It happens to the best of us, but more often to the worst of us: you glance at the clock and suddenly feel like a sinkhole is opening inside of you as it becomes apparent that, in a matter of minutes, you must read 50 pages of text, come up with a strong and supportable opinion, and argue it in a single-spaced page. As this cold, cruel reality sets in, your brain fills with adrenaline and formulates, instinctively, the oldest and most useful kind of statement in the English language: an excuse.
Which really sucked because I actually had all the work done on time…
1. It’s due at noon on the day before class?!
What does that even accomplish?
2. It’s Tuesday already?!
I could swear it was Sunday just a few hours ago.
3. I was in Ebola quarantine after traveling back from Liberia and only got out this morning.
Don’t blame me, blame poor healthcare in West Africa.
4. I had the flu.
Highly contagious. Wouldn’t want you to catch it.
5. I got high.
So basically… what happened was…. [wait] …..
6. Reading is a construct, and so are response memos, and so are deadlines.
I should teach a PHIL class on procrastination.
7. I thought I was gonna get a booty call but then her 76-year-old aunt had a fall and ended up in the hospital so she had to go back to Pennsylvania and I was so disappointed and lonely that I was physically unable to read or write.
WAI SOE ALoNE ALWAYZ
8. Futile attempts to assert my emotional independence resulted in me shirking all of the work I had last week, because you don’t own me. (You just own my GPA and my law school application and my future income and PLEASE FORGIVE ME
By far the most realistic depiction of what happened before the deadline.
Excuse formulation is, of course, quickly followed by a more quantitative mental calculus: figuring out how many A’s you need to get to make up for the shiny new 0% in your average.