But I was sick last week!

Stu Dent (another one, this is just a wonderful pseudonym) approaches me at 7.45 as I make my way through the weeds from the parking lot to the computer center. Class starts as 8.00.

Stu Dent wants to talk to me. S/he was just admitted to my class. But s/he was sick last week so would like to discuss an extension with me.

Now, I am not the most cheerful, flexible type at this time of the morning. I have to open up the lab, get all my equipment wired up and ready to go, and office hours were last Thursday. Also, there is E-Mail.

Stu Dent repeats from the top: I was sick last week! WiseWoman repeats with a bit of a growl: Look, I'm getting the equipment set up, email me or come to office hours. Stu Dent repeats: I was sick last week and next Thursday is a holiday so you don't have office hours for another 10 days.

WiseWoman barks at Stu Dent, asking which bit of "Leave me alone to get the technology set up" s/he did not understand. When it does get set up, I went to the ladies' room to cool off. Don't want to be angry with the rest, it is not their fault.

I call roll, explain the exercise, get the lab rolling - and Stu Dent starts in again. See, Stu has now missed 4 (count'em) weeks of class. That is 8 lecture summary reports and two labs to be turned in. Also, Stu is not new, but a repeater, having failed the Introduction to Programming last term. And Stu was sick last week, did I get that?

I try to explain that being sick is no excuse, the exercises are on line, the text is online, the place to put the lecture summaries is online, if you don't come to class you could read the chapter and just write five sentences. Stu: But I was sick!

I gave up in exasperation. This is not getting off to a good start, Stu. Just get to work, okay?

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