Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes, There's Class Today

When I first looked at the class schedule for this semester, I was a little surprised to find out that I had school today. There was a time that Veteran’s Day was an automatic day off, and for many it still is, but not where I teach. The truth is that with the way it is celebrated, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day have become the same holiday. On Veteran’s Day, I frequently hear people talking about remembering those who have served in war, both living and dead, to defend our country and our rights (and we certainly should do that). On Memorial Day, I hear that same sentiment expressed.

The truth is, to most college students, it is simply a day off from school and to many adults, simply a day off from work. I know I have one student who was not there because he is a veteran and actually takes part in various celebrations. Certainly for him, this is an excused absence. I would even go as far as to say that anyone who talks to me about not being in class today because they were at festivities honoring veterans, I will give them an excused absence.

What surprised me most, however, were my high school students. They all had off from high school today. College policy is, regardless of the high school schedule, if there is college, these students are expected to be there. I am okay with that approach. Still, on such days, speaking from previous experience, very few students show up. This year was the opposite. Three students, and only three students, did not show up to class and one due to illness. Perhaps it was due to the fact that we actually had speeches; perhaps it was because parents made them; perhaps it is because this group is conscientious. Whatever the reason, they were there and I was appreciative.