“My alarm didn’t go off.”
“I overslept a little.”
“I needed something to eat before class.”
“I needed five more minutes to finish an assignment.”
These are excuses that students say they hear from their classmates and excuses that professors say they hear from their students.
To see what excuses are most common click here.
It’s a new day in Dr. Daniel Walther’s history class. He is busy lecturing on a recent reading and writing notes on the white board. Moments into his lecture a student quietly walks in late.
The student scrambles to get his notebook out and catch up with the rest of his classmates on what Walther has already lectured on. He continues on with his lecture without putting the spotlight on the late student.
“Students either show up or they don’t, I don’t keep track of when students miss class or come in late,” Walther said.
Now that he has been teaching for over 20 years, Walther has heard a variety of excuses from his students. Some excuses pass while some are incomplete.
Some excuses might just be humorous Dr. Daniel Sundblad, associate professor of sociology said.
Sundblad said he had a student that would only come to class if he was promised to get a C or better in the class.
“The student said if they got a good grade, his brother would buy him a computer,” Sundblad said. “I’ve never heard that rationale before and probably won’t again.”
Walther says there is a difference between an excuse and an explanation.
“’I’m sick’ or ‘have a family emergency,’ that’s one thing, if it’s ‘I overslept,’ that’s when it becomes an excuse,” Walther said.
It’s these excuses that may harm the relationship between professor and student. Fourth-year student Lenart Kalan says some events can come up suddenly which leads to students missing class.
Kalan realizes excuses can only be used so much. If students become the broken record of excuses, professors might not be so lenient down the road.
“There are professors that really keep close tabs on students’ absences and those that do not,” Walther said.
Kalan recently encountered a delayed flight during spring break on his way back from home in Europe. The exhausted Kalan returned from his excursion to ask his May Term professor on what he missed out on during the first two days of class.
Excuses not only exist in the classroom Korbi Burkey, a student manager at the Den, said. He said it occurs at work as well.
He says the most common excuses for missing work in the Den are “finishing up homework” and “feeling too tired to work.” After so many days of missing work, the student is approached about how to fix their schedule.
It’s a busy evening in the Den and there seems to be more meal transfers than students that attend Wartburg. Burkey is busy with his co-workers getting things ready when he hears one of his co-workers will not make it because they have a 10-page paper to work on.
“Who wants to fail?” Burkey said.
The only problem with this is the Den can struggle to keep up with demand.
Burkey said some excuses are rather funny.
“It depends on how you take it,” Burkey said.