My college economics professor let it be known on the first day that there would be no excused absences in his class. He stated that being absent was an automatic course drop and therefore an incomplete grade – a horror in 1969.
Of course there are always the exceptions …
“I have heard every phony excuse there is for missing my class. Don’t do it! There are only two legitimate reasons for missing my class per semester:”
- “You got married”
- “You died”
Naturally, about two weeks later I missed class. As I approached him timidly about it, he said, “WELL, I SEE YOU AREN’T DEAD, SO BRING ME YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE.”
I felt like saluting as I said, “YES SIR!” and hurriedly escaped to obey his command (Yes, I was just married).
Over the coming months all went well, even though it soon became painfully obvious that econ was not my forte. However, one fateful day I missed class again. I was terrified to approach his desk. Did I mention that I was diligently striving for at least a 3.5 GPA; and this problem was not supposed to be part of the picture?
As I opened my mouth to blurt my excuse he cut me off with, “I SEE YOU ARE NOT DEAD AND YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED ONCE PER SEMESTER. YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED!!!”
I instantly teared up and flushed beet red. I backed up and headed for the open doorway …
“ER … HOWEVER, I HAVE HEARD IT ALL, BUT TELL ME. IF I’VE NEVER HEARD YOURS, IT MAY EARN YOU AN EXCUSED ABSENCE.”
Did I hear him right? I could possibly get a reprieve? I blew my nose and tried to talk, but nothing came out. I cleared my throat and managed, “My clothes were stolen.”
“WHAT?” he roared. He was glaring, and then his eyes widened in disbelief.
“TELL ME ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW!”
Jesus, help me! I was about to collapse from fear or heat stroke on the linoleum floor. Remember the old kind with square linoleum tiles the janitors used to mop with chlorine bleach-water and then wax and buff with that big machine every night? Yes, that floor. I was hot and tired from an hour of gym class; running downhill to go home to change; and running back uphill in temperature of 100⁰+F.
He had kindled hope, so I rallied with the truth.
“I have gym class before econ and when I went back to my locker after showering my clothes were gone – stolen. I had to run home in my gym shorts; change; and by the time I got back, class was over. So here I am – dressed but missed class,” I stammered.
“I am so sorry,” I trailed off as I realized I was not that sorry. Had he heard this before? Locker thieves were evidently on the loose. Had this happened to anyone else yet? I was thirsty. I searched his face … no reaction. Nothing. His face was frozen in a peculiar questioning grimace. I hung my head.
All of a sudden he belly-laughed. He roared out, “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! THAT’S A FIRST.”
“ABSENCE IS EXCUSED!”
I was about to faint from thirst and relief.
“DON’T DIE THIS SEMESTER!”
Seriously? So now you know why I couldn’t die that semester.
Over time I realize that our Heavenly Father doesn’t appreciate excuses for not showing up for class either. He has generously given life, clothing, and our beautiful earth to sustain us. We can repent from sin; marry Jesus once this semester; and escape the everlasting death part.
“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” ~ Romans 14:12 NKJV
Enjoy the holidays and remember: DON’T DIE THIS SEMESTER!
Thank you for following