at least stave off some cheaters.
Apple: Dream on! For as long as there have been tests and exams, there have been cheaters. It could be an abacus up the sleeve or a piece of papyrus taped to the insole of a sandal, and iPods are just the latest twist in the history of human cheating.
Ringo: Ha, I like this abacus-up-the-sleeve thing. Cheating is really an age-old problem. Cheaters always find their ways to do it. Those who cut corners as students will end up cutting corners all their lives.
Apple: So, this kind of zero-tolerance policy that regards not the students’ behavior but the technology itself is just ridiculous. Don’t you think so?
Ringo: W… wait a minute. I didn’t follow your words. What do you mean?
Apple: I say if they are banning iPods to stop cheating, they might as well ban pencils, pens, all forms of paper, watches, sleeves, pockets, water bottles, shoes, and place cameras above and below every desk because banning an iPod from school isn’t going to stop a god damn thing.
Ringo: Somehow I feel that you are saying something very different from the part I didn’t catch. Was that what you said in your previous sentence?
Apple: No, I spoke two different sentences.
Ringo: But why?
Apple: Why? Because I am angry! Originally I wanted to download some podcasts so that I can listen to them at school to help me with my Japanese. And now the plan gets all screwed up!
Ringo: It was Mr. Luddite.
Ringo: Mr. Luddite, who teaches art history. I heard that he proposed this to the principal.
Apple: Did he?... Then… he is really a worthy Luddite. Glory be to Mr. Luddite, who has saved the campus from the evil hands of the machines. May his soul rest restlessly in HELL!