Oct 28, 2008

Amusing Student Excuse with Documentation

Missed exam saddens student

As a college instructor, I run into quite a variety of excuses from students as to the reasons for a late assignment, or why they might have missed class. Most are legitimate, a few are patently prevaricative, and others are so bizarre that they could not possibly be made up. I'm thinking of one student years ago who faced the simultaneous problems of an unplanned pregnancy, adverse drug reactions, and a newly-incarcerated significant other.

Yikes, that.

Advances in technology, though, have added a new dimension to student excuses, like the case of a student who missed a recent midterm exam due to a flat tire. With the help of a cell phone camera, she took photographs of the tire in question and emailed the evidence to me before class even ended.

Additional evidence of the unfortunate vehicular event

Then, after the tow truck arrived to replace the blown tire, she photographed the tow truck invoice and emailed THAT to me as well. This was documentation far beyond the generic doctor's notes that can be obtained with little effort from a family physician when a person is under the weather: "So-and-so has been under my care since..."

I chuckled at the creative solution to the dilemma, and I readily acquiesced to the student's request to make up the exam. After all, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence - and the pouty face to boot, one that looked like it could bring forth faucets
of tears - how could I be so cold hearted as to deny the obvious?

And for you skeptical cynics who are thinking this could be a case of blatant Photo-Shoopery, I wag my finger and say: "Meh." The laugh from the email was worth the infinitesimally small chance I was being hosed by a techno-savvy exam-shirker.


Alo Konsen said...

Now that's funny.

Tim Higgins said...


I hope that you gave her extra credit for creativity.

Mad Jack said...

I'd cut her a break. She went to a lot of time and trouble to prove her case. Besides, she's cute.