Did I miss anything? Excuses we hate.

A decade ago, I listed some innovative and some of my least favorite student excuses on Twitter. Here is a summary of mine and other examples that were offered by my community on Twitter…

Hated excuses

  • Top of the list – where we rate: “I had to meet with prof. so and so” (@theATfiles) or “I had to study for finance(mine)
  • Universally hated: I missed class last week, did I miss anything important? (@drbret, myself and others)
  • from @J_RME “my parents already bought my plane ticket, they didn’t know we had class that day” (of course the calendar is online for a year)
  • Not the excuse itself but a student’s mother coming to school with the student to deliver his excuses. (via @PingTweets)
  • I had a chance to be in a movie last evening! (The “movie” was an installment of “Girls gone Wild”; a feminist professor was not amused...)
  • Here is a poem about “did I miss anything” question by Tom Wayman: http://www.delaneykirk.com/2006/05/did_i_miss_anyt.html (via @delaneykirk)

Regional differences

  • I was really prepared for the presentation but then I ran into my ex at Seven Eleven and we hooked up, so I didn’t make it to class (when I taught in Chicago)
  • I was prepared and keeping track of time…But I shot a six-point buck and I had to follow him (when I was new to VA)

Updates on classics and innovative new ones:

  • The dog chewed my hard drive and my project was lost (from a colleague)
  • Does your attendance policy apply to FRIDAYS? (@laurelschirr)
  • A blank paper e-submission – the student claimed it was virus problem! (from @steveshu )
  • ‘My daughter is caught up in a mudslide in Guatemala’. (@Kip_Jones)
  • ‘I had to go home to have the dog put down’. (@Kip_Jones)

Not so innovative

  • Weather: (via @maijare in Chicago) “I thought it was going to snow”;     
      • (via billsoPhD in Honolulu) “Surf’s up on the North Shore!”
  • Mornings are tough:
    • (via @profmonllor) “I have a hard time getting up in the morning.”;
    • (via @ProfessorGary) “Wednesday’s a huge party night and Thursday’s even bigger, so it is really hard to make Friday morning classes.”
    • (via @mnburgess) I spent the day in a tub because I got skunked and couldn’t bring in my assignment!
  • Special Days: My cousins boyfriend celebrated his 21st birthday! (me)
      • Monday (Columbus Day, etc.) is a holiday for some people (@Carolien)
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15 Responses to Did I miss anything? Excuses we hate.

  1. Delaney Kirk says:

    The “did I miss anything” question drives me nuts which is why I love this poem by Tom Wayman: http://www.delaneykirk.com/2006/05/did_i_miss_anyt.html

  2. gschirr says:

    This poem is GREAT!

  3. Delaney Kirk says:

    I got both of these this semester:

    “My husband got my plane tickets and he didn’t schedule me to get back in town in time for my first day of classes.”

    “Is it OK if I miss the first four weeks of classes?” Yes, the student did ask this. Apparently his new job was sending him out of town for training for the first month of the semester.

  4. John Cass says:

    I think my favorite from the list was the regional differences… the juxtaposition was interesting.

  5. gschirr says:

    It was a cultural eye opener for me — it was my first semester in VA. I didn’t know what a six point buck was! Thanks for your comment.

  6. Rich Becker says:

    Hard to miss with this list. I do have couple more that came to mind. Much simpler than some of the one mentioned above, but just as silly.

    1. My goldfish was sick.
    2. It was raining.
    3. I forgot about class, until my friend called and asked how it went.

    All my best,

  7. gschirr says:

    Good ones!

    I should have included the rain one – that drives me nuts! I have also heard “I just forgot”, but never the goldfish one…

  8. I hate to call them excuses – they were all true! Happened to my 12 year old son. “My homework is still stuck in the printing queue,” “Our print cartridge ran out this morning,” and, “I was going to email it, but then a tree branch fell and snapped the cable modem line from the telephone poll.” Seriously. These things happen to us.

  9. Saul Kaplan says:

    Infuriating to hear, It isn’t going to be on the test.

  10. Jonena says:

    I have to leave the training a couple hours early today. You can tell me what I missed tomorrow during our break, can’t you?

  11. Oh this is priceless Gary! You’ve really covered all the “majors!” Another one in the category of sad but true — “I had to check myself into a methadone clinic.”

  12. ContentKeith says:

    When scheduling the final exam for the exact day and time they normally had class, one brazen Millennial announced, in front of a class of forty, “that time doesn’t ‘work’ for me. cant’ you just hand me a copy of the final and i’ll give it back in 72 hours.”

    Honest to gosh.

  13. gschirr says:

    Bet you were torn between anger and laughter!

  14. kimbrotoo says:

    Heard this on facebook and thought it applied:

    “I am having a 1/4 life crisis. Can I get an extension?”

  15. Daniel Rease says:

    I had 3 grand parents die at the start of the Mod. What I do is offer my sincere condolences offer to notify the College on the student’s behalf and their other instructors. Boy you’d be surprised how quickly the crisis really isn’t that important anymore and then becomes a request for a day or two extension on a paper instead of the original “2 weeks it will take to get this mess taken care of” LOL! You would think that college students were smarter by now. I myself used this one as a freshman so I’m so on it it is not funny!

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