The Best of the Worst: the Pre-Planned Absence

Just a funny pictureMissing school is no longer the picnic it once was. For one thing, it can be difficult to make up your work. For another, most picnic fields have become either cookie-cutter suburbs, landfill, or super-secret government military bases that stick out like a government military base in the middle of what used to be a field.

First of all, if you miss school unintentionally, it is probably because you are sick. Being sick is generally not fun, unless you have something like smallpox, in which case being sick is deadly.

Secondly, this creates a lot of make-up work, considering you have multiple classes every day. The solution here, of course, is to take only study halls and early releases, but some counselors catch on to that (although, if you’re lucky, they won’t notice until your junior year).

However, there is one absence that is fun.

The name’s planned. Pre, planned. And this absence is truly the James Bond of all missed school days, in that it also drives a really nice car and can do backflips.

Actually, a pre-planned absence is just that: a day where you know you will be gone ahead of time. This means you are probably going on vacation, or that you are psychic and can predict when you’ll be sick.

In theory, the big positive here is that you can pick up and do your make-up work ahead of time. In practice, the big negative is that you are supposed to attempt to pick up and do your make-up work ahead of time.

First, you have to pick up the form, and fill out the necessary information. Sure, your name isn’t that hard, but then the questions get progressively harder: your grade level, your reason for being absent, the number of seconds of school you will miss, your English teacher’s middle name, the meaning of life, and (worst of all) the dates you will miss.

Yeah, I meant what I said. The date is always incredibly difficult to discern, because nobody actually knows. Sure, you can look at someone’s watch or check your phone and then count from there, but then again, is it telling the truth? It’s not like you have time to count back from the year 1 day 1 up to today’s date to be sure. So, you have to take a wild guess. In my opinion, we are somewhere in years 60-65, so that’s what I usually put.

Then comes the part about talking to your teachers. You see, there are always a few teachers that, well, act like they are still teenagers. Whether this is because they actually are still teenagers, or because the “smart” teens are only smart because they stole these teachers’ brains, this is a problem.

For instance, it might go something like this (with a normal teacher):

You: Hey, Mr./Mrs./Ms./M./. [Insert name of teacher], I am not gonna be here on [insert date you think it will be, like May 15th, year 61]. I’ve got this pre-planned absence form, so can you please sign it and write what I’ll miss?

Teacher: Sure. Let’s see…you’ll miss that movie, and the pizza party, and the visit from Bill Gates when he’s going to give us all money for no reason. The homework is to write about the evolution of the use of the horse in North America as well as…[turning it over to fit the homework on the back]…to research thirty supreme-court decisions and create your own dissenting/agreeing opinion…[scribbling more homework assignments]…and read all of Ulysses, remembering to…[picking up a piece of scratch paper and attaching, because s/he ran out of room on the back]…and, finally, condensing all those things into a 3 minute powerpoint, with a minimum of 300 slides, each slide having at least 15 words and 2 pictures.

You: Wow…Oh, you’re joking. Good one, ha ha.

Teacher: No, I’m not, you sarcastic insolent fiend. Detention. And a referral. AND an expulsion hearing. Never doubt me again!

You: Well, thanks for signing the form.

However, if your teacher is one of those ‘teen-like’ teachers, it might instead go something like this:

You: Hey, Mr./Mrs./Ms./Duke of/Master [Insert name of teacher], I’m not gonna be here on [date, like May 23rd year 64]. Can you please fill out this pre-planned absence form?

Teacher: Um, sure. So, what do I do?

You: Well, first you sign it, to verify I talked to you.

Teacher: But I know you talked to me, because I’m talking to you now.

You: Yeah…[temporarily stumped by this logic, as it seems like something you would normally say]…but please just sign it.

Teacher: Okay. Here you go.

You: And you also have to write what I’ll miss and what the homework will be that day.

Teacher: Um, you’ll miss, uh, let me check my calendar. [Opens up calendar; every day except the next three days are totally blank, except for the few future dates that have comic strips drawn in them. The day you will be missing is blank]. Hmm, I haven’t scheduled it yet. Well, to be safe, let’s say you’ll miss the unit test, the pop quiz, group presentation, the super-important lecture on something I have yet to decide on, and maybe – it could be, yes, actually, I think you will also be missing the trigonometry exploration that is half of your semester grade. [Continuing to write] And the homework, well, I’m not sure, so to be safe please do every odd-numbered problem in your math book, and any “challenge” problem.

You: [Not going to make the “you’re joking” mistake again] Gee, uh, thanks [realizes that sounds sarcastic]. I mean, thank you sincerely. [Leaves class quickly, to go to lunch].

Teacher: Wait! Oh, darn. He didn’t let me tell him I was joking. [Starts laughing.]

Thus, it is a major issue getting the pre-planned absence form filled out. Even after you talk to all of your teachers (or, if you’re smart, you just talk to your study hall supervisor, six times) you have to take the form home and get a parent signature. Which means, being a teen, there is a 3,000% chance that you lose the form somehow. Meaning you have to talk to all your teachers again.

And so, while I’d love to talk more about pre-planned absences (I haven’t even mentioned the fun interrogation by the attendance secretary where they try to make you admit you forged your parent’s signature and every signature from your teachers, using bright lights, sleep deprivation, and good-cop bad-cop procedure), I’ve got to go. I think I left my pre-planned absence form and the attached 60 pages of work on the porch, and it just started raining with 80-mph winds.

Last year on May 5th, Year 60 (or year 2011, if you believe your phone/the computer/the watch; although I remind you that none of those things are human), we gave you “5 Steps to get rid of Steps.” Want to know why steps are bad? Want to know what to do about? Step 1: click that link.

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  1. Just wanted to let you know that I added this blog of yours to my list of cool blogs to visit on my own blog! Sorry for the tongue-twister. And also a belated thank-you to whoever commented on my ‘What is Quality?’ post :)

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