Keeping the professor in the loop College Life

Hello everyone:

Sometimes bad stuff happens in the course of the semester. Occasionally, that bad stuff means that you have gotten behind in your work. Sometimes you can work things out with the professor so that you can get back on track. Let’s talk about how to do that.

I have military folks in my classes from time to time. Well, actually, I have military folks in my classes all the time. Most of them are superb folks who sincerely want to finish their college degrees, either for advancement within the military or for a better job when they get out. They are highly motivated.

If you are going on deployment, let the instructor know, especially if you will lose Internet service. Get a note from your commanding officer, if possible. Document your challenges and your instructor will be more likely to give you extra time to complete an assignment.

If you are going on vacation, sorry Charlie. That’s not a good reason for me to give you extra time. I’ve had students disappear for 2-3 weeks. They knew they’d be in college during the trip, but they chose to take it anyway. It’s a choice, so you will have to live with the consequences. Don’t come to me, crying about your grade. I was in college for fourteen years and I scheduled all vacations so they didn’t interfere with my studies. It can be done because I’ve done it.

Don’t be a member of the Excuse of the Week club. I was teaching an 8-week course once where a gal didn’t show up for the first five weeks, except to make excuses. She wanted to be allowed to complete 8 weeks of work in 3. It didn’t  go well. The first week and a half, she just wasn’t feeling good.

Then  her kids got runny noses for another week or so, then she had to clean the house up because she was so focused on them that she didn’t clean the house for the first three weeks of class. Those must have been some runny noses, to mess up the house so badly that it took another week to clean. (Note: No one was sick enough to go to the doctor at any time.)

Let’s see now….that makes four weeks and she still had another week to go. If I recall, she started feeling poorly again or maybe the snail had to go to the vet or maybe the goldfish was looking a bit under the weather.

Got the drift here? If you have a legitimate excuse, the professor will usually work with you. If not, he or she won’t. It might not be easy, but it is pretty simple.


Dr. Sheri


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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