No free pass for skipping class?

Chris Slattery

Okay, stop the presses! Hold the phone! Cease and desist! You’re meaning to tell me that you can take away my financial aid if I don’t go to my classes? What kind of institution is this? Am I still in America?

I’ve never been one to go to class — my lab partners and group presentation members could tell you that — and I find it ridiculous that a university that prides itself in caring for its students would require them to “attend their courses” and “learn” with the threat of taking away their financial aid.

The government paid good money to send me here so I could not do what they expected me to do.

I mean, you’ve never been to my classes. You don’t know what it’s like on that syllabus day when professors say words and talk about books and throw around phrases like, “no plagiarism” and “attendance policy” and “I’m sooooooooo boring.” You can bet that half of the students don’t show up after that first day. I surely can’t be the only one.

So when you think about it, this financial aid plan burns a lot of people. There are students out there who work three jobs and have kids and problems out of their control. They may have to take care of sick family members or grieve after the loss of someone close. I know people who completely buckle under the pressures of completing two majors and three minors in a four-year span. All of these people skip that one class because there is no time, no energy, no point in going. It can become too much, as I’m sure you can understand for them.

But you don’t understand for me. Some days, my class doesn’t get out early and I miss the beginning of a “Storage Wars” marathon!

I just… I — I know I messed up. I’ve already blown through my two free absences and I’m already about to fail this course. That would be fine, but I can’t keep going without financial aid. I need that refund check to buy things. Some people go with textbooks, others purchase food, and I need to fulfill my life goal of buying every song on iTunes. Without this government funding, I can’t pursue this grandiose dream of mine.

I’m the first person in my family to go to college, apart from my parents and my older brother, and I will bring a blanket of shame back to my hometown if I return without a diploma. I was going to turn myself around eventually and if you just give me a bit more time to acquire motivation to study or even attend class, I can prove that my six-year plan wasn’t for naught.

I can’t promise that I’ll go to every class every time, but I’ll surely be more creative with my justifications for skipping. A hangover isn’t an excuse; I see that now. But maybe if “Storage Wars” has another —

Okay, okay, fine! I’ll go… Yeesh. [email protected]