Rules for the game: Replace any that you feel like replacing. Add excuses that your students have given you. Try to stick to ones that you know to be real. Put an asterisk by all the ones you’ve added.
That has the potential to be fun, and jo(e)’s students are a fantastically creative (if not necessarily hardworking or honest) bunch. But I can do better: I’m going to provide a list of ten excuses that a single student has offered me over two two-week periods (the first, a few weeks into last term; the second, a few weeks into this term for the same course, which, surprisingly, she didn’t complete the first time around):
- My three month old daughter is sick.
- My two year old won’t stop crying.
- My five year old broke his arm and I need to take him to the hospital to get it set.
- My six year old’s appendix burst so I was in the ER during the last class.
- My uncle died and I had to fly to [town in Alberta] for the funeral.
- My aunt from [village in BC] died and the funeral is next week and there’s no airport within 200 km of there so it’s kind of hard to get to so I’ll be away until Monday.
- My car broke down.
- We were supposed to move to a new house but the deal fell through at the last minute and now all of our stuff is in boxes and we have to be out of the old house soon so things are pretty hectic.
- The babysitter cancelled at the last minute.
- I’m not feeling very well.
I swear on the graves of the dead aunt and uncle that I received all of these from the same woman, via phone and via email. The kicker: “But I’m keeping up with all of the homework.”
On the plane to the funerals and in the ER, I guess.