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Students skip class for a variety of reasons

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Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 22:11

The spring weather may have something to do with University of Memphis students not going to class these days, but most students admit they miss class throughout the semester at some point.

"The end of the semester is when I get tired of coming to class," said Chris Walker, freshman graphic design major. "During the beginning, I'm thinking about how I spend the money for school."

Latrina Robinson, freshman nursing major, said she's more likely to not go to class at the end, either.

"When you first start out, you're more focused than you are at the end," Robinson said.

Other students said they take a break from classes during the beginning of the semester.

"At the beginning of the semester is when I miss because I'm just getting started," said Jai Christi Holloway, junior marketing major. "By the end of the semester, you want to crack down and make sure you get a passing grade."

It's also the beginning of the semester that plagues junior biology major Jason Bowens, who has trouble getting used to his schedule and sometimes misses class because of it.

The same goes for freshman Shelly Alexin.

"At the beginning of the semester, I don't feel like getting out of bed. I try to pick myself up at the end of the semester."

Senior photography major Scott Fulmar also misses early on in the semester.

"I'm only allowed three absences, and I usually use those up early and then I'm here for the rest of the semester," Fulmar said.

But students and teachers have differing views on when absenteeism occurs.

The census among teachers is that students miss the most before holidays and the day before papers are due.

"It's always the Friday before a holiday," said Randall Warren, math instructor. "It may be the nice weather or the fact that they didn't want to hear me (in class), but most of my students are pretty regular."

Doug Coupples, history professor, also said students miss the most before holidays like spring break but that it also has to do with assignments.

"I have assignments submitted by e-mail, and many students who aren't ready cut class to get their papers typed up," Coupples said. Coupples added that his book reviews are turned in three weeks before the semester ends, which may be a factor in why some students miss toward the end of the semester.

Although some professors say the part of the semester does not seem to be reflected in their students attending classes, they have noticed the warm weather lulling some students away from their courses.

"Warm weather kicks in and flowers are blooming, and it's a nice time to be outdoors," said Margaret Caffrey, associate professor of history. "It could also be daylight savings time because students' internal clocks are confused."

H. Graden Kirksey, chemistry professor, sees the trend of students missing class and even dropping out when they get their first tests and quiz grades back toward the end of the semester.

"In my opinion, absenteeism increases toward the end of the semester," Kirksey said. "But those who stick with the course and their tests are good -- I don't see a pattern of missing class."

Students agree that different times during the semester prompt them to miss class, but their opinions are skewed when it comes to which part of the semester.

Students like Lucia Nelson, senior art history, are more prone to missing class during the middle of the semester.

"Right before spring break is when I'm the most burned out and miss class," Nelson said.

Sometimes it's the alarm clock that causes freshman Shelby Goin from going to class, but he said the mid-semester blues are the real problem for him.

"You want to start out good and end good," Goin said of his class attendance record. "In the middle, you get tired and you've always got the end of the semester to make up for bad grades."

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