Mike Adams
I love exam week. It?s the time of year when students start to either a) stress out uncontrollably, or b) pretend to stress out uncontrollably in a plea for special treatment. As you can imagine, I get a lot of stupid questions during exam week from both stressing and pretending-to-be-stressing students.

I always answer these questions, but sometimes I have to delete responses that are too acerbic for the modern student?s sensibilities. I just stumbled across some of my favorite responses buried in a remote corner of my office. While readers will find them humorous, I ask that they also consider the ?root cause? of the mindset the letters critique. Think about is as you read the following:

Dear (deleted):

Sorry you missed the review session because you were stuck in traffic in Charlotte. Since you haven?t been in class in nine days, I am surprised that traffic jam didn?t make the national news. It must have been big! At which intersection were you stuck? Where did you sleep for the last nine days? In your car? What did you do for food and water? And, finally, how much extra credit do you deserve for concocting one of the stupidest excuses I?ve ever heard in my life?

Dear (deleted):

I am sorry to hear about both your abortion and your inability to track down the father of your child. But, after a month?s absence, it sure is great to see you again. Yes, of course, I can give you some extra consideration for the trauma you have been through. I usually give extra credit for things like extra work but an abortion seems like just as good a reason. How much extra credit do you want? How much do you feel you need? How about a point on your final average for every week you were pregnant?

Dear (deleted):

It was touching to hear of your tragic loss. I know that having a roommate move out last week without paying rent was simply gut-wrenching and traumatic. It certainly explains why you have missed my class three times in a row. But, could you please explain how it accounts for the other nineteen times you have missed my class-times when you still had a rent-paying roommate? I?m just curious.

Dear (deleted):

Yesterday was your third attempt to get credit for a question you missed on exam two. I know it?s exam week and you need all the points you can get, so I decided to reconsider your appeal. In response to an exam question from our ?Evidence,? you stated that evidence of a rape defendant?s prior marriage to two women significantly younger than him was admissible because you ?felt it should be.?


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.