Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So far this semester, my students missed class because:

10. He got hit by a car. I have no doubts about this story. I would like to point out that this would not have happened if you were home studying for my class instead of walking on the sidewalk.

9. Her brother's wedding, which apparently lasts all week.

8. A child custody court date. His ex is a bitch who uses drugs and he loves his daughter and really wants to do well in my class but he wants custody at that point I said ok just leave my office.

7. An appointment with a shrink.

6. The mighty flood of twenty eleven! A broken pipe left an inch of water on her floor right before class. She and her friends cleaned up and repaired the broken pipe themselves! Thus, there was no repair bill from the plumber or documentation of any kind. As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient!"

5. Some undisclosed physical ailment, simply explained as being really gross.

4. An emergency apendecronologene therapy session removal transplant. Or some such big long doctor-sounding word that he probably made up.

3. A hockey game. Sure, we excuse participation in athletic events. By the way, when did our school get a hockey team? Oh, you are going to see a local hockey team play. Well then, go puck yourself.

2. A major religious holiday which you enjoyed with your family back in your home country rather than show up for the first two weeks of classes. That’s way too much time to be gone from class, even if you are spending your days fasting and worshiping. On second thought, as an international student, you pay the special 140% tuition rate compared to a US student. You’re prayers have been answered! Get your homework to me by next Friday. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that I’m culturally insensitive.

1. Oversleeping his alarm because he stayed up late Monday night to study and missed Tuesday’s class. I don’t teach class on Tuesday but thatnks for stopping by. I’ll mark you absent anyway because stupidity should not go unpunished.


  1. I know, right?

    I had a student see me earlier today in office hours to try to catch up after missing the first 3 weeks of class. A, not my problem, B, why tell me that one of the classes you missed because you overslept, and C NO DON'T SKIP A DIFFERENT CLASS IN ORDER TO MAKE MY OFFICE HOURS.

    Why would you do that??


  2. I don't know that any of those top my student who told me she was going to miss class because she was carrying a baby with some abnormality, and she had an abortion scheduled at a time that conflicted with our class. Really, "I have a medical appointment" would have been sufficient for me . . .

  3. II did get an excuse from a student this term that basically read "it's raining so I don't feel like coming to class." I... there are no words.

  4. I actually did have a student who was hit by a car while in a crosswalk. She wasn't seriously hurt, but I didn't even hear about it until a couple weeks later because a) she DIDN'T skip class and b) she DIDN'T ask for an extension of the paper assignment. In fact, she spent her weekend of bedrest writing the portions of the paper that her flaky partner had failed to write. That girl gave me hope in humanity that semester. All subsequent students get a lot less sympathy from me, too.

  5. You had me until the child custody comment. I've got a colleague down the hall going through this. If custody is going to be bitterly contested, it is an insanely time consuming thing to prepare for. Affidavit of X, subpoena of Y, notarized transcript of Z etc etc. Luckily my colleague doesn't have to renew his research grant for a few years, and he's got some good publications under his belt, cuz he ain't getting jackshit done in the lab and barely holding it together enough for teaching. So, next time suggest to the student that they maybe withdraw from school until their personal life is in order, because I highly doubt you'll see much of anything from this student until the court stuff is over with and the decision is rendered.

  6. Arrgh, these students have actual LIVES and plumbing but no money for plumbers. Which would be a fine reason to choose to treat classes as low on the priority list. Except for Numbers 9, 7, 3, 2 and 1, and maybe 4 (love "apendecronologene therapy session removal transplant"!).

    Some of Ben's students need to learn to juggle commitments (maybe celebrate a day or two of that religious holiday with family overseas, then return to university and fit in local expat celebrations around the class schedule). And some just need to learn discretion.

    As for CouldBeBetter's student with the heartbreaking abortion: I can forgive TMI when a person is in shock.

    Of course you could have done with "medical appointment". But to her, it's the death of her child. By her own hand. When the alternative may be a lifetime of suffering for the child and whole family. This is a human tragedy and certainly likely to affect her before and after the "appointment."

    That's when Prof Poopiehead's suggestion is vital.

  7. According to my inbox, the 2011-2012 grandparent genocide began at 5:16pm, 25 days into the term.

  8. 11. Got his schedule mixed up because three classes are hard to keep track of when class happens at the same time every single day.

    12. Had jet lag after flying from the northern part of the state to the southern part of the state.

    13. Thought she had food poisoning but it turned out to be a false pregnancy (again with TMI).

    MOstly, I just don't WANT to know.

  9. Number 10 can crawl to class and bleed to death in the auditorium, whereupon the driver of the car will be decapitated by sword (possibly a Kitana, or a Cossack Shashka.) The rest can cower in fear from the lakes and gysers of blood.

  10. I had a Master's student call me from the hospital as she had gone into labor a few hours before our appointment. I told her to turn off the damn phone, have the baby, and bring him by for cuddling by the thesis advisor when he's presentable.

  11. Ben must be having a bad semester indeed, because all these excuses are so...pedestrian. None of them show any imagination at all, such as "I didn't do my homework because I was bitten by a shark while surfing" (I got this while teaching in Florida: I did not want to see under his bandages, it was oozing and nasty), or "I've taken to fighting crime at night, since that time I was bitten by a radioactive spider."


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