Jennifer's Blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Dog Ate My Disk and Other Tales of Woe

In the article The Dog Ate My Disk, And Other Tales Of Woe by Carolyn Foster Segal, we learned about all the different excuses that many students have given in order to get away from turning in an assignment that was not completed on time. The author was giving different examples of the typical excuses that teachers are used to hearing on an everyday basis such as a "family emergency" or some sort of personal issue. "What heartless student would lie, wishing death on a revered family member, just to avoid a deadline?" (Segal 1). The author explains and tries to analyze why students would use illness or death to get out of turning in an assignment. We notice that this excuse has been used multiple times so that it is not as accepted as it was before amoung teachers. The author explains that many students that have planned out what they were going to say and have made it a point to have some believability in the excuse have gotten an extension or some form of excuse that allows then to turn the assignment in at a later time. "Creative students may win extra extensions (and days off) with a little careful planning and fuller plot development " (Segal 1). Having the same excuses over and over causes teachers to become used to what to expect and have already planned what they are going to say as the author has in this case.

After reading this article, I became more aware of myself and of all the times that I had to use an excuse. I also came to think of all the times where the excuses are indeed the truth and when the teachers start to think that everything is made up. "A friend of mine in graduate school had a student who claimed that his roommate attacked him with a hammer. That in fact was a true story" (Segal 2). Hearing this reason why one hasnt turned in an assignment sounds funny and even unbelievable to think of what people would make up in order to not turn in an assignment but in fact, this was indeed an actual event. I have also experienced times when I did have some sort of weird event had happened to me and it was indeed the reson why something could not be finished. Before telling my teacher, I thought I had done the right thing of telling the truth however,once telling the teacher, they tend to not believe me which ended up making things much worse. I ended up getting penalized for my work and looked at as a bad student. Though this issue never got cleared up, I still wonder whether teachers have really gone through so much that even telling the truth could turn into being a lie in the eyes of the teacher. This article shows how the excuses lead teachers to believe to not believe students but it has come down to wether or not to tell the truth when most will not be believed either way.


  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger Rachella said…

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  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Rachella said…

    As the old saying goes, "truth is stranger that fiction." If the truth is not believed and excuses (lies) are also not believed, students could resort to just avoiding the situation by being organized enough to get assignments done, no matter what comes up.


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