He has missed 8 of the 12 class meetings we've had so far this semester and 5 of the 6 homework assignments which were carefully designed to help students write the essay that was due yesterday (you can guess, dear readers, if my missing student showed up to class and turned that essay in).
He is a young man from out-of-state, a freshman living in the dorms. At first, I thought he was stoned, but later I began to wonder if he had some sort of learning disability, some sort of processing problem, or if perhaps he was on (or not on?) some sort of psychotropic medication.
He arrived to class on Tuesday (after missing three classes in a row) ten minutes before the end of the class period (class meets twice a week for two hours and 20 minutes). Our class had worked hard that day and I had let everyone out early (a rarity). I was packing up my bag when he came in.
"Where were you?" I asked.
He took a brief moment to ponder my question. Then responded slowly, "Eating."
I did not care to pursue that any further with such questions as:
- It took you two hours and ten minutes to eat lunch?
- You chose to eat instead of come to class?
- Did you fly home to eat and come back?
- What you been smokin' man?
"How can that be?" he asked incredulously.
I explained how that can be.
"But it's only the 6th week of school. There's time."
I explained how it was highly doubtful he could pass the class.
"You're very pessimistic." he said. "You don't understand, this class is a priority for me."