All of My Faults Are Stress Related

I’m deep in class-by-class planning for the summer session class that I start teaching tomorrow. I’ve decided not to blog about the class once it starts, in part because I’m going to be encouraging the use of Internet sources, and I expect my students to run across the geoblogosphere and Science Blogs, and I don’t want my own thoughts about course topics to get in the way of their thinking.

However, I’m lurking along, checking to see what volcanoes are erupting and what landslides are happening. And I’m keeping my eye on the H1N1 influenza strain formerly known as swine flu, because I’ve got a six-year-old disease vector living with me, and college students are pretty good disease vectors themselves. (And when I used to teach a version of this class in January, I would get deathly ill every single time.)

It hasn’t been reported in Durango yet, though it’s in Denver and in all the Four Corners states, so it’s going to get here. But I’ve been thinking about what to do, besides listen to whatever the college safety officer tells me. And after a semester of having sick students come to my office to tell me that they were too sick to come to class, I’ve decided to put this bit into my syllabus:

If you are sick (especially with flu symptoms), or if you are responsible for a sick child, please contact me by phone or e-mail, and I will make arrangements for you to miss class.

A pandemic is no time to be inflexible about missed classes.


  1. #1 ScienceWoman
    May 4, 2009

    That seems very sensible, and the sort of thing that should go in all class syllabi for classes where the students are reasonably adult. (i.e., all my classes except the giant intro class)

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