After I posted the story of the mother who called me about her daughter’s failing my class (and then not), a reader of the blog asked me to repeat a post from years ago, of the best excuse I’ve ever received from a student for missing an exam.   I dug around and found it.  It begins with my apologies for not getting to my Mailbag as much as I should, as it grows longer and longer.  The apologies still apply!  And the excuse remains the best I’ve ever gotten.  Here’s the post:


My sincere apologies to any- and every-one who has asked me a direct question that I have said I would devote a post or more to.   The list of questions that I need to address is as long as my arm, and in many cases I suppose people forgot that they even asked!  But if you asked and are waiting – apologies.   I still have the questions and I will get to them, slowly.  But I find that once I start answering a question, to cover the issues thoroughly ends up taking several posts and I get sent down some byways.  But that’s OK, in my opinion; I tend to think that makes the blog a bit more interesting.

Anyway, below is a question (out of order in which I received it, I’ll admit) that I thought was pretty good.  It is about my syllabus for my course, where I indicate that my deadlines for assignments are set in stone and late papers will be penalized.  Here’s the question:



“Both deadlines are firm.”  Any chance you will do a post on some of the better excuses you’ve got for overdue assignments over the years?!



Ah great question!  In fact, I almost never get any good or memorable excuses for late papers.  But I’ve gotten some *amazing* responses in the past to explain why a student did not turn up for the midterm or final exam.   You’d be amazed how many sick and dying grandmothers a single student could have!

My all-time favorite excuse came…

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