I went to bed last Sunday with a pounding head ache and a very runny noice. My teeth were hurting and I had a very sore throat. I had not been feeling very well that whole day, but it was not until evening that I really started feeling terrible. The whole of Monday was spent on the couch playing video games to get my mind off of being ill. I still do not feel a hundred percent at the moment, but at least the head ache is gone so I can think clearly again.
I do not know if it is the common cold or a minor flew, but it is very similar to the virus I have been catching roughly annually. It has usually happened at the right time, though I do recall taking one exam with a very runny nose and a slight head ache.
What I want to about today is the policy for ill students. Just like high school, the professors really do not want people to call in sick. Lectures are usually optional, so you are expected to just stay away if you are ill; get someone else’s notes and make do with that. Students are allowed to miss one seminar, though it does not matter whether that is because of illness, tardiness or simply not preparing.
The strangest policy is with exams. You can call in sick and take the test later, but doing so wastes your repair option (the option to take a new exam if you missed all but one seminar and your average grade is between 40 and 55 percent; it allows students who failed the course to have another go at it). Obviously this is still the smart thing to do if you can hardly lift a pen and will not get a grade of at least 40%. But it is a crazy thing to do if you expect your performance will only be influenced a little bit; you are giving up the security of the repair option.
I have always believed that this is the wrong way to do it. These policies seriously hurt the students who are actually ill and feel forced to drag themselves to an examination room because the rules are too strict. It prevents students from getting results that accurately portray their abilities. Then again, it does provide material for a ranting blog post, so there is that.