It seems like there is no bigger threat to a grandmother’s life than a grandchild who is attending college. Midterm and finals weeks specifically are the deadliest time, with students frequently missing class to supposedly attend funerals and give their final farewells.

"My dog ate my homework" (Illustration by: Daniel Valencia)
“My dog ate my homework”
(Illustration by: Daniel Valencia)

“I always announce to my classes at the beginning of the semester that last year was a bad year for grandmas,” says Allen Harrison, Visual Media & Media Studies instructor.

As long as there have been classes, there have been students making excuses about why they couldn’t make it to class. Colleges have a surplus of phony excuses, and PCC is no exception.

“The standard excuse is the dead grandma,” says Rod Foster, VAMS Professor.

Foster, who has heard his fair share of outlandish excuses over the years, said that one involving a plagiarizer stands out.

“I once caught a student plagiarizing and his response was, “I didn’t plagiarize, my brother did,” he said.

While the confessing plagiarizer may seem like a huge blunder, it is steps above the next guy. James Schubert, math professor, says he once had a student give an excuse so ridiculous that they themselves didn’t even bother to sell it.

“I once had one student say that they ran out of gas on the freeway and the police were going to take his car if he didn’t go back to his car,” Schubert said. “Yet he ended up staying until the end of class.”

When it comes to excuses from students, “the more outrageous, the more credible,” said English professor Dan Meier. Meier, whose office is decorated with printouts of farfetched excuses, says the craziest excuses he’s heard were the ones that actually happened.

He once had a student who fell off a roof and broke his leg while another called from the county jail saying he had been pulled over on warrants.

“So he called me from jail saying if he could turn in his paper late and I said sure,” he said.

One was even hit by a bus while riding his bike to class.

“He showed to my class with his bike all bent,” Meier said.

The thing they all had in common, according to Meier, is that they still managed to notify him and turn in their papers.

While many students do and will continue to come up with fake excuses as to why they were late, didn’t turn in a paper or missed a test, many others, like Jade Roman, biology, feel that honesty is the best policy.

“It’s better to be straight up with them than to give some bullshit excuse,” she said.

As for students who are considering skipping out on an assignment or class, Foster has a few words of advice.

“Woody Allen once said 85% of success is showing up,” he said. “At what point do you look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you’re going to fail? The person you are letting down is yourself.”

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