In honor of exam week here at BJU beginning this Saturday, following close on the heels of students' course evaluations, I'm posting about a technique that has long been practiced by students — "alibi-ology" — the science of giving alibis. Students come up with some of the most amazing alibis to explain their performance. Some of the things below might also occur on students' course evaluations. You teachers out there may recognize some of these.
What students say when exams roll around...
When they are given an objective test:
"It doesn't let you express yourself."
When they are given an essay test:
"It's so vague. You don't know what's expected."
When they are given many minor tests:
"Why not have a few big ones? This keeps you on edge all the time."
When they are given only a few major tests:
"Too much depends on each one."
When they are given no tests:
"It's not fair. How can he possibly judge what we know?"
When every part of the subject is discussed in class:
"Oh, he just follows the book."
When they are asked to study a part of the subject by themselves:
"We never even discussed it!"
When the course is in lecture form:
"We never get a chance to say anything!"
When the course consists of informal lecture and discussion:
"He just sits there. Who wants to hear the students? He doesn´t know how to teach the course."
When detailed material is presented:
"What's the use? You forget it all after the exam anyway."
When general principles are presented:
"What did we learn? We knew that before we took the course."
I'm hoping to read in the comments some
alibis excuses reasons my readers have used or heard.
Somewhat related... I saw an interesting news story  this week about two overdue books that President George Washington never returned to a library in New York City. He apparently owes the library $4,577 in fines and the two missing books. I'm sure that since he would never tell a lie, he might instead give some lame excuse about being dead for most of that time. But the books were due November 2, 1798 and he died December 14, 1799, giving him plenty of time to return said books. Any of you want to come up with an excuse for him?
"Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties." - Charles H. Spurgeon
Iceland goes bankrupt, then it manages to set itself on fire. This has insurance scam written all over it. Not to mention their attempting to take down the rest of Europe with them! Wonder what excuses Iceland is giving....