Friday, September 28, 2007

Class Attendance

A recent article on law school attendance policies reminded me of an anecdote from law school.

At our graduation reception, one of my professors approched and congratulated one of my classmates, addressing her by name. She remarked that, as she had taken only one class from him in a very large lecture hall during a prior semester, she was curious about why he remembered her.

"Well," he explained, "For the first few weeks of the class you sat in the front row, and asked questions every day. Then one day you approached me and asked if class attendance would affect your grade. I said 'no', and I never saw you again."

1 comment:

  1. My preferred anecdote from your law school involves a tort professor who stridently set forth her attendance policy on the first day of class. In no uncertain terms, she bellowed, would students be allowed to skip her class with impunity. Attendance would be part of their grade. They couldn't learn if they weren't there for her to teach, etc. etc. etc.

    Later that semester war broke out in the desert, and the professor promptly (and publicly) modified her policy to allow for students to go and protest against the war during the time they were scheduled to be in her class without fear of having it impact their grades.

    Still later in the semester, after someone complained, she amended her policy yet again to "make it clear" that what she had really meant was that if anyone wanted to skip her class to protest either for or against the war, that would be an exception to her attendance policy . . .



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