This note arrived in my email inbox yesterday:
Greetings Proffie Bubba,
I'm in your Fall 2011 Introduction to underwater Wittgensteinian equestrian basket-weaving class. My grandfather is sick and he's in the Netherlands, and so I'm going to fly to see him in September. Can you please tell me what my options are before I buy my airplane ticket? How many classes can I miss? Will it affect my grade if I miss too many classes? Will I be able to make up missed classes?
Polite, well-written note. Sounds like a nice kid. And the student is planning ahead. Bonus points for all that.
Q. How would you reply?
A._______________________ [Be creative, dammit.]