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(Connecticut Review)   College students grandmothers more likely to die suddenly just before a student takes an exam than at any other time of year   ( biology.ecsu.ctstateu.edu) divider line
    More: Weird  
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4290 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Oct 2002 at 7:37 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

46 Comments     (+0 »)
2002-10-15 05:29:35 PM  
Great article. Funniest thing I've read in a while. Hope that doesn't reflect badly on me.
2002-10-15 05:58:22 PM  
I sent the link to friends who are college teachers... it is almost funny how the few days leading up to finals our phone never stops ringing, and the excuses are all over the place.

I can remember at least two grandmothers dying last semester (and my wife only teaches three classes).
2002-10-15 06:32:50 PM  
Correlation does not equal causation!

/doesn't get joke.
2002-10-15 07:03:15 PM  
Correlation does not equal causation!

True, but most dickweeds do not realize that. I don't think it is as much a joke as it is satire. Swift didn't really want children to be eaten.

Nothing ruins humor (humour) as quickly as an attempt to explain it ;-)
2002-10-15 07:39:40 PM  
viva the Great Mystery!

2002-10-15 07:41:00 PM  
I wish...
2002-10-15 07:41:50 PM  
Why did the poster of this article use the "Wierd" tag? Did he/she not get the joke?
2002-10-15 07:42:44 PM  
DAMMIT...! That excuse is never gonna work fer me now...
2002-10-15 07:43:39 PM  
Yeah, but my GrandFATHER just died! So, I... um, can't take that exam.
2002-10-15 07:45:40 PM  
The solution to this problem of course, is to have professors call the student's family to offer condolences when the grandmother dies.

2002-10-15 07:46:40 PM  
Screw excuses, just drop out.
2002-10-15 07:46:50 PM  
the poster actually believed that? it was a tongue-in-cheek satire. good job! [image from mediaservice.photoisland.com too old to be available]
2002-10-15 07:47:03 PM  
You know in some schools if your roommate commits suicide you get straight A's for the semester. I graduated with honors, never went to class and only had to goad 8 people into committing suicide. I got quite good at it.
2002-10-15 07:48:59 PM  
Thanks for posting this AFTER midterms. sheesh!
2002-10-15 07:49:07 PM  
Or make sure professors keep track of how many grandmothers die, cuz if it's more than 2...
2002-10-15 07:49:39 PM  
Spanky_Coltraine: Yes, one of the most trying aspects of having a roommate is to try and determine which one of you is going to kill the other by the end of the semester so you get a 4.0.
2002-10-15 07:49:43 PM  
Professor: "Oh your grandmother died? I'd better call your parents and give my condolences."
2002-10-15 07:50:02 PM  
I always wondered how it was that my college roommate had 5 grandmothers.
2002-10-15 07:51:55 PM  
fark this, I have two tests on Thursday
2002-10-15 07:55:25 PM  
This link may seem amusing...but my grandmother actually did pass just before finals last spring, and I had to get extensions on my work, etc. It's not fun when it really happens.
2002-10-15 07:55:57 PM  

ill go read the article now
2002-10-15 07:59:45 PM  
I emailed that link to all of my professors... I think only one of them is going to actually laugh at it though. The rest are dicks.
2002-10-15 08:05:18 PM  
Submitting multi-purpose Fark comment:

"It's a trap... because I'm gonna go kill some kittens with Domo-Kun since I'd hit it while and I know I shouldn't complain since "Fark cost me $0.00, but after all, I got nothin' and I'm all out of ideas"- in other news, France surrenders.
2002-10-15 08:09:16 PM  
Shouldn't this article be titled, "Obvious"?
2002-10-15 08:15:20 PM  
That was hilarious. I look forward to its publication in the Journal of Irreproducible Results.
2002-10-15 08:19:31 PM  
while he's trying to be tongue in cheek in suggesting that students use this as an excuse, his data is probably quite incomplete. for instance he cites a spike in Family death rate near exams, but really as a professor he's only going to hear about the deaths if they conflict with something like an exam. A student doesn't need to ask for an extension if a family member dies in a dead week.

of course, the corrolation between grade and number of deaths is pretty convincing.
2002-10-15 08:23:45 PM  
Rychan - I don't know about you, but I'm guessing "it's all made up" as a "joke."
2002-10-15 08:27:23 PM  
pretty dumb
2002-10-15 08:28:58 PM  
I'm in my second year. So far I've lost four grandmothers and a grandfather. God bless Photoshop: it makes "updating" death certificates very user-friendly. (Coincidentally, I very rarely take the same professor more than once. I usually end find myself needing to kill off a family member at least once any given semester and I don't know if the same professor would buy it again.)
2002-10-15 08:35:40 PM  
I worked in the remedial education department at my university, and took messages for the teachers. There were always voices that I recognized by the fifth week of school or so. They were taking 3 or 4 remedial classes and would call in so much and didn't realize that they were talking to the same person, even though I answered the phone with my name. Most of the teachers knew how many times people used that excuse, and it was pretty funny when the same person would call 4 times in a row, the same phone #, and give me 4 different excuses. I would write "fake excuse" on the message just for shiats and giggles. Stupid people.
2002-10-15 08:43:46 PM  
The author fails to take into account a more chilling prospect: that students who are failing a class actually murder their own aged grandmothers to get out of taking the exam!
2002-10-15 08:46:34 PM  
That happened to me once!
2002-10-15 08:48:51 PM  
I teach Strategic Management to undergrads and grads. Out of 60 students, we have already had two grandmothers, a friend's baby, and a friend's dad die this semester, coincidentally all on the same day, and we've only had 1 friggin' test so far!

Excellent article - praise be to the person who posted it.

2002-10-15 09:26:57 PM  
Never had a grnadmother die in my class, but many sick people coming with letters from their doctor. I always call this MD up, most of the time they have not seen the student and just believed his/her story on the phone...

Only once did I not call. This student came with a form letter from a clinic that essentially read:

Ms X is:

a) a patient known to our clinic and currently under treatment;

b) a patient known to our clinic, but currently not sick;

c) not a regular patient of our clinic, but sick;

d) not a regular patient of our clinic and not sick.

d) was checked...

And by the way, I very rarely have absentees at my exams now.

2002-10-15 09:31:17 PM  
thats some funny stuff.

it makes by bling alot blingier.
2002-10-15 09:31:19 PM  
[image from 80s.com too old to be available]

"Dead grandmother?"
2002-10-15 09:32:13 PM  
what's sad is that i actually furrowed my brow and contemplated this headline for a few seconds.
2002-10-15 10:25:57 PM  
the best excuse that i have ever used is

"hello, professor. I just wanted to notify you that i will not be able to take the test tomorrow because I died last night..."

It never works...
2002-10-15 10:31:50 PM  
2002-10-15 10:59:56 PM  
I have taught college classes for years, and I could fill an entire cemetery with the corpses of grannies who died before important due dates.

But more than grannies die. One student missed a month of class because a cousin from 50 miles away died.

One student even used her dog dying as an excuse.

Go figure.
2002-10-15 11:12:54 PM  
I had a rather cynical professor in college. I took several courses from him. Every time and exam was coming up, he'd say something like, "The exam will be a week from Thursday, sharpen your crayons and get your grandmothers ready."
2002-10-15 11:37:16 PM  
I have only used a dead realative as an excuse ONCE. I wanted to visit my boyfriend at his college for the weekend, so on Thursday, I called into work and told them my great uncle (not one that anyone liked) had died, and his funeral was that Saturday (when I was scheduled to work).... Friday night, when I called my parents to let them know I had arrived at bf's safely, they let me know that my great uncle had died! (they didn't know I had lied to get out of work) I will forever feel guilty for "killing" my great uncle...Creeped me out, and I did NOT enjoy the weekend...

I have also used the "my dog died" excuse, but he really did die, and I had a WAY harder time with it than I had imagined I would, and would have been in NO shape to go in and be nice to people all day at work...
2002-10-16 01:14:57 AM  
I never, ever, ever used the dead relative excuse, but when I was a freshman in college, my grandmother died the week before finals, and since we're Jewish, I had to go and sit shiva after she was buried: I spent three days with my family and got back the Sunday before exams started.

Absolutely 100% true story, and I have the death certificate to prove it, complete with the date.

Dontcha just hate it when a satire is proven true?
2002-10-16 01:25:03 AM  
I've taught college chemistry labs the past two years, and it's amazing how many otherwise healthy students suddenly get sick on the day their report is due. It's unfortunate for them that I'm not that gullible. I set due dates, and I was pretty lenient for students that seemed to have a valid excuse (ie-if they didn't just suddenly become deathly ill moments before the lab was supposed to start, sending me an e-mail that assumes I'll accept the report late instead of giving me at least a few hours warning like they're supposed to). Of course, that only works once if they have no note or obvious injury (had a student that was run over by a bicycle, and she was still only late to class). My favorite excuse (and one I don't argue with)is: "I forgot to get my medication, and I needed to get it" (this from a student with obvious, serious, mental problems). On a personal note, my dog died last night, and I don't even have any tests until next Tuesday!
2002-10-16 02:48:05 AM  
Sorry it took me so long to get my post in, but my grandma died.
2002-10-16 05:22:32 AM  
Actually, in my senior year of college, right at the end of the first semester (ending right before x-mas), I received the call that my grandmother had actually died suddenly. When did exams start? The next day. When were the calling hours? A few hours after my last exam. When was Christmas? Two days after the funeral.

Yeah, that was a fun year. Hah! The laughs! "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" just had a strange ring after that.

But for some reason I was naive about the "My grandmother died" excuse being so rampant. The morning after I heard Grandma had died I had my toughest exam, in 20th Century Analytical Philosophy, a mostly written exam. I was blanking on the test out of distraction and actually asked, in writing on my exam, for a little sympathy in grading due to the loss I had just experienced. Later on after beoming more aware of the "My Grandmother died" syndrome, I figure the prof must really have thought I was an asshole. I could of course have been the first student he had to have ever legitimately lost his grandmother before an exam. Who knows.
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