"A much easier and faster way to achieve success both in school and work is to simply to cheat."

"Who cares what people think? Don't be oppressed by the law-makers; make your own laws to abide by. "



Editor’s Note: Arian’s and Caitlin’s essays are modeled on Mark Twain’s essay “Advice to Youth,” in which Twain gives young people bad advice. Of course, Twain’s essay—like Caitlin’s and Arian’s essays—is ironic; in their essays, all three writers wish to persuade young people to be ethical and responsible.

Catilin Learned

learnedA graduate of Culver City High School, Caitlin Learned is currently attending West Los Angeles College and intends to transfer to UCLA to pursue a degree in English. While in the K-12 system, she realized that she wanted to become a kindergarten teacher and show students that it’s fun to learn. Caitlin’s love of learning comes from her father, a former English professor who decided to leave his career so that he could help Caitlin and her sister achieve the most from school. Inspired by her father’s example, Caitlin is now on her way to becoming a teacher and fulfilling a lifelong dream.

If You're Not Cheatin', You're Not Tryin'

The world is just filled with people who will tell you that the best way to be successful in life is to work hard in school so that you can get a good job and then make your way up the work force ladder until you reach the top. For a while, this may work. But if everyone were able to do this, then everyone would be at the top and there wouldn’t be anyone working under them. The truth… only a few actually reach their goals through honest hard work. A much easier and faster way to achieve success both in school and work is to simply—cheat. By putting everything you’ve got into cheating and getting around the rules, you will reach your goals in no time and leave everyone else in the dust.

Learning subjects and studying hard may help some students earn good grades, but proper and innovative cheating will achieve those same goals and with only a fraction of the work. You could study for a test on a certain book, reading it over and over again until you know it backwards and forwards, but why bother? It takes up too much time and there are Cliff Notes online. Just print those out and read them; they give you all you need to know.  And the homework teachers give you… please! Find the smart kids in the class and copy their notes or homework. You don’t need to study something really hard when you are never going to use it in life. It is far more efficient to do the minimum amount and cheat on the rest.

Once people are out of school and into the work force, many believe that hard work and honest labor will help them to advance in life. But really, cheating and lying will result in higher pay and more opportunities for advancement. You can work for 14 hours a day, five days a week, and slowly climb up the work ladder. Or you can walk around the office, take others' ideas and work, and pass it off as your own. No one will know the difference. Or better yet, bluff. Say something that sounds really smart when, in fact, it means absolutely nothing. What will learning about the information for a project help you to do in a year? That’s right, nothing! It’s far better to take credit for other people’s work and make it look like your own.

Stepping over others and finding ways around rules and regulations is an excellent way to succeed at life. People who actually work hard, learn their subjects, and study to become more proficient at what they do are simply wasting their time and effort. Only when something really needs to get done or when deadlines and goals must be met will those who work hard and honestly be recognized for their skills and abilities. Cheaters, on the other hand, will have those around them thinking how clever and resourceful they are; how they never seem to know anything, but always seem to get ahead. And if cheaters are ever caught, they can always pull the ultimate (and now quite common) bamboozlement—blame someone else.


Arian Mahboubian

portraitArian has been brought up in this world with respect and responsibility,
but has always wanted an outlet of destruction. During and after his parents’ divorce, he reports, “destruction was inevitable.” He took to the heavy metal lifestyle, and growing a mohawk was the ultimate show of rebellion for him. Although “my looks and actions were questionable,” he tells West, “my mind was set to outgrow negative influences. Being responsible is the only proof of being an adult.”

Do Wrong!

It’s the beginning of another year, and you'd still be running your own tail wondering how to fit in with the cool kids. Trying to build a shadow to blend with, you'd fail oftentimes enough to give up and just tell yourself to forget the crowd, but how can i be unique? Show a face to make people take another look upon; a face that shows your comeback of the put downs, back stabs, and nasty looks frowned on you.

Smoking pot brought the new cool to the kids. Take a hit from the bowl. Nothing but the ordinary on your casual day on being the new cool kid. Rollin' blunts, buying a new down-stem to your 4-foot bong, and carrying the sticky stink proudly as it marks your surroundings noses with the distinction of knowing the cool kid is around, and it's you.

Finding your new attitude, you'd sell yourself as dangerous and destructive. Rituals with Mary Jane lead you to Heavy Metal, the head-banging medicine needed for your disturbed mind, buzzing your hair to a mohawk to physically show your disruption, and gauging your ears to show that you can take the pain. The attention feels amazing; knowing the crowd digs the new look, you perceive the outcome as keeping your mohawk, tall and proud.

Who cares what people think? Don't be oppressed by the law-makers; make your own laws to abide by. Your parents are only trying to drag you back home while your ambition to explore is tilting over the top like a champagne bottle! Being young, you have the whole world to your hands. Who cares about high school?  You are all going to a community college anyway, and your education doesn't matter because there are no jobs to apply to…right?

The only thing needed for your interaction with society now is to grow that mohawk the more you grow. Smoking weed helps only to better see your life. Colors trail and imagination come from the poison you crave so dearly, the poison that helped you make that mohawk what it is today.

But what if you can't grow hair anymore? How will society view your life with no spikes on your head? You'd have to be old, miserable, and not have a clue to retire because you never earned the degree to do so. The nerds being picked on for doing their homework now have all the money you would wish to have to spend for a golden bathtub full of weed and that double-perk bong you never obtained. You're jealous. How come the attention given for your appearance never paid off? How come the eyes once praising your metal stature have the discombobulated look of where is the prize? Where is the glory to your over-scene, black nail polish and death-defying screams coming out of your head plugs? Most of your time spent went to impress the ones who saw nothing about you. Life starts out young, showing talent and curiosity, but the old represents that your time of making something out of yourself is near. Looking at yourself in the mirror, you ask your reflection, what do you have to show for the world besides poking some plugs through your stubbornly gauged ear-hole? Only to look back and notice it is you, as nothing important has become.

Editor: LinckeN@WLAC.edu | West Los Angeles College | 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City CA 90230 | www.wlac.edu
Production Mngr: Michelle Long-Coffee | Web Design: Clarissa Castellanos