Just for kicks and giggles, I contemplated writing the Honor Code on the top of my test. "I pledge I will not lie, cheat, or steal. Nor will I tolerate those who do." For nine long years "I pledge..." was written at the top of every test I took accompanied by my signature that sometimes included all of the letters to my name.
Now, here I am, years removed from the pledge, the uniform, and the salmon colored bricks, yet they are forcing their way back into my life one collared polo at a time. Some habits die hard, I guess. However, it dawned on me today that it's all a lie. I cheat. I steal. I tolerate it from myself and from others.
I am a writer.
I stretch the truth or make it up completely, I steal material from every day conversations, and I tolerate this only because I am a writer; this is what I'm paid to do. Lying, cheating, and stealing are encouraged.
Eves drop. Put something in your purse that doesn't exactly belong there (as long as it's only words, Grandma!). Let the tales of others appear in your work. Don't feel bad about it. After all, "The Code's more like guidelines than actual rules."
Ok, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole. That doesn't mean real life is off-limits. For example, a green laser was repeatedly shot across campus and directly into my
Lie, cheat, and steal material in the name of fiction. Ok, I promise I won't do it while wearing the plaid skirt that makes me look like a Catholic school girl.