The Mysterious Missing Week – Or Two

Did you ever wake up and just not want to go to class? Let me rephrase the question. Did you ever wake up and want to go to class? A jump out of bed type of morning that sends you jogging to the cafeteria for breakfast while high fiving the comatose cafeteria lady who reads your meal card?  

The reality is that most students don’t act on their laziness for anymore than a day. The problem occurs when the impulse to stay in bed lasts a week or worse, two. At some point you may actually forget you were enrolled in college until the phone rings. It’s your mom. You lie about your current state of depravity but the guilt seeps in. A pair of rumpled sweats crammed in the bed sheets seems clean enough. You dress and head to class. Your two-week vacation is officially over.

Here’s the mystery. Does your teacher realize you’ve been missing?  If it’s not a 200-person lecture course then the answer is absolutely yes. Let’s be real. If you don’t have a valid excuse (and you don’t), you probably haven’t emailed the teacher with an explanation.  Instead, you may attempt to make the teacher think you’ve been in class. How? By making your presence in class known. As in – if I answer every question, it will appear as I’ve been here the whole time. 

Unfortunately, your ‘let me get noticed’ strategy is doing just the opposite. It’s high-lighting your mini vacation. In fact, your teacher’s air bubble goes something like this.  “Mystery solved! You’re the one who has been out for two weeks.”

Your best bet is to sit quietly in class without drawing undue attention to your absence. At the end of class, don’t slink out the door.  Approach your teacher and tell them you’re getting notes from a classmate. Don’t ask if you’ve missed a lot. Of course you have, but you’re well rested – so get working.

If you’ve got a mysterious class disappearance story or a solid cover up strategy, please post here.


  • Guillermo Perez

    Wow I loved your humor! High fiving the Cafeteria lady lmao. It was fun Reading your post. Its great advice to us students. It definitely makes it easier for student to save their teachers the headaches. I like when I know a teachers personality. You can learn so much more then just whats required for the coarse when theres a good connection.

  • Valerio Palmero

    This was an extremely funny and delightful way of describing students’ laziness. Although most Professor’s, in my opinion, do not cae very much if your missing class you may come across one that does. I commend the maturity of the example student mentioned. Giving a lame unmeaningful excuse for the absences are ridiculous. My personal method for missing class, especially if it is a long period of time such as two weeks I would not explain to the professor my reasoning of being out. However, I would catch up on all missed work and go back to future classes getting involved with discussions and making it known so even though I was not present at the time I am still able to catch up participate in discussions. Giving excuses such as death in family, sickness etc and is just not believable in my personal opinion.

  • Dontay Young

    I have never personally missed anymore than a few days of school for the common excuses, such as sickness or vacation. But, my personal strategy would be to avoid the teacher until you have familiarized yourself with the course and have attended a couple of classes. As soon I returned to the class, I would get a copy of the syllabus from one of my classmates and then complete any assignments that I have missed thus far in order to catch up with the remainder of the class. Once I’ve grown comfortable with the material, I would then frequently participate in the class, thats how I would let my presence be known. This is what my strategy would be.

  • Debbie Falcones

    I always used to do this in high school, but of course in high school your parents can get you out of everything. Once I got to college I never did this, I even hate missing one day of class no matter how tired or bored I am because I will feel lost when I come back and I hate that feeling. But one time I did get out of a project I had to present that I wasn’t ready for by telling my professor I got into a small car accident. I felt so bad about this the whole semester, I even felt like I was doing something unethical and like something bad might actually happen to me for lying. It’s kind of silly but ever since then I barely ever miss class unless I’m extremely sick or theres an emergency.

  • MB

    I’ve been on the dialing end of that phone call to a daughter who I suspected might have forgotten she was enrolled in college. I was in much the same position as the teacher in observing hopeless cover up strategies and avoidance tactics. I really think people do this more to deceive themselves. It’s uncomfortable to admit that you’ve made a mess of things. As a student myself I really can’t see the point in a cover up effort. What’s done is done. I agree with the idea of just expressing your intentions to your teacher so that she knows you are engaged, and then following through to catch up. Maybe that attitude just comes with age and experience. I remember trying to advise my daughter to suck it up and just accept being behind and take steps to get back on track. I told her that her teacher is her best ally in knowing how to best do that. My thinking is that teachers are people too, and appreciate good communication.

  • Katelyn Berardi

    My second quarter of my senior year of high school was my “slacker” year. I used to either be late or miss my 1st period class which was psychology. Definitely not the best class to decide to just not want to wake up for (staying in bed for 10 more minutes which never actually turns out to be just 10 minutes). Fast forward to being in college and knowing that my parents are paying for my education and if I screw up and don’t attend class I’m only hurting my future and wasting their money makes me rethink those mornings when I was younger and in high school and making sure I didn’t have the same routine occur in college. In college you’re responsible for your success. No teacher is going to hold you hand and force you to come to class. You’re a grown up now and it’s your responsibility to make sure your attending class. I’ve definitely had a few classes my past semesters here where I just dreaded having to sit there and listen to lectures or take an elective class that had nothing to do with what i want to do in life. Those were the kind of classes where those mornings were just plain dreadful because basically I was just there for the credits. However i think that once I strayed away from that mentality I looked at the class differently and realized that missing it or not paying attention is probably the worst thing I could do to yourself and why would I want to hurt myself in the long run. I do have a good story though about a project presentation that I got out of having to do. It was for a science class and it was my first semester here. I gave the good ol’ “I have a stomach virus, been up all night vomiting” excuse. I’m an honest person so when I confronted my stern professor to tell him about my “fake sickness” I’m pretty sure he knew that I was just extremely nervous about presenting (it was written all over my face). After that situation I sucked it up and realized that it’s not the end of the world to have to present something and that being nervous is ok. I felt like I had more stress knowing that I was lying and missing class rather then just sucking it up and coming to class to present,you get it over with. It’s definitely not the end of the world!

  • Sheronne Tooley

    I’am unable to give a missing story because I was TOO scared to miss multiple days of school. My first three years of college, I didn’t miss any classes with the exception of flu days. My thinking was if I missed too many classes then my work would fall behind, I would never be able to catch up and eventually fail. I didn’t have parents to answer to, I had financial aid and scholarships on the line. Also I was taking a lot of math and computer programming classes and to miss two or more classes of formulas and programming codes was a death warrant. So I dragged by butt to school every single day. In my old age now, and with the beauty of online classes I appear to be missing multiple days of classes. While I try to hand in my assignments on time, I wait until the very last moment to get the stuff done. That is definitely my equivalent of missing long periods of classes. If it wasn’t for those pesky discussion boards, I would only do school work once a week!

  • Sheena Barnett

    I think if you are going to miss class you should always try to inform your Professor the day before or 2 hours before the class actually begins. I think that if you know that you are going to miss the class on that day than you should have at least 2 classmates number to contact to see what work did the Professor do for that day. Usually, the Professor gives you a syllabus that will tell you what is going to be taught on certain days so, you should follow that. If Monday, the teacher has in the syllabus that he or she will go over Chapters 2 and 3, than you should still be able to read those chapters so you have an idea of what was being taught and you want miss anything that was being explain. You can also write down any questions that you may have regarding those chapters.

  • Sandy Stephanie

    I don’t think I’ve ever missed two whole weeks of class. At the most a week in which the class only meets twice. I really don’t go and tell a story as to why I’ve been missing, generally I just say personal issues and that’s if the professor asks. If you just catch up and hand in your work it should be fine. I can’t really think of a super cover up. The professors have heard all the stories for years so yours won’t change the fact that they know you’re lying. All they want from you is to pass and you should too so I just get the work done as fast as I can and call it a day.

  • Meco Galente

    People/students want to go to class when there are acknowledged and complimented on their work. Interaction is also a plus, group work and interaction with classmates and the teacher is a good thing because then it makes you feel like you should be in class. People get discouraged when the teacher is talking about outlines of elements that the students already know and just tell the students now your job is to read the rest and do the homework. Students want someone who teach, thus the name teacher. The times you should go up to the teacher is at the end of class when you do not understand something and/or if you want to have a meeting to further understand things in the class. I used to go to the bathroom frequently at school and just chill/talk to whoever was around there in the school as it was an outlet for getting out of the said class. Thats how boring some teachers were, the material was normal and not difficult but when the teacher does not present it in a fun environment it is no fun for them and the students.

  • Lin Li

    When I studied in the Opera School in Shanghai! The most important classes were singing, dancing and acting. We also have some common cognition classes such as English, history and politic which were so boring and not important for our grades! Therefore, sometimes I would skip these classes! The first strategy I have used was going to school doctor’s office and pretended I was sick, such as headache, stomachache, fever, cold, etc. Then my classmates would assist me to bring the identification of illness to my teacher. Secondly, when I was going to escaped from a class, during the break, I would pretended to go to bathroom and slinked out of classroom quietly. On the other hand, I would make sure that handing in my well-done homework before I skipped my classes. Due to teachers were satisfied with my homework, they would not think too much whether I was I the class or not.
    However, since I studied in WCC, I never skip my classes! I have been trying to review be in class on time, doing well on my each homework and exams!

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