Most of my classes are online (which you take at your own pace). However, from time to time, I am asked the following question:
I wasn’t in class last time. Did I miss anything?
Most of the “tongue in cheek” response originally came from “The astonishing weight of the dead,” Vancouver: Polestar. 1994. I have adapted it a bit for this weblog entry.
You may choose from any of the following responses (for my answer to the above question).
- You missed nothing. When we realized you weren’t here, we sat with our hands folded on our desks in silence, for the full three hours.
- You missed everything. I gave an exam worth 40% of the grade for this term and assigned some reading due today. I am about to hand out a quiz on that reading. That quiz will count for another 50% of the grade for this term.
- You missed nothing. None of the content of this course has value or meaning. Take as many days off as you like: any activities we undertake as a class, I assure you, will not matter to you or me and are without purpose.
- You missed everything. A few minutes after we began last time a shaft of light descended and an angel or heavenly body appeared and revealed to us what everyone must do to attain divine wisdom in this life and the hereafter. This is the last time the class will meet before we disperse to bring this good news to all people on earth.
- You missed nothing. When you are not present, how could anything significant occur?
- You missed everything. Contained in this classroom was a microcosm of human existence assembled for you to query and examine and ponder. This is not the only place such an opportunity has been gathered, but it was one place. And, you weren’t here.