I was gone last class. Did I miss anything important?
This is actually a common question which, on the surface, seems harmless enough. Aren’t you even quite responsible to follow up and ask to make sure you aren’t missing out on some crucial point in your education because you didn’t attend the last class?
Alas, dear student, in spite of your best intentions about making up for lost time in following up on any goodies missed, here’s what the professor hears, “Did you say anything I’ll be tested on?” or worse, “You don’t usually say anything important, was last Tuesday an exception?”
Sadly, either way, you don’t end up looking very good. And oh, by the way, you already missed class, so what’s up with that? I know, it cuts to the core to be misunderstood. What’s a well-meaning, conscientious student supposed to do when she misses class?
Ask for the notes of a couple of friends, and review them. As long as you have also read the material necessary for the class you missed, make an appointment to see the professor so you can make sure you have a clear understanding of what you see as the main concepts. Since you’re showing initiative, and will have great questions to ask, your professor will be much more receptive to helping you and filling in those missing pieces. Don’t expect a complete rehashing of the class, of course, but with your prep, this session could be enough to make up for the missed class.
By the way: there are only a few legitimate reasons for missing class. If you go in for extra help after missing a class, make sure it falls within the “true emergency” category. If you’re reason doesn’t pass muster, (and sorry, an American Idol marathon doesn’t count) don’t even try to make an appointment with the prof for extra help.
You’ll just call attention to your absence even more. And who needs that?
Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,
As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more.
Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.