College is a Job

Just like the title says — college is a job.

I was reminded of this fact this past week. We just had the first real snowfall of the year here in Kansas. My classes were not cancelled, but some students decided not to come anyway.

That’s bad, because we had quite a bit of ground to cover AND we needed to discuss the exam for next week. Go over the study guide. Explain how the exam will go. Answer questions. About half of my students were there.

After class . . . the emails arrived. “I couldn’t get out.” “I thought class was cancelled for today.” “I didn’t want to drive on the roads.” Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s the simple truth:  if the college is open, you need to be there. That’s not an excused absence. No one told you to buy a rear-wheel-drive car as your only vehicle. No one told you not to pay attention to the news or the college website or the text message alert system that tells you if class is in session or not. Yes, I know, there’s a safety factor involved, but please see the above lines. I had to be there. That’s my job.

But it’s also YOUR job.

As adults, it’s always your choice whether you go to class or not. There is no way to compel you to be there. But if you’re serious about your studies — and if you’re reading this, I suspect you are — then you need to take your classes just as seriously as you do your job. Because in all honesty, that’s what it is. A job you’ve chosen to take on. A job that’s a stepping stone, leading to a new career.

So take it that seriously. Show up to class when you need to be there. Read the syllabus. Know it. Whatever the instructor’s policies on absences are — follow them. If the instructor says she won’t give out the notes or Power Points if you’re gone, then don’t ask! That is the policy of that instructor. Finding a way to get you the notes creates more work for you instructor. Worse, it’s not fair to the other students who did come to class that day. Take responsibility. If you choose not to be there, then arrange to get the notes from someone who was there — with the understanding that you will reciprocate at some point, or at least pay the favor forward. If someone covers for you at work, you’ll need to cover for them at some time, too — same thing here, in class.

Sorry, that was a bit of a soapbox, but I meant every word and I think I speak for a lot of adjuncts when I say those words.

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