I loved this e-mail. I get irritated when I get that question, but it doesn't irk me nearly as much as "What are we doing today?" ("Hey, if you read the syllabus, you'd know!") or "how long do you plan on keeping us today?" ("as long as I feel like you need to be taught......maybe all night?")
"Did I miss anything?"- Frequently asked by students after they miss class.
Here are some replies you can use:
- Nothing. When we realized you weren't here, we sat with our hands folded on our desks in silence, for the full two hours.
- Everything. I gave an exam worth 40 per cent of the grade for this term and assigned some reading due today on which I'm about to hand out a quiz worth 50 per cent.
- 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, either to you or me and are without purpose.
- Everything. A few minutes after we began last time a shaft of light descended and an angel or other heavenly being appeared and revealed to us what each woman or man 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.
- Nothing. When you are not present how could something significant occur?
- Everything. Contained in this classroom is 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.