The Cranky Professor
lives under the mistaken notion that students actually read their syllabi.
Cut'n'paste from the Art 101 Syllabus:
Thursday, December 18 � FINAL EXAM - 20% of final grade
8:30 � 11:30 a.m., Houghton House 212
Please notify your parents immediately so that no travel plans are made which interfere with our exam time slot!
(Boldface in the original).
Does telling them this the first day of class work?
Of course not. I have a rule that says no make-up exams, and announce in class that since I have imposed this rule the death rate of my students' grandparents has dropped precipitously. In return, students get to drop their lowest exam in return for a comprehensive final (they can keep all scores and take a non-cumulative last exam if they've not missed and done well.) I still get requests for make-ups; when students are shown the policy they say they already had a bad exam/dead uncle/boyfriend breakup/whatever and it is really unfair. One of my colleagues has the perfect rejoinder: It only takes 2500 extra calories to gain a pound but 3500 fewer calories to burn off a pound. Who said life is fair?