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So What’s Your EXCUSE?

Freddie Schwartz

Here’s a scenario for you. You forgot to do your homework, or maybe you forgot about that ten-page paper that the professor talked about excessively for the last month-and-a-half. So what to do? Well, a lot of students give the teachers excuses. Most are pretty common, such as having a job that messes up their schedules, or having too much work to complete for another class. This is a compilation of some of the best (and sometimes hilarious) excuses received by some professors on campus.

Sandra Lynn Mardenfeld, Assistant Professor of Journalism, said the “most honest answers amuse me the most,” like when a student told her “I just had better things to do.” Well at least it’s better than the old “the dog ate my homework” excuse. Honesty is the best policy.

Gerald Lachter, the head of the Psychology Department, has been offered two very bizarre excuses. He said,  “A student informed me that she had missed my exam because she was in jail.” Maybe she was caught speeding to get to the exam? The second one was, “A student told me he was very ill for my exam so he sent his friend to take it for him.” Next time just take a box of tissues and some cold medicine; it’s much better to sneeze on your test paper than have an “F” on it.

This last one I think may be the most interesting and bizarre out of all of them. It comes from English professor, Edmund Miller. It’s not really an excuse, but a bizarre story that was too strange to leave out of this article. He was teaching a graduate course on Milton, in which he had a student who was doing well and attended all the classes regularly during the first part of the semester. One day, the student asked if she could leave in the middle of class for an appointment. He agreed and also agreed to let her leave a tape recorder in the class so she wouldn’t miss any information from the lecture. Professor Miller took the tape recorder at the end of class to give it back next time. However, she didn’t show up for the next class. From that point on, she never returned to class for the rest of the semester. Miller sent her an email but it bounced back. So then he tried calling the telephone number she left on the class list, but it was a disconnected number. He even sent a letter to the address he had on the class list and tried to find if the student had an alternative phone number, but she had disappeared. He said that “The only theory that occurs to me is that she was swept up in the Witness Protection Program with the tape recorder still going.”

It’s the mystery of the vanishing student, and maybe we’ll have an article next semester on students who disappear. Forget about making rabbits appear; let’s make a student who failed for the semester appear before your eyes. I would seriously go to that magic show if that were the headliner.

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