Conversely, not every college student is a liar.

Guess what. I really was assaulted. I really was in court. I didn’t forge that subpoena. Or the letters from the DA’s office stating court dates. Or the letter of verification from Victim’s Assistance. I really was sick the entire month of February. That was a real doctor’s note, from the real student health center, from a real doctor. No, they don’t know what is/was wrong with me. No, I do not have to give you access to my medical records. Yes, my grandmother is dying. Yes, those plane ticket stubs are from me flying out so I could see her for one LAST time in my life. Yes, I can get you a real letter from Hospice. No, you probably won’t care. Yes, I do have a real sleeping disorder. Sometimes it prevents me from coming to class. So does my anxiety disorder. So does my post-traumatic stress disorder. By this point, were you even willing to LOOK at a letter from my psychiatrist? No. One, count them, ONE professor gave me ANY flexibility this semester. Why didn’t the others? Because my reasons “weren’t good enough”. Congratulations to my professors for helping fuck my life. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

So I’m sorry that the timing of my grandmother’s death is inconvenient for you, inasmuch that it falls during finals. I’m sorry that I was ill during midterms. I’m sorry that I can’t handle my life, and it’s because of people like you, because of people who assume that I’m lying. Guess what? Just because other students have lied to you doesn’t mean that I am lying to you now.

I’ll be meeting with the dean at my earliest convenience. Unfortunately, right now, I have family business to attend to.

Also, thank you to the one professor I have who understands that sometimes, yes, life does shit on you, and no matter how hard you try you might just need a little understanding, or a little extra time to get an assignment in. Because of your willingness to see the truth when it hits you like a brick to the head, I did wonderfully in your class.

Man, that all sucks. And I sympathize–life is not fair. However, past a certain point, you simply have to withdraw from your clases, nad remember that one semester (or one year) is not that big a deal in the wider picture. For example, if a class is very disscussion oriented, a good deal of the credit you get is for that discussion: in one class I took on the American novel, we read nine novels and discussed them all in class. There were no tests: we had to do three small papers and one large paper, so the written assignments only reflected three or four novels, but the credit from the class represented reading all nine. Participating in the class was what the credit represented.. In a situation like that, one ought not be able to get credit if one missed 60-75% of the classes, even if all assignments are completed (though the school ought to let one take a “W” with well-documented reasons). This isn’t a punnishment or a matter of “not believing” someone: it’s just that some things cannot be made up as individual work.

On the other hand, some classes represent pure “facts mastered”: for a math class, credit means that you can preform certain well defined operations with a certain degree of dependablilty. In a class like this, it is legitimate for a professor to make allowances and try to accomadate one. However, it is also pretty legitimate for a professor to say 'You’ve missed 50% of the classes and my 25 years of teaching experience leads me to say that you cannot " catch up" organic chemistry, espeically not with any ongoing problems. I recomend that you drop the course and try again next semester. "

Once again, I sympathize. If it helps, try to remember that in 20 years, an extra year in college will not seem like it was that signifigant. Take care of your health and family problems, and remember that school will be there when you have the time nad energy to devout to it.

Man I hear what you are say…and I sympathize with you. I am a second semester Nursing student-34-and a single Mom…I have missed like somewhere around oohhh 25 class days cause my daughter decided to get sick enough for surgery…Now mind you my Anatomy and English professors were VERY sympathetic to my plight; however, the NURSING dept wasn’t…go fiqure…I was um like taking care of a SICK child…and MINE! I will not know if I am repeating it or not until next week…I begged them on my knees…kissed their asses…to let me take the final then make their decision…It’s not like I didn’t do the work either…I have a B in that course…and A’s in the other two!
Anyways…I know where you are at…
Hey…didn’t someone say that there is a nursing shortage???

Well . . . I’m going to get some shit for this.

Let me preface my post with this: I am not in any way trying to minimize anyone’s personal problems. I know life shits on everyone, and I sympathize greatly.

That said, if you can’t do the work, for whatever reason, you shouldn’t be in the class. Yes, professors have some leeway, but in most schools, it’s not their responsibility or their job to look after you. And as a general rule, they aren’t supposed to pass anyone who doesn’t complete the coursework.

Dealing with the kind of huge steaming pile you’re dealing with, iconoplast, I have to wonder why you have not chosen to withdraw from classes. Being nice to you (or at least respecting a note from your doctor) is something most schools do well. Hell, I’ve encountered people who’ve withdrawn after finals, and returned the next semester, no harm no foul.

I know it sucks to lose a semester, but personal well-being IMO trumps that inconvenience.

You know what, andros? I was asking for incompletes. It’s this amazing system we have wherein a professor acknowledges that some work has been completed, and that there were valid reasons that the course could not be completed on time. It’s then up to the professor as to what needs to be done (sit through the class again, finish work on your own, etc.). Let me emphasize. This is a standard procedure. I now have to go petition the dean to be withdrawn. The first question that will be asked of me is, “Why didn’t you take incompletes in these classes?”

And you know, if it hadn’t been too late to drop the class when my professors started pointing out that this was a problem with them (mid-March, well after the drop deadline), and if it wouldn’t have immediately resulted in me being fired from my job, I would have dropped when they started to reject anything I said. It’s not that I wasn’t keeping up with the coursework. It’s that they wouldn’t accept it anymore. Even after that, I kept doing it up until I had to leave town two weeks ago, in the hopes that something would convince them.

And for the record, this isn’t the first semester I’ve had to miss out on. With everything that’s going on for me, I will now be graduating approximately 3-4 years late. 2 of these classes were “facts mastered”. One research class, one on the history of jazz. Those were the LEAST cooperative professors. The one class where attendance/participation mattered was cooperative until I couldn’t meet with him in person anymore (kind of hard when I’m half a continent away caring for my dying grandmother). I don’t blame him as much. The one professor who cooperated (for lack of a better term)? A class where participation was over 75% of the grade.

In the same breath,

I will take that at face value, mostly because I am too tired and stressed to believe that you meant your post maliciously. Thank you.

And thank you as well to SultryMusic and Manda JO. I know that school will still be here, but I’m also extraordinarily frustrated and upset, and I think I have every right to be. I’ll get it taken care of, and I’ll cope, but I still think it’s wrong. YMMV.