March 20th, 2007

bujold teach

Dead Relatives

The number of "deaths in the family" among my students increases exponentially with the number of assignments due. I had two dead grandparents today. Guess what? There was a paper due. Students come to me and say "I haven't been in class the last couple of weeks because I've had a death in the family" and I say" ... oh yeah?" not in exactly those cynical tones, but almost. I mean. really. If you REALLY had someone desperately dear to you die wouldn't you have let someone know BEFORE the day there was a paper due? And how many dead relatives really require an absence of two weeks?? I know that sometimes there really ARE grannies or aunties or cousins whose deaths are really meaningful. It amazes me that students invent dead relatives as an excuse for a late paper with such thoughtlessness. I mean, doesn't it occur to them that they might be tempting fate?

And a variation on these for me is dead dogs... One student came to me and said that her dog had died so she was having trouble getting work done. Well. This had me nearly in tears. Then, over the next few weeks I had a couple more. Obviously word had gotten around that this one was a sucker for dead dog stories... Honestly, it makes you want to spit, or hit something.