When it’s spring, a young college student’s fancy turns to . . . Well, not to getting papers turned in on time. It’s easier to get extensions on deadlines these days, says an AP story. And lazy students can get excuses online.
BOSTON – Some educators believe late papers — and the excuse-making that goes with them — are on the rise. Many lump the trend in with grade inflation as evidence of declining standards, a growing sense of student entitlement and a mollycoddling campus culture in which instructors are expected to act more like friends and therapists than teachers.
There are old standbys — illness, towed cars, family crises — but also new ones. Hard drives and computer viruses, not dogs, devour homework these days. One student told University of Central Arkansas composition instructor Beverly Carol Lucey that an exploding blender drenched his paper with an appetite suppressant smoothie.
And the student couldn’t print a fresh copy?
Life crises aside, many think plain, old sloth is the real problem.
A national student survey recently found that nearly two-thirds of students spent 15 hours or fewer per week doing coursework, and about 20 percent of both freshmen and seniors claimed to spend fewer than five hours per week.
For the truly lazy, a feature on the Web site student.com generates automatic excuse-requesting e-mails. Users pick the phrases they want, asking for “a bit of slack” or a “slight favor” because they “have SO much work to do” and could never finish the assignment “in the complete way you deserve.”
Only once in my college days did I turn a paper in late. I’d had a bad cold. The teacher lowered my A to a B. I coughed piteously. It didn’t work. I never missed a deadline again.