Missed Class? You’ll Never Beat This Teacher’s Excuse

I love the Monday after Spring Break. The class is half-empty and the students that have shown up are in a good mood.  I actually enjoy teaching on the day after break because it feels like a secret club – the group that stayed home, the non-travelers. We binged watched our favorite shows in our pajamas and ate bowl after bowl of ice cream. We may be pale, but we’re not losers. We’re Staycationers! We’ve shown up on the first day back simply because we never actually left.

That magic is broken as soon those adventurous, traveling types start filtering in during the next class.  They’re all tanned and happy and ready to hit me with their best-ever excuse justifying why they missed the first day back to school.

This year I decided to out-excuse even the best of the bunch. The Friday before classes resumed, I had a rib removed — not from my porch chop dinner but from my own personal rib cage. It was extraordinarily painful, but medically necessary. I appeared for class on Monday, down one rib, for the sole purpose of winning the super-excuse Olympics. My only goal was to prove that I could show up for class even in the worst of situations.

Here’s some snippets from the post-Spring Break week.

“Your favorite grandma? I’m so sorry for your loss. I had a rib removed.”

“Your plane was delayed? Wow, that’s an inconvenience. I had a rib removed.”

“You had the flu? You must feel horrible. I had a rib removed.”

“You had sun poisoning? Ouch! I had a rib removed.”



Okay – that last one is a bit of an exaggeration, but like the game, MadLibs, I’m offering the following challenge. Please fill in with your best excuse and we’ll see if you can beat me.


(Your Excuse Here)      VS            I had a rib removed.


I’m apologizing to two of my students who also used their spring break vacation time for an actual operation! We’re even.







College Excuses

As Spring Break nears, I have to prepare myself for the onslaught of ridiculous excuses used by college students to squeeze out another day of vacation.


To be fair, let’s assume that if your grandmother is alive today, there’s a good chance she’ll still be alive next week which means you’ll be able to return to school when classes resume.


Next, let’s assume you most likely will not contract a Caribbean virus like Dengue fever that prevents you from boarding your return flight. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that passengers can’t fly with a severe hangover.


Another point. Consider the circumstantial evidence when you present me with your excuse for missing an extra day or two of class after break. If you’re tan and relaxed, I’ll be less likely to believe that your boat, flight or car was hijacked by island pirates.  I’m also less likely to believe you were hospitalized if your tan is still golden. And as far as missing luggage goes, I don’t care what you wear to class as long as you show up.


My most favorite excuse for returning to campus late was told to me by a fellow teacher.  It’s so insane, I’d almost like to accept it since technically, there is supportive evidence.


                                            “I couldn’t get back in time for class. I was getting plastic surgery in a foreign country.”


If you’ve got a whopper of a lie you ‘d like to let us in on, please share!