Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We know you STUDENTS better than you know yourselves!! (by anon)

I am sick and tired of hearing lame excuses from students about missing classes. 
Here are a few of the classic ones.

I had to attend a funeral.
I was puking all night.
I overslept.
I had to meet with my landlord.
My mother has cancer.
I have to take my little brother to get his braces.
I had a flat.
I ran into a deer.
My baby puked on me.
I missed my ride to campus (student lives on campus)
Had to meet with my probation officer
Had to go to court
broke my foot
Had to chase my dog
Had to search for my cat
Had a doctor's appointment
Had to go on vacation with parents
Had to play sports
Had to meet with my advisor 
We know that most of you are lying, but we give you the benefit of the doubt.  Most professors have heard these type of excuses for years and they usually go in one ear and out the other.  It is not that we are insensitive, we have just heard these excuses countless times. 
I would love it if just for once a student would just tell me the truth. I missed your class because you are a sorry excuse for a professor, your lectures are boring as hell, and its fucking 80 degrees outside, so I elected to spend this time with my significant other sucking on beer rather than hanging out with you discussing a dead Greek dude named Socrates. Wonderful, refreshing and honest.  I can deal with this! 
Another thing that pisses me off is for one of you students to send me an email or come to my office and ask a really stupid motherfucking question. Drum roll please.
“Did I miss anything important in class?” Or a variation of this question. "What did I miss in class today?"
So I am supposed to summarize an entire 75-minute class in a few minutes for your highness.  I really want to say – of course you did not miss anything important, all we did was sit around in a circle chanting Gregorian hymns for 75-minutes. 
So here is the last one that pisses me off.  One of you will inevitably come to class, usually a few minutes before class and request to speak to me in the hall outside the class, and they will ask this really stupid question.  Drum roll please.
Is it alright if I miss class today, I have something really important to do? 
I really want to say to them, you stupid motherfucker, you are already here, so sit your sorry ass down, shut up, and learn something.  Besides, common sense should have told your sorry ass that if you are going to miss class then don’t show up period and if you do show up wrap some bandages around your pin head and fake like you have been hit in the head with the stupid stick. 
I have a few more but these are enough to get the argument going. 
I forgot about this one, it happened again yesterday. let me set the scene. I am wrapping up my lecture now, in the glide scope. I gave it my all today, ready to end, I am very tired and just want to go home and cool off. So in closing I ask the class  - are there any questions. I look around the room but no one says a motherfucker thing, so after this, I am packing up and thinking about sucking on some beer, and inevitably one of you motherfuckers will slowly slide up to the front desk with a got damn question about the lecture I just finished.  I want to say, you silly motherfucker, I just asked you - if you had any damn questions, are you hard of hearing, but I calmly and professionally answer their question while at the same time repressing an urge to slap him across the mug.
So what lies do you tell your loving professors to justify missing class. By the way, here is the best excuse to use - I have to miss class today. That is all you need to ever say to a prof. Most of them will not ask you for the reason. So try being honest!


  1. Suck it up teach. You pick a job where you have to deal with young adults trying to learn how to be adults. It's just the nature of the beast, I'm very sure you know this.

  2. too bad there isn't a "like" button on here

  3. If I'm going to lie to a prof I normally just say, "Hey. Good lecture today."

  4. 1:54, thanks for the insight. Now I'm depressed.

  5. Oh come on Teach, it is unrealistic to expect every single student to have a devout interest in the subject you are teaching. Instead, be thankful for the students who do have an honest interest in your class, forget about those who don't. Moreover, it is a well known fact that many students on campus have the attention span of a goldfish and unless you incorporate sock puppets and explosives into your lecture, chances are you will be unable to keep them entertained with dear old Socrates. So cheer up, and try not to dwell on the fact that you are attempting to teach students who lack the ability to retain any semi-academic information. I myself am depressed that we entertain such students at this institution...

  6. lol, Rabid. I don't expect every student to love what I teach or even love how I teach. But it's a little unsettling to think that maybe the times when I've been told that today's class was a good class, were deceptive times. I don't want to give up my (perhaps naive) assumption of student sincerity.

    I don't get your last line, "I myself am depressed that we entertain such students at this institution..."

  7. Either this is an overly sensitive professor who lacks confidence and just needs to stop giving a shit about students who miss class, OR this is a joke, written by a student to point out the idiocy of those professors who really give a damn.
    In any case - my response to professors like this:
    If you don't want to hear so many lame excuses, just tell students that you don't want to hear excuses, and if they want/have to miss class, then they should just do it. No questions asked. And if students want to get up and take a shit, fill a water bottle, or just dip for whatever reason, just let them do it without letting your feelings get hurt. Also, don't glare at students as they get up to leave, whether it's to leave early or just go to the bathroom. And by ALL MEANS never require documentation that proves an absence was "excused" (lest the student gets a lowered grade) as if the only real excuses can be documented.

  8. I'll admit that I am amused by this post. Some reactions seem a little extreme for me because I always try to give the benefit of the doubt. Still, one has to wonder about comments such as these "I have to miss class on Thursday. Are we doing anything important then?" A word of advice. If I am teaching it, it is important no matter what day it is. I wouldn't bother teaching it if it wasn't.

  9. If this post is by a real professor, it's pretty pathetic. Not only because profs should have better things to do than blog about students' lame excuses for missing class, but also because it's stupid to even care that much.
    Of course students are going to make up reasons why they were absent. They usually feel like they have to for some reason. But if it was given that students could come and go as they pleased without attendance being an issue, then maybe students wouldn't feel like they need to provide an excuse.
    Also professors, try to be more understanding when students ask questions after the lecture, or when they go to your office. At least they are making some kind of effort to learn. And don't forget it's part of your JOB to do that kind of stuff anyway.
    Last of all, students should always feel like they are free to come and go in the college learning environment. Also, students should feel free from bad judgments being passed on them by professors.

  10. Let's face it, UW-Whitewater doesn't exactly have the highest academic standards when it comes to admissions. I've come to terms with it, I realize that I am going to graduate from a lesser than university. Doesn't mean I have to like it. You can't exactly hold Whitewater to the standards of other universities student wise.

  11. 9:44,Pathetic. Then why are you responding to it? If as you claim that the prof should have better things to do than blog about students' lame excuses for missing class and it is stupid to care so much. Then why are you blogging about the prof's blogging so much about the lame excuses? Don't you have better things to do? And why do you care about the prof's caring so much about student's missing classes? Let me let you in on a little secret. Pay close attention. Students who attend classes regularly perform better in the class. If you are a prof, you should know this! Any student, if she or he is honest, will tell you that they do much better when they attend classes. Case closed.

  12. I have to miss class tomorrow and do not know what to tell my prof. After this post, I thought about just telling him the truth, but I am uncomfortable with it. I know that I should, but I will just email him and tell him that I have the flu.

  13. Well, I hope that this last comment is actually just poking fun. But if it's my class, you wouldn't have to say anything. Sometimes, there are some things more important than class and one has to miss. Of course one hopes it is a rarity, but life is unpredictable and professors should be flexible.

  14. 12:28 -
    It doesn't take long to type a short paragraph response. What I want to get across to professors like this is that attendance shouldn't be an issue. Students should just be able to come and go as they please. Period. Whether it's a family death or just a willy-nilly "I don't fucking feel like goin to class today", it shouldn't matter. Attendance shouldn't matter. Attendance already INHERENTLY has enough to do with grades. OBVIOUSLY if a student attends class, he/she is bound to get a better grade than if he/she tends to skip classes. Students just need to know that, and it needs to be proven to them, through experience. Thus, the professor must make the class so that in order to perform well, the student must attend lectures and engage in discussion. End of story.

  15. I posted 5:57. I hate this post, just kidding, but my prof actually reads these postings, so he asked me point blank if I was really sick with the flu. His question placed me in a moral dilemma, sort of like Michael Correlone in the GodFather when his wife, Kate, asked him if he killed people. Of course, he lied and told her no, and she left his office smiling and content.

    So should I come clean and answer the question truthfully and tell him the truth, that I never had the flu? I just did not feel like coming to class, the weather was just too nice. After reflecting for a few minutes, I looked him straight in the eye and said, of course, I had the flu. I was sick as a dog, although dogs rarely get sick.

    Noticing the incredulity expressed on his face, I followed up quickly by asking him if he needed a doctor's excuse? Of course, I knew he would say "that is not necessary" but I was mentally prepared if he said yes. In high school, I used a fake ID to get into bars, so coming up with a fake doctor's excuse would not be a major problem. I could easily get a fake excuse from my family doctor. I have seen my mom and dad call in sick on their jobs many times and either spend the day shopping or playing golf. So what is so wrong with me doing the same thing?

  16. Ha big deal 4:20 (Although I think calling in sick for work is a bit different than saying your sick and have to miss class).. You shouldn't even have to feel like you need to give an excuse in the first place. Therefore, you shouldn't have to feel like you're in a "moral dilemma". Professors shouldn't even ask or give a shit where you were or why you weren't in class. It's none of their business, but bad attendance policies make it their business.

  17. 9:02 Please do tell me so I can feel better about myself. What exactly is the difference between lying to your employer and lying to your professor? I like it that my professors care enough about me to inquire about my absences and to learn my name. My professor calls me Amy and he knows the names of all the students in the class. You don't believe that they should care. I heard my hero, Zig Zigler say once - people don't care what you know until they know that you care!

  18. Ok, I have read all these posts. I have one question.

    Do you get better grades or learn more when you attend classes regularly?

  19. 10:40 -
    Really? You can't see the difference? It's very simple and obvious - If I miss class, I'm hurting no one but myself. If I miss work, I'm most likely hurting my co-workers, my boss, and the company I work for. I shouldn't need to explain further.

    And I like it when professors care about me too. It's nice if a professor asks me about why I missed class for other than grading purposes. It can be casual like, "Hey what happened to ya on Tuesday?" and I can say, "Well it was just one of those days...the weather was really nice and I kind of just felt like relaxing" (NOTE: this is not a habit of mine). The professor might frown at this, and give me the "Tsk tsk", but the professor should also respect my decision, and not take it personally or hold a grudge, thus, I shouldn't feel like I have to say "I had the flu".

    Unfortunately, professors seem to give guilt trips to students for missing class, and they automatically assume every excuse is a lie.
    Here's a note for you professors - I already feel pretty guilty whenever I miss class for a not-so-good reason. Sometimes I have to convince myself that I am sick and actually have a good reason to miss class, just to not feel so bad. I feel guilty not because I think I've wasted your time, or hurt your feelings, I feel guilty because typically, the right choice for me is to go to class, and I only disappoint myself by missing class. However, when a class isn't all that great, I start feeling like the right choice is actually to miss class so I can fulfill other obligations, or just take some "me" time.

    Anyway, here's the bottom line:
    The relationship between professors and students should be open and friendly. Professors should respect students' decisions for missing class, but they should also make it clear that if a student misses class, he/she is responsible for what he/she missed, and the professor doesn't want to be bombarded in his/her office with questions about what was missed (although extenuating circumstances should allow for this). Students should not have to feel obligated to lie to professors about missing class. My professor is my friend, and I don't lie to friends. This is all quite simple, I don't understand how anyone could not understand this =(

    And to your question 10:42 -
    In the classes that are good, I get better grades and learn more when I attend regularly, even when attendance is not graded directly.
    In the classes that are not-so-good, I'll probably perform poorly and not learn well regardless of my attendance.
    So you see, it's not a cut and dry issue - just because attendance SHOULD equal better grades and better learning, doesn't necessarily mean it does in every professor's class. Interestingly enough, it tends to be the not-so-good classes in which professors require attendance for a grade =(