Hello, fellow Miserians,
A former reader of RYS, this is my first post on CM. My thanks to Those in Charge for the opportunity. Herewith, I immure myself in the misery.
Here's the question: Are students today feebler and sicker than past generations of human specimens? Has the general level of immune system robustness in our species suffered a dire change of which I'm unaware? In the past, a student here and there would miss an exam due to illness. Naturally. But missing was the exception, not the rule. Nowadays, missing is the rule, not the exception, and I almost faint from disbelief when all my students show up for an exam as they're supposed to. Last year I had a student who shattered all records by missing all three exams in the course. Since he provided what appeared to be proper medical notes, I had to offer re-writes. And my institution recommends (with good reason) creating altered make-up exams to thwart the passing of exam details between students -- extra work for me.
I wouldn't be able to make this observation except for my long years of teaching experience. I've been around enough to know that such things didn't always happen with the same frequency. That's a stone-cold fact. Is the explanation simply that contemporary students are less dutiful and persevering, that students of the past would have soldiered on despite catching unpleasant but ordinary bugs and so on? Are they more frequently scamming doctors into writing technically passable but thin notes (and if so, why are the doctors playing along)? Is it a harbinger of 2012?
Are you getting shafted this way, too?