I am so irritated at my students today. They were such complete slackers!
It reminded me a little bit of some student antics about a year ago - I happened to see this student again today and I was reminded of it.
We were reading and discussing John Donne's Holy Sonnets that day (so awesome and brilliant!) and I got a phone call from this student saying that s/he needed to talk to me about why s/he wouldn't be in class. S/he said, kind of breathily,
Student: "Uuuuum....I won't be in class to discuss those poems today because....uuuuuum....I'm a Christian and, uuuum, these poems offend me as a Christian (pronounced "Chrissss-chin?" with the slight rise in tone at the end)...."
MW: "That's great. So was Donne. It'll still count off of your attendance grade."
Student: "Uuuuum....but I'm a Christian and it offends my personal beliefs to read these poems about God battering them and stuff."
MW: (?!?!) "Well, okay. But you do know that reading and discussing the poems in no way necessitates your subscribing to their particular theology, right? And how is it that none of the other texts we've read this semester have posed a problem?"
*Paging Dr. Summoner anyone?*
Student: "Yeah. But that was all Catholic and medieval and stuff. But I'm a Christian and this offends me."
MW: "I'm sure that most Catholics (modern and medieval) would be offended by the suggestion that they're not Christian. Nevertheless, it's on the syllabus and class attendance is required, so this will count as an absence."
Student: "But that's penalizing me for my religious beliefs!"
MW: "Indeed, I'm not. Religious beliefs are not an acknowledged illness or family emergency and, thus, I'm not excusing it. You're making the choice to stay out of class and, if it is because of fervently held religious beliefs, then you need to be able to accept the consequences of your actions. In this case, the consequences are pretty mild. The Lollards didn't have it so easy, as you might remember."
MW: "Might your offense coincide with the fact that it's right before Spring Break and you already have 4 absences in this class?"
Student: "That offends me..."