Confused. To help or not to help

I am doing a graduate level course. Every lecture, I come and sit on the first bench, listen attentively to the professor, ask questions, reply to his questions, and most importantly, take good notes. Not many other people take good notes. Sometimes they miss lectures too. They hardly ever reply when the professor asks questions (his questions are very easy) and as such are mentally absent from the class.

Now that the final exam is coming closer, some of these very students (complete strangers) have started asking me for my lecture notes so that they can photocopy them to study from those notes. To me it doesn’t just seem right that I should give my notes to these people. Why should they have my notes when they could have themselves taken down notes if they wanted to?

At the same time, I think about my calling as a Christian - love your neighbour as yourself. That would suggest that I give them my notes, but something doesn’t just seem right about this. I feel like I am just a tool for them. I do all the hard work and at the end of it, they just come and feast on it.

Please give me some advice.

This is a difficult situation and I understand your reluctance…
Some things to consider…
Why do you not want to share? You say that they shoulda-coulda took their won notes and this is true, but then is your reluctance… a) an attempt to help them understand that they should take their own notes?..or b) revenge on them for not taking their own notes and taking advantage of you.

What loss is it to you to share your notes? None…
Will it make you any less prepared? Certainly not…
Will it make them as well prepared as you? Certainly not…

Now - all that said, I would not give anyone my notes to make copies…I’d make the copies and give them to those who ask…I might even be tempted to charge a stipend for them…:wink:

In any case, whether you share your notes or not, you are the one who has gotten the most out of this class (and probably all your classes). You are the one who, upon graduation, will be best fitted for your chosen field and you will leave all of them in the dust…


These people are taking advantage of you and our faith does not require us to be taken advantage of. I personally would not provide, for free or for charge, my notes to anyone, as it rewards their laziness.

However, if you feel compelled to help someone, you are within your rights to charge for the use of your notes, and I strongly encourage you to do that. You have a product that they desire, and that product is your notes. In a free market, when demand for a product exceeds the supply, price goes up. Price your notes accordingly, and I think you will find that your classmates will no longer ask for your notes. If any are actually willing to pay the price you deserve for the effort you put into taking good notes, then you are being well-compensated for your work.

And please take the precaution that the previous poster said: do not provide your original notes to the person for them to copy. Rather, you make copies of your notes and give the person the copy.

I am the wrong person to ask about what a good Christian would do, but having been the worst sort of disorganised and slothful note-borrower at the start of my studies, I became the guy at the front with the good notes. Knowing the situation of the borrowers I was pleased to help and found ways to encourage them in study. I would worry about the idea of charging for notes. If you want to make the point, then ask for a small donation to a cause. that way you make the point, without appearing to want to profit personally. Of course, it is your right to profit, it’s just that I think you might profit more from the friendship and gratitude of those you help, than by the money you would get.

I fully understand your feelings. Everyone had the same opportunities that you had. It seems unfair that you now have to do extra work and be inconvenienced for these people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do in the first place.

If I were in your situation, I would share my notes with people who had to be away from class due to illness or a death in the family, but not with people who were perfectly able to take their own notes, if they had wanted to. And I agree with everyone who said, don’t let your notes out of your sight - if you decide to share them, you be the one doing the copying - don’t lend out the originals - you might not ever see them again.

WesleyF.: In the first place they have no business asking for your notes.I assume it wasn’t just a one class they missed and were unable to attend for a particular reason.Being Christian has nothing to do whith it .You’d just be helping them cheat.Then it would be your sin too.

I don’t think that it’s fair to call it cheating, but it would be confirming then in their laziness and bad habits.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight

there is a difference between charity and enabling someone who is lax in their duties. You can in perfect truth say," I need my notes for my own study. Why not ask the professor if he has posted his lectures on his website?" you can do this without entertaining the tempting and natural but unhelpful resentful feelings you describe. BEcause of their own attitude toward the class, lending them the notes most likely will not help them do better on the test and certainly will not change their overall attitude toward the gift of education, so is it really an act of charity anyhow?

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