I’m not teaching today. I’m not going to campus. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t even want to get up from my chair because there’s a cat sitting on me and I’ve got my blanket placed in the perfect way so it’s separating me from the chair and covering my legs. This is how I want to die: with cats and blankets and easy internet access in a place my students cannot find me.
I cancelled class today. It’s a five week class that meets for a total of 20 times. I’ve cancelled for 1/20th of the time I would have spent with them. Strangely, I do not feel even remotely guilty. I can’t seem to decide if my reasoning for cancelling was good enough to really justify it, but they’re set up with enough work to carry them through to tomorrow. I feel like a parent that has left just enough food in the house for my kids to survive until I get back from a 2-day casino adventure.
I’ve cancelled class for a variety of reasons running the gambit of totally normal, a little questionable, and absolutely meriting concern, criticism, and a reasonable amount of disdain. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to place where today’s excuse should fall. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment, only it’s not exactly an emergency, only it’s something I need to get done, but it’s only a five-week class, but the next appointment this doctor has open is not for another 8 weeks.
I’m stuck between feeling justified in my flight from responsibility and guilty that I’ve abandoned my students who are all wonderful people and put up with my craziness more than anyone should have to.
So for my own personal reference, I’m documenting all the reasons I’ve cancelled class. My goal is for this to help me get a few points of reference to measure whether or not I’m being a complete piece of shit. And, if any of my students ever find this, if any of you ever open the secret page and learn too much about me, just know I’m barely sorry, and there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.
- I was sick and would have thrown up on them.
- I was still sick and really high on cold medicine
- I had to go to a conference out of state.
- My partner and I had just started dating and they were sick and I had a good soup recipe.
- I slept in too late to have time to plan a lesson.
- I just wasn’t feeling it that day.
- The class made a compelling argument for why they shouldn’t have to go outside in the snow.
- I didn’t want to go outside in the snow.
- It was the day before Thanksgiving–this shouldn’t even be a cancellation, by my university has a strict policy against family togetherness and massive tasty birds.
- I was extremely hungover and the only thing they had to do was submit their final draft.
- I wanted to.
Yeah, there are definitely some pretty unjustifiable reasons for cancelling up there. Being hungover is not one of them. Wanting to probably is.
Looking at all my reasons for cancelling, I seem to either be totally justified or completely irresponsible, very little middle ground. I’m actually happy for this sudden pass/fail model because it means I think my reason for cancelling, sitting in my blanket, petting my cat, and not going to work is completely reasonable.
Now, I will take a nap and forget I exist for a little while.