Excuseitis and other diseases of college students College Life

Hello everyone:

I recently had a student who had inflammatory excuseitis. She gave excuses, and I became inflamed towards her.

This lady had every excuse in the book to not come to class.  The key here is to remember we are talking about an eight week course.

Week one to week one and a half: She had the flu (Hey, it’s an online course. It’s not like she’s contagious or something. Come to class long enough to let us know that you are still among the living and then do your homework in the bathroom, if need be. We promise not to look.)

Week one and a half to week two and a half: Her kids had the flu and she had to take care of them. (But you told me your kids were in their late teens- can’t they kinda take care of themselves?)

Week two and a half through week three: She had a lot of housework to catch up on. (She and her kids had been sick, as you know, and she had laundry to do.)

Week four: She and her hubby had this cruise planned forever. You can’t expect her to miss it, can you? The tickets were non-refundable. “Non-refundable” means we can’t get our money back, in case you have never been on a cruise.  (You know those kids from week one and a half through week two? Apparently they were okay to leave home alone. And, no, I haven’t ever been on a cruise, but I know what “non-refundable”means.)

Week five: Whew, she was so tired from the cruise and there was laundry to do (because the kids didn’t do it. It’s not going to do itself, you know.) Okay, I will be in class later this week…..maybe.

Week six: Okay, it’s time to get a handle on things here. Dr. Parmelee, I need to make up some work. You know I’ve had some problems this semester, so it would be great if you could waive the late assignment penalty for the last six weeks. I’m still able to make an A in this class, right? My funding requires that I make at least an B or I have to pay them back. That would be a financial hardship for me, would destroy my credit, and would really mess up my life if you don’t cut me a break……

Week seven: I don’t have ANY IDEA how to do the first five assignments. Your instructions are the pits. Oh, by the way, I don’t have my textbook yet because I seem to have forgotten to order it, but it will be here by the end of next week. That’s okay, right?

Week eight: I don’t know how the time slipped away from me but I am ALMOST ready to turn in the second assignment, so you can cut me a break here, right? Is there any extra credit I can do to bring up my GPA? I mean, there’s this really cool paper I wrote for another class and got an A on so I could just turn it in to you. My other professor already marked it up and everything, so you would just need to post the grade. It’s an A, if I didn’t mention it…..

Surely you jest, lady!


Dr. Parmelee

P.S. I would love to hear your sob story. What’s the best excuse you have ever heard (or told?). Names will be changed to protect the guilty. 🙂


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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