Thursday, December 09, 2004

I knew it was out there somewhere. The Dead Grandmother Syndrome!

I think next semester I will hand this out on or near the first day. Just in case.


argotnaut said...

Yeah, no one ever asked me for any kind of proof when Grandmother B died. But that was community college. Still, I can't imagine asking for proof without it seeming incredibly heartless. Even if you know someone is a liar!

liz said...

The problem is not just one of "Oh, well, so one or two liars may get a better grade than they should have." Which I seriously considered as being more a matter for their consciences than anything else.

But it's a question of its being extremely unfair to the students who did turn up and do the work. Like legal-action unfair, especially if I do things like waive their final papers and presentations, which is what I am prepared to do.

I have polled the faculty, and apparently it is standard practice to get some kind of evidence, if only a photocopy of the little pamphlet they hand out at the funeral home, or of the obit in the paper.

The other thing is, it's not just that there are suddenly more deaths in students' families at finals time, it's that there are suddenly more deaths specifically among the families of students who are doing poorly! (So that's undoubtedly another huge reason why your profs wouldn't query *you* too closely!)