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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Is faking your death the only way to get your absences excused?

Another one bites the dust

More often than you’d like, you get that one flat-haired professor who really demands your company in class. You know, the whole “attendance is mandatory and if you miss one class you fail” spiel. Death in the family, a nasty case of the flu —  he’s already heard it all. You should have planned ahead of time. No excuse could ever come close to the importance of your 8 a.m. discussion — no — your two-hour lecture, if your life depended on it.

Chemistry major and proud Swiftie, Freddy Morten thought he would test out a controversial yet brave approach. On Sunday night at 2 a.m., he emailed his organic chemistry professor John Demort the following message:

“Hello Professor Demort,

Unfortunately due to his sudden passing, Freddy Morten will not be able to attend lecture on Monday. Thanks!”

To no surprise, the email jolted Professor Demort, leading him into canceling Monday’s 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. lecture. That afternoon, a dark cloud hung over Haring 1207.

Outside his humble Sequoia apartment, we questioned Morten about the audacity of his plan.

“It was easy, I just signed it as my mom. The old man totally bought it!”

We couldn’t help but mention Morten’s eye-catching t-shirt. He maniacally grinned.

“You see, there was a Taylor Swift concert happening that night. You know I couldn’t miss it.”

Looking around his living room at his various posters and figurines, we soon understood that he really couldn’t miss it.

In the following lecture, Morten promptly attended class, even taking the midterm that day. It wasn’t until he began grading later at night that Professor Demort noticed Morten’s name marked on the attendance sheet. 

“For a moment, I thought I was seeing things,” Demort lamented. He carefully removed his glasses and looked down at them. “Could it be that… after all these years of failing these careless, ditching students, that I would be the one haunted by this torment?”

Morten notes that even though he missed almost every single point, he still received an A on the test.

“I think he feels bad, you know, since I’m supposed to be dead? Sometimes I’ll accidentally make eye contact with him in class and he’ll start to tear up.”

Morten tells us that he plans to tell the truth to Professor Demort after the final. In the meantime, he’s planning a fake funeral to be held next week.

“It’d be really cool if you guys could come,” he wants to tell readers. “I’d really appreciate all the support!”

Written by: Julietta Bisharyan — jsbisharyan@ucdavis.edu

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