Nia Lapointe features online excuses

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This article was written by guest writer, Nia Lapointe

As a teacher walks down an aisle of desks, picking up their students’ previously assigned homework, they suddenly come to a stop. A student with no work comes up with the excuse that their “dog ate [their] homework,” forcing the teacher to give them more time to turn it in. Here at Heritage, teachers have heard a wide range of excuses, some that are simple and some that are far from it.

When 10th grade English teacher Ms. Tilley assigned a paper to her class, she did not think that one of her students would be unable to turn it in because they were “in Abu Dhabi, competing in a rocket contest.” But, that was exactly the case. Her student gave his teacher proof of his whereabouts, and since Ms. Tilley could not deny it, he received an extension on their paper.

A similar situation occurred to Spanish 4 teacher, Sra. Castro. When Señora Castro’s student came to school without her homework, she claimed that a “goat ate her paper.” At first, Señora Castro did not believe it, but after a talk with the school’s principal and the student’s mother, it turns out that they lived in a house on a farm. The student left her door open, allowing a goat to come in and tear her homework apart. 

In Mrs. Adams’s creative writing class, a student was also unable to bring her assignment to school because it was torn up: not by a goat, but by her mother. The assignment was to write a letter to a secret admirer, but when her mother found her work, she ripped it to pieces. This is because the mother “thought that it was a real love letter to a boy.” Both Sra. Castro’s and Mrs. Adams’s students received extra time to finish their papers.

While there are exceptions, excuses given by students mostly revolve around someone’s technology either being ruined or simply not working. Math teachers Mrs. Melhman, Mrs. Smiley, Mr. Moore and Mrs. Bubelis have not received any bizarre excuses, but they all have received an overwhelming amount of the same explanations. This includes kids “leaving their iPads at school,” their WiFi not working, the electricity shutting off at their house, “their iPads getting soaked in the rain” or them “waking up after falling asleep and forgetting it.” Because most of these are overused and avoidable, these students do not receive extensions on their assignments.

Although whether or not excuses work mostly depends on the teacher, what you say or do may have an impact on their decision. As the outcomes of the mentioned excuses have shown, unique explanations have better outcomes than ones that are commonly heard by teachers. After all, despite them being harder to believe, the unusual phrases have proof that most of the overused excuses do not. 

Ultimately, if you forgot to finish your homework, it would be better to tell your teacher the truth rather than coming up with a defenseless excuse.