Of course I can overlook your first assignment’s lateness, because you’re so very sick with the flu, so sick that you are on some serious medication your doctor just prescribed you. No problem! In fact I’ll even waive the requirement that you bring me a doctor’s excuse, which you didn’t get because you “forgot”. When you recover from your debilitating condition, and if you still can’t get that excuse for whatever reason, why don’t you just bring your prescription bottles to my office? Or just take a pic of them with your phone and forward the pics to me? You did know, of course, that prescription bottles always have a date on them to indicate when they were filled. They also contain the name of the drug and the doctor that prescribed them. I’m sure you still have these bottles, since you are still so sick, and I’m sure the labels will indicate that they contain medicine prescribed this past weekend, for the kind of thing that doctors usually prescribe for the flu. Tamiflu, cough syrup with codeine, etc.
Don’t worry if you forget that too…I intend to remind you that I need to see them if you want to avoid the late penalty. But when I ask for them, or the pictures, if you make up some dumb excuse I will know you are twice a liar. That you lied about your initial illness, and you lied about why you don’t have the letter/prescriptions. And if you are lying, I will not only penalize you with the standard grade off for lateness, but I will take off another grade as well. This is known as the “liar’s penalty”. It’s not written into the syllabus, but trust me, I will take off that extra grade and I will make it stick.
Feel better soon.
Dear Distracted Donna,
Yes, I know that you did not pass my sophomore survey in part because of your low participation grade. I understand that you are confused, because you keep insisting that you “don’t see how that could happen,” but let me repeat for you here practically verbatim from the syllabus as to how I figure your participation grade.
Unfortunately for you, Distracted Donna, I do not pull grades out of my ass. If I did they would smell better. Instead, I use something called “math”. Have you heard of it? Well, your participation grade is all math. I count the number of your absences and divide them by the number of classes. I immediately take this number off of 100, which is the highest possible participation grade. You missed seven times out of thirty. That means that even if you came with your book, paid attention, and answered every question right every single time you attended, you would still only receive a 76.7 for your participation grade. However you did not come with your book every time, you never answered questions correctly, and you spent a good portion of class time staring off into space or writing notes to the person next to you. So you get a 25 for participation, Donna. Please be sure to sign up for this class again with another professor.
Dear Brown-nosing Barbara,
How nice that you loved the week’s lesson. I’m glad you enjoyed all the reading assignments, and that you learned so much. You should know that emailing me this effusion right after you completely bombed the first quiz has had absolutely zero effect on your grade. In fact, by the time you wrote me that email, I’d already entered your F.