Thursday, September 19, 2013

Did I Miss Anything?

Professor Monkey,

I wasn't able to come to class today. It wasn't my fault though -- last night's storm scared my dog and he kept me up all night trying to figure out what was going on. It was a pretty scary storm. Did I miss anything?

Samantha Snower-Flakey

An Ode To Samantha, stolen from Tom Wayman

When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours     
I gave an exam worth
40 percent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 percent
None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose     
A few minutes after we began last time 
a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel 
or other heavenly being appeared 
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do 
to attain divine wisdom in this life and 
the hereafter 
This is the last time the class will meet 
before we disperse to bring the good news to all people 
on earth.
When you are not present
how could something significant occur?     
Contained in this classroom 
is a microcosm of human experience 
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder 

This is not the only place
such an opportunity has been gathered
but it was one place
And you weren’t here


  1. I love this so much I have it on my door and on our LMS. :)

  2. Because I could not stop for Class,
    It kindly stopped for me;
    The classroom held but just ourselves
    And Snowflakery.

    (With apologies to Emily Dickinson and Dr. Tingle)

  3. I...I'm just......I'm just........


    Somehow, I never saw this before.

    Thank you.

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  5. Two rooms divided across an ivied land,
    And sorry I cannot attend class
    And be one snowflake, briefly I stand
    And discern of one as little as I can
    Such that at semester’s end I’ll pass;

    Then stay in the other, my dorm room lair,
    It having totally the better offer,
    And me so cozy in the PJs I wear;
    Though as for trudging over there,
    The desks are hard; my bed’s way softer.

    And all that morning I tranquilly lay
    In sheets deep sleep had sweated brown.
    Oh, I skipped the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how hamsterology leads to such small pay,
    I doubted if I should ever cross the grounds.

    I shall be yelling this while high
    At some rager late this Thursday night:
    Far flung across campus is my first class, and I—
    I need my sleep; I don’t need to try.
    It’s made no difference, I’ll be alright.

  6. I used to believe the old cliche, "There's no such thing as a dumb question." There is too: this is the first and foremost example. It reveals not so much ignorance or stupidity as thoughtlessness: either inability or unwillingness to think, in people who should know better.

    I've taught my large, general-ed astronomy class for non-majors so many times now, I have the chapters memorized. Whenever therefore a student asks "I couldn't have been bothered to come to class. Did I miss anything?" I reply, "YES. You missed a LOT. Read Chapter 7!"


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