After 25 years of teaching undergraduates, Douglas A. Bernstein, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, thought he had heard every possible excuse for missed exams and late term papers.
So as a lark, Bernstein decided to use his electronic mail network to collect what he now thinks of as a Student Excuse Hall of Fame.
Here are some of his favorites. (Feel free to save them for your next mental health day.):
* Grandparental Death: In one lecture class, 14 out of 250 students reported their grandmothers dead just before the final exam.
* Friend / Relative Accident / Illness: "I can't take the test Friday because my mother is having a vasectomy."
* Car Trouble: "I'm late for the test because I hit a toilet in the middle of the road."
* Animal Trauma: "I couldn't be at the exam because I had to attend the funeral of my girlfriend's dog."
* Crime Victimization: "I need to take the final early because the husband of the woman I am seeing is threatening to kill me."
* Miscellaneous: "I'm too happy to give my presentation tomorrow."