Is that the smell of your pants burning?

On Monday, my students had an Important Due Date for a Thing they had to do. This is a date that was in the course outline they have had since the very first day of term (or in the case of Flakey McFlakerson, the 4th class when he eventually rolled up; a long time, regardless). The syllabus is very clear that this particular Thing is Important with a capital I, and that it has to happen with no excuses, absent being hit by a bus.

After class on Monday, I emailed them about class on Wednesday, also congratulating them for having completed the Thing. I then had the following email exchange with Flakey McF.

FMcF: Oh, hey Mrs LadWhatter, I thought the Thing was on Wednesday.
Me: Nope. It says in the syllabus Monday, and Monday was when it was.
FMcF: Are you sure you didn’t change the date? I am pretty sure it was Wednesday.
Me: Nope. [Thinking, given that you are the guy who told me on 5 separate occasions at the start of term that you had “no idea what I am supposed to do” I am going with you are an idiot.]
FMcF: Well, it so happens that I missed class today because I was at the hospital.
Me: Sorry to hear that. Hope you feel better. Show me some documentation, and we can talk about making up the assignment.
FMcF: Oh, yeah, it wasn’t me that was in hospital, I was there because I had to take my kid.
Me, startled at the sudden appearance of a child not previously mentioned: Okay, well, again, documentation, and we can deal.
FMcF: So, you are saying I have to go back to the hospital and get a note or something?
Me: No, I am cool with you getting a zero. If you want to make up the marks, you are going to have to show me some documentation.
FMcF: Okay, well, I think in that case you should give me full marks even though I haven’t actually done the Thing. And also, I want a make-up assignment.
Me: Yeah, that’s not what will happen, but again, I am not negotiating until I see a doctor’s note.

Some time passes. The next day, I get another email.

FMcF: So I went to the hospital and asked them for a note and they said they don’t do that.
Me: ORLY. Okay, well, too bad then.
FMcF: Given that I tried to get the note, I think you should give me the marks. Or I could write an essay.

At this point, I made a phone call to the mother of a school friend of my kid’s.

Me: So, I called the GM of the hospital, and she says yes they do give notes, and if you are having trouble, give her a call and she will make sure you get one. Her number is [redacted].



2 thoughts on “Is that the smell of your pants burning?

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