The dog ate my homework is alive and well as an excuse for handing in late essays, it seems.
City of Bath College lecturer John Curry tells the highbrow Times Higher Education that a pet eating a USB stick is among the appeals from students that he’s judged legitimate.
Other explanations for tardiness that he’s been satisfied by include a student’s claim that “he had been declared legally dead and the Indian government was trying to seize his home”.
Another student “asked for leniency because his World of Warcraft character had died”.
Then there is the “bona fide” excuses proffered by “students being held at gunpoint”, or “being unable to fly to the UK because rebels were shelling an airport”.
And the haunting.
“That person genuinely believed there was a ghost and I accepted their word,” Curry tells the THE.
He is “actually more sympathetic to someone who just says, ‘I haven’t done the work’,” says Curry. And how often has he granted an extension on that basis? “That is very, very rare – it’s only happened on one occasion.” Ghosts it is, then.