Monday, November 20, 2006

Get up, sit up

You know that dream where you find yourself suddenly back in a high school math class? The one where you realize in a panic that you somehow never knew you were supposed to be in Calc II instead of hanging out in study hall and now it's one day till finals and you have no idea how you'll pass. And if you don't pass Calc II, you'll never graduate and then you can't go to college and your life will be one long series of horrible jobs that require the wearing of aprons and hairnets.

Or there's an even scarier dream, the one where you find yourself back in high school PE, lying on one of those smelly gray mats, waiting to gutting up into 100 sit-ups for the monthly fitness torture-test.

Yeah, that's a nightmare and a half. So why am I signing up for a four-week fitness bootcamp that sounds exactly like a grueling PE class? It's for grown-up ladies who haven't done 100 sit-ups since Carter was in the White House.

And it's outdoors. At 6 p.m. three nights a week.

Me skeered. But me also feeling flabbo, so I'm doing it. Progress reports will be duly posted. My typing fingers will probably be the only joints that won't be too sore to use.

Thanksgiving break approacheth. Had lunch with a prof pal the other day (not Prof. Lunch-Guy, who has vaporized into the ether, where his weirdness can commune with the weirdness of my other weirdo datemates of this year and yesteryear). She regaled me with tales of her undergrads who began cooking up excuses last week for why they should get a full week off for turkey day and not just the scheduled Thur-Fri-Sat-Sun. Some students left last Thursday, skipping this week's classes entirely. When they return, they'll have just two more class days, then reading days, then finals. It's all over by the first week of December.

My prof friend summed up the early-extended-vacation syndrome this way: "They don't realize how insulting it is to teachers when they ask if it's OK to skip our classes. No, it's not OK! Why ask?"

Look, kids, you've paid for college. Gut it up and go to class. All of them. You won't be sorry. That hour might be the one where the lightbulb goes on and it all begins to make sense.

Real life awaits you in all its flabby splendor on the other side.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Look, kids, you've paid for college."

Why do I get a feeling that a large majority of college students do not pay for college out of their own pocket? Is there any need to even make up excuses? If you want to skip three days of school, go ahead and do so as long as you are willing to take responsibility for whatever you miss during those classes.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get paid to go to work, but I still try to get the ok to skip occasionally (vacation)...

It's pretty chilly outside by now, I hope your boot camp thing is indoors.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our thanksgiving break now starts on wednesday instead of thursday...and literally no one was in my first class this morning...

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

I had a student, who I had only seen the first day of class, e-mail me about two weeks ago, asking, "Do I have any make-up work?" YEAH! I was suprised how offended I was that 1)she did not show up to class and 2) she assumes she doesn't need class or me to understand or complete the work. I try not to take it personally, but WOW. That one got to me.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous renita said...

a few random thoughts...

a) my college used to do a four-day weekend for fall break (nobody had to leave) and a week off for thanksgiving (everyone out). my junior year they switched it to a week off for fall break and a five-day (wed-sun) weekend for thanksgiving. it was pretty useless, because a lot of people STILL left early, especially those who were from out of state. and nothing ever got done in those two days of class.

b) i rarely skipped class in college, but there was one class i could've pretty much never gone to and still ended up with my A-. it was psych 100, a lecture, and he tested out of the book and a few handouts. plus it was an 8 a.m. i WISH i had skipped more :)

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fitness boot camp sounds very daring. Good luck. If it's going to do any good though it probably means a lifestyle change i.e., sticking with exercising regularly. I wonder why it's usually a struggle to do that.

7:26 PM  
Blogger SuperHolmie said...

I totally agree, Prof. I wish people would just adhere to the calendar the school has adopted. No, it is not okay if you skip class. If it was okay, school wouldn't be in session that day. We deal with this all the time on the high school level because parents want to take their kids on cruises and to Egypt over Fall and Christmas break and want to leave several days early. We've had parents expect their kids to be exempt from exams and/or makeup work, even! Unbelievable.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never understood why people would consistently miss classes. At which other point in your life will you have no other responsibilities other than to LEARN more about what you're interested in?

Going to SMU on a full ride and I've never missed a class. .

11:46 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

I have a question for superholmie. Do you really flatter yourself that these kids will learn more in a few days at your school than on a trip to Egypt or to Europe, etc.? If so, your high school is a hell of a lot better than mine was or the ones than my kids go to. All they do there is teach an inane test that they could have passed before they entered the grade in question. I'm encouraging my daughter and my step daughter to skip their senior year of high school just like I did and go to college a year early. The quality of the instruction that they are receiving is mediocre at best, and the curriculum, even in AP classes, is not as advanced as it should be.

6:01 PM  

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