Absences and Tardiness
The ideal, of course, is perfect attendance: on time and every time. As a friend of mine says, "You can't get hit by the train unless you are on the tracks." Here, in detail, is my attendance policy. You should consider this an extension of the course syllabus.
- Attendance is required. It is not optional unless a specific statement in the course schedule says so.
- The distinction between excused and unexcused absence is at the instructor's discretion. Do inform me if you have an emergency that keeps you from coming to class. Do not assume I will simply give an excused absence to everyone who fails to show up.
- It's extremely time-consuming for me to dig out e-mail requests for an excused absence, so I'm not going to do it. If you think you should have an excused absence, talk to me personally after the next class meeting. If you have a doctor's note or something similar, bring it along.
- If you are 20 minutes late, you are absent.
- I will be marking my attendance spreadsheet this way:
- P = Present (100% credit)
- E = Excused absence (100% credit)
- J = Excused absence requested by athletic program (100% credit)
- L = Late (50% credit)
If you make a habit of ducking out for a toilet break in the middle of class, you will probably be marked late, even if you were here at the beginning.
- S = Sleeping, doing homework for other classes, wasting time with the computer, phone, etc. (25% credit)
- A = Unexcused absence (0% credit)
- I always have a few students with "issues" or a "condition" or problems at home that can only be solved by the student taking a week or two to intervene. These are not necessarily excused absences, and you should be aware that every absence increases your chance of failing your courses. If you have "issues" or a "condition" that make class attendance impossible, I strongly urge you to visit the Counseling Service to find help.
- Everyone deserves a few days when life just didn't work, so I will not count one week's worth of unexcused absences when I am calculating grades; beyond that one week, however, your final grade will suffer.
- Even if you are absent, all assigned work is still due.
- If you are absent on a day that we have an in-class quiz or test, you receive a zero. There are ordinarily no make-ups.
- I do not give extra credit work.
The Locked Door
Some semesters, my students get in the habit of wandering in and out randomly during the entire class period. Those wanderers, of course, are totally uninterested in learning the material, but their interruption disrupts the attention of the rest of us.
If we have trouble with people wandering in late, wandering out for toilet breaks, etc., this course will begin a locked door policy. This would mean that the classroom door is closed and locked ten minutes after the class begins, and you must knock (and sign in) to get admittance.
Special for Athletes
- Traveling with the team.
- Yes, you have excused absences for all those times the team is on the road. You must actually bring the paperwork from the coach. A verbal announcement from another team member isn't enough.
- No, that doesn't mean that you are excused from all English classes for the semester. You actually do have to attend all class meetings unless the team is on the road.
- Weight room.
- Yes, I know you're working out before class, but our start time isn't "whenever you get out of the shower." You might have to trim a couple of reps off your routine to get here on time.
- If the coach says that you need to lift more, that's not necessarily an excused absence from our class—especially if the plan is for you to miss several weeks. If you think the coach wants you to miss several English classes for the sake of the weight room, I want a written request from the coach, which I will discuss with my supervisor AND you will be responsible for all work during your weightlifting "vacation."
- Toilet breaks. The average, healthy adult can make it two hours and forty minutes between toilet breaks. While it is occasionally acceptable to ask for a toilet break in the middle of class (perhaps once a semester), it should not be usual to leave in the middle of every class! If you are overdoing hydration or abusing performance enhancing drugs so that you need frequent toilet breaks, you are in danger of being counted tardy (late). After all, you are planning to be absent for a portion of each class period. If you have a medical condition that requires frequent toilet breaks, please bring a doctor's note.
- Repeating material. We won't be repeating material for those of you who drift in late from the locker room or leave frequently for the toilet. Please don't disrupt the class by asking what you missed. You made the choice to be elsewhere.