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.







  • Nikolaas Eickelbeck

    I find this blog post quite amusing and commical! For the fill in for your challenge I had two ribs removed! Just joking! I hope everything is ok now after your surgery. I also feel that instead of make excuses for why a student didn’t show up to class it would just be better to be honest. Honesty is important in every relationship, even when it comes to students and professors!


    I agree with Nikolaas’ comment which emphasizes the importance of honesty. However, (with only a hint of sarcasm here) before I decided to fully commit to being purely honest and truthful person, and being an excellent student and good productive member of society at all times, I’ve had to fabricate a few excuses for missing class in my day.

    Here are the top 3:

    1.) ACHIEVEMENT EXCUSE: I missed class last Tuesday because Microsoft Word nominated my
    excellent penmanship to be developed into a Font for their 2018 version
    of Word. I had to attend the ceremony to receive my Prize money which I
    will of course be donating to six of my favorite charities.

    2.) MEDICAL EXCUSE: I got stung by a bee for the first time in my life before class last Friday, I was not feeling well and having trouble breathing. I asked my friend, Thomas who is in medical school if this was normal. Thomas responded by saying I may be allergic, and should have somebody take me to the doctor immediately. The doctor informed me I was allergic to bee stings, and it was a good thing I decided to skip class to address this medical emergency due to the fact that if left untreated, my condition would have inevitably worsened with time. Luckily, I am OK.

    3.) SYMPATHY EXCUSE: I was stuck in severe traffic on the West Side Highway on my way back from Manhattan. Once escaping the seemingly endless traffic jam, I encountered the (obsolete and outdated) Hutchinson River Parkway. I realized that I was going to be really late for class when I was passing that awful cell tower disguised as a tree next to the mobil station. After inching my way through a loud cluster of inpatient motorists, I eventually got off the Parkway and made it to campus. However, upon arriving, I quickly came to the realization that there were no spots remaining for tardy students (or on-time students), and had to park three quarters of a mile away. I ran across the sprawling campus in an attempt to make it before class was dismissed. However, when I approached the building, I slipped on a sheet of ice and and hit my head on the railing. I awoke disoriented, but managed to get up. I glared down at my watch, and realized that class had just ended. I considered my options at the time. I tried to E-mail you to let you know about the horrific occurrences which I had just endured resulting in my absence from class. However, I could not connect to the WiFi. Then, greatly discouraged, I returned home to my mother who promptly asked me to shovel the driveway and run some errands before leaving for work.