Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Fellow Classmate

Please go away. No really, please go away.

My frustration with you began on the first day of class. I realize that the professor made concessions for a parking situation and expected straglers would be late to class that day However, you arrived 20 minutes late, well beyond even the latest of the our fellow classmates. You arrived reeking of ciggerette smoke. Clearly, even late you felt entitled to stop and have a last smoke before entering the building.

What truly set my opinion of you was not your tardiness nor your clear preference to char your lungs. That distinction was set after class when you insisted upon getting my phone number, in case you ever missed class. Having never heard of such a request on the first day of classes before, I was startled into comlpying with the request. You may feel free to lose my phone number now.

I don't miss class unless it is 100% unavoidable. That would consitute a medical emergency which I could not plan for, or a specialist's appointment that could not be scheduled any other time. Unfortunately, yes, my son's Heptalogist trumps even my coursework. Otherwise, I will be in class. So, no thank you, I don't need to participate in a mutal contingency plan. I don't plan on missing class, therefore I can find someone to assist as appropriately if the situation should arise and prove to be unavoidable.

You have now missed 5 classes out of 9 which have been held In case you cannot do math, that's greater than 50% of our classtime. Additionally, your syllabus clearly points out that 5 is the maximium allowable misses before being withdrawn by the professor.

I can only imagine that your continued sob story to the professor is the only reason you managed to drag yourself back to class today after not only missing all of last week but failing to complete both the first major paper and a take-home quiz. For the record, we had a student whose wife went into preterm labor the day the major paper was due. He managed to arrive to class and turn his in before rushing to meet his wife at the hospital.

I realize you have likely told the professor the same story you continue to pepper me with as you continue to request I provide you with all class notes and relevant information. You continue to insist that you are sick, that you have had doctor's appointments and that the medication you have been prescribed makes you sleepy.


Your story continues to change. You stated you missed one Thursday for being sick, and went to the doctor the following Monday. You stated you missed the next Tuesday because your medications made you sleepy, and then stated it was because of another doctor's appointment.

In every class you have bothered to grace us with your precense, you have reeked of smoke to the point that I find it nauseating and difficult to concentrate sitting behind you. You have been late every class you have attended. The real climax of your attendance record would be the day you honored me not only with your smoke but with your scent of stale alcohol. Were you drunk or merely hung over? I cannot say, and I truly do not care. You did not belong in class in that condition, and likely didn't belong driving either.

Here's the reality. You cannot possibly provide me with a sob story greater than my own life. You cannot woe me with your illness and your struggles. Firstly, I truly do not care. Secondly, I lost most of my compassion a year ago when my own husband desecrated my compassion for his own selfish behaviors. Thirdly, I have attended class with pnuemonia, with sick children, with my life falling apart around me. I attended class with a sprained foot, and with the persistent respiratory sickness that has plagued me for nearly a month as I gasp and struggle to cross campus when I forget my inhaler.

If you cannot commit to being in class, owning your own responsibilities and doing your own work, then please leave. Really, no one wants you here when you cannot pull it together to actually be here. We wish you luck, go reclaim your health and perhaps things will go better for you next semester. I will NOT provide you with every classroom note I have taken for every class period. I will NOT provide you with a full summary of the film you missed. I gave you the name, find it online or at the University Library. Is it your responsiblity to find the film and watch it on your own. Perhaps you truly are sick, though I deeply question the legitimacy of your story given all of your other behaviors. I am not your personal assistant. I come to class to LEARN. If for whatever reason you cannot do the same, then please either face the failure you will surely face...or withdraw from the course.

With deep frustration,
Your grossed out and sincerely irritated classmate who was shocked to see you show up after 5 days absent.

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