Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Written Excuses

It's time to go back into the vaults and see what I can come up with. Today's selection was first posted on April 24, 2007. 

It was one of those video days. The 10th graders were watching Julius Caesar (they're reading the play as a class), and I needed something to do so that I didn't do something drastic as they were not paying attention to the TV.

The teacher had this stack of letters on his desk. From what I could gather, they had some major essay assignment that many of them did not do. As punishment, or maybe as follow-up, the teacher gave them all detention and made them write letters explaining why they did not do the assignment. I had some time, so I flipped through them.

It reminded me of the time that I had a group of seniors who were just awful. Their teacher made them write me letters of "apology". I actually got them. And it was a stack of excuses and it-wasn't-mes. It was amazing how many of them were not at fault. I must have been imagining the bad behavior, then.

Anyway, these letters were similar in repetition. Several of them explained in detail how they did not have access to a computer, or rather, they had access, but their printers were out of ink. One student explained that he/she went over to an aunt's, and only after doing the work the cousin said that the computer had no printer.

A couple were more honest. One student talked of how he/she (I didn't look at the names as they were under the paperclip) just didn't want to do the assignment and he/she didn't think he'd/she'd get into trouble over it (taking the "F" was acceptable, though). And another student talked of plain old procrastination.

After about a dozen or so of these I got bored. It was the same whine over and over. And the grammar was a mess as well (you'd think that for the English teacher they'd try to make an effort--maybe they did).

Sometimes they just make me feel tired all over.

I think I still have those letters of apology somewhere. I should go and look...


  1. Scary to think that maybe they were making an effort with their grammar. =)

  2. At least people are honest. I prefer truth. IT sets you free.

  3. Yes, if you haven't, post some apology letters!

    This isn't really related, but once I sent a kid to the assistant principal's office. He came back all frowning and handed me a folded note. The note said, "Name redacted has left the dark side, and has returned to the light. Sincerely, Yoda" I had to keep a straight face as I asked him to return to his desk.

  4. It sounds tiring. But at least some of the students were honest, right?


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