Missed The Point Of Missing Class

, , , , , , | Learning | October 27, 2017

(I’m a junior in college. I’m a biology major, but I’m taking my first ever physics class, 200-level, this semester because I’ve been trying to space out my general education classes. A few weeks before classes start, I contact all of my professors to let them know that I’ll be missing one class so I can stand up at my sister’s out-of-state wedding. Most of my professors are completely fine with it, and accept that life stuff happens, but my physics professor is furious, and, without ever having met me, tells me I can’t miss any classes and I need to find a different section. The only problem is that he’s the only professor teaching the class I need. After I talk to the chair of the department, the professor finally, grudgingly, allows me to take the class. This happens when I’ve come back from the wedding, after the class gets out, around 9:00 pm.)

Professor: “[My Name]! Wait! I want you to know how disappointed I am that you missed class, and that you don’t care about your education. I can tell you have great potential, but you need to apply yourself! Join a research lab! Make your classes your priority! I’ve had so many students like you, such potential, but they just aren’t as involved on campus as they should be; they never find their mentor or put in the time they should…”

(He continues in this vein for at least twenty minutes, almost without taking a breath, and I finally decide to see if I can find a spot to cut in.)

Me: *as soon as he pauses for breath* “I appreciate it, Professor, and I know you’re disappointed I missed class, but I couldn’t not be at my sister’s wedding. I do need to get going tonight though; I need to stop by my research lab and make sure the pH of the tanks hasn’t gone too high and check the concentrations of our last round of samples so I can send the results to [Mentor], and I need to stop by my campus job and pour the micromedia culture plates for the virology class tomorrow, and I still need to finalize the room reservation for the blood drive [Honors Group] is hosting next week, and confirm the volunteers for the free tutoring sessions [Other Honors Group] is hosting. This is why I try not to miss days; the classes usually aren’t a problem, but catching up on my research and work? That’s a pain.”

(He looked faintly stunned. I wasn’t making any of that up either; it was a busy couple of days catching up after I got back. Don’t go making generalizations about people you don’t know, though!)

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