Got a nice note from Kevin Stein (a Comm proffie) that says this:
Hello, I'm developing a study that analyzes rhetorical strategies used by students in their excuses to professors. I've collected about 100 or so myself, but I was looking online for perhaps some kind of archive of a few I could examine. Do you by chance have a collection of these that you might be able to share with me? Obviously, the final research project will not use anyone's name and will completely protect their anonymity.
You can contact him directly at this address
My all-time favorite excuse for "why I didn't do my homework" was "because I was bitten by a shark while surfing," which I was given when I was teaching just south of Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Although fewer people die from shark attacks per year than are selected as astronauts or become saints, just being bitten is more plausible, and it does happen to surfers more often than to anyone else. When he offered to show me whatever was oozing under his bandages, I said, "That's OK..."ReplyDelete
(I hate it whenever I say, "That's OK..." to students. Whatever causes me to say it is never good.)
This whole exercise reminds me of the book, "How to Lie with Statistics," by Darrell Huff, who or course writes in the preface that the real purpose of the book is not to teach you how to lie with statistics. But of course, we are bound by honor to use our powers only for good or evil.