To the editor:
Regarding Morgan Beard’s opinion piece, “Attendance policy too restrictive,” in the 10 Dec. 2010 issue, I submit a different opinion.
After being laid off last year, I returned to college to finally complete the degree I started 20 some years ago.
I have two sons, one 17 and the other 4, and work part-time. I chose to return to college and treat it like a job.
When a person voluntarily does something they should honor the rules set before them.
Unforeseen circumstances are unavoidable, but it is too easy to make up an unforeseen circumstance to avoid class because of poor planning or procrastination.
In my experience, I have seen professors believe and excuse absences for just about everything.
However, being an adult means having personal responsibility and, truth be told, the majority of family emergencies and such that a student offers up are just excuses to get out of class.
I have had to go to class with unfinished assignments because of poor choices that I made.
I could have contacted the professor and said that my child was sick [or] the dog died, and asked if I could turn my assignments next week.
Most of my professors probably would have said yes.
However, an adult needs to take responsibility for the choices they make.
Missing class may also impose on others.
A classmate may be asked to provide notes from the class or the professor may be asked to repeat material covered in the missed class.
Class is a valuable time of interaction and learning. Hopefully, it will be more than a time of rote memorization from the textbook.
If a student has a valid reason to miss an occasional class, a professor will understand.
Personally, I like the professors who do not care why you miss class.
They do not want to be in the position of determining if an absence is valid or not.
If a student must miss or choose to miss a class accept the consequences.
For the student that does not want to attend class regularly there are alternatives: take online classes or do not enroll in the class.