I love my students and everything, but there is one question that they tend to ask that invariably annoys me.
“I haven’t been in class since the semester started,” a student tells me. “Have I missed anything?”
Oh no, not at all. These five lectures we have had since classes started? We just twiddled our thumbs in complete silence. That’s what I get paid for, you know. For not communicating anything of importance to the students over the course of 5 class meetings. It’s actually so rare that I manage to contribute anything of value to the classes I teach that you should feel free not to show up for as long as you wish.
Couldn’t the question just be worded in a less annoying way? Like, for example, “Could you tell me what I missed?”
Or, better yet, “What can I do to catch up?”
Or, best of all, “What can I do to catch up with all the extremely important, fascinating and crucial material that you have been delivering with a great passion and profound knowledge of the subject matter during every class meeting and that I had the horrible bad luck of missing?”