Time Enough

Someone I know was foolish enough to post a quote – “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  And my father responded with a comment about places where he used to work with the motto “We don’t have time to do it right.  But we have time to do it over.”

So which one is right?

Well, when it comes to students, it seems to me that sometimes there is only time to do it over.  Like when a deadline looms, and students foolishly believe that it’s better to beg forgiveness for a poorly done job than ask permission for an extension.

Or maybe instead they just decide to submit the “wrong file” and get surprised when it wasn’t the “right” one.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been on both sides of that one.  I’ve been the student who made an honest mistake (which is why I have a naming convention I now follow, not adding my name onto my submission until it’s the final version just to make sure it’s the right one).  And I’ve been the instructor, trying to figure out if I had a student just as clumsy as me or just lying to avoid getting that zero.  I can’t always assume the student is honest or dishonest, so I have to try to figure it out.  Am I always right?  Who knows.  Until we have a built-in lie detector in the web classrooms, I probably will never be sure.

But to get back to the point – the point is that sometimes there really is more time to do it over than do it right the first time.  At least if you’re in school.

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