What an absolutely brilliant idea for a book. I wish I’d had it and feel full of envy that I didn’t. These compulsively readable messages are part of the pathetic and poignant pornography of our time.
~ Simon Critchley, Professor of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
Dear Professor: A Chronicle of Absences is a collection of over two hundred often involuntarily comical emails in which students excuse themselves for missing class. The result is a satirical yet unexpectedly sympathetic collective portrait of modern-day academia where both students and teachers feel pressured to comply with the impositions of hyper-connectivity.
I have registered for your [Course Name] starting June 4th and very much look forward to these sessions. Unfortunately two weeks ago while in the Sahara desert I fell off a camel and fractured 4 ribs. I am in Paris recuperating but as you probably know only time and pain killers are the treatment. I will not be able to travel in time to make the first session on 4th June but hope to be in New York in time for the second and subsequent sessions.
I would appreciate your input on the following:
–venue as to where to meet at 3:15pm stating on June 11th
–should I obtain any reading or other materials needed or desirable for the course
–would you have an outline or any notes you could let me have on the material you will cover (and I will miss) for the first session.
I look forward to meeting with you.
I am very sorry about the lateness of my assignments. And my absences during the semester. I am graduating after this semester and I found myself swamped with a ton of work I was not expecting. All of this piled up with vet visits, caring for my new puppy, and other things getting in the way I lost a lot of my energy this semester. I’ve attached all the assignments in this email. And if there is anything else I can give you please let me know.
Thank you for a great semester and for understanding,
All the best,
Excuses section: I’m sorry that I had to leave early on Tuesday last week and was additionally unable to attend on Thursday. On Thursday something came up and I was sadly unable to attend any of my classes. For Tuesday I do not have such a good reason, if I am honest I left 20 minutes early because of a beautiful girl (the only and last time I would use this reason and I apologize, I let instinctual hedonism take over for better or worse!)
Interesting section: I have been working on this piece “To Fear with Love” and thought you might appreciate it as per our earlier discussion about writing. It is attached below for your enjoyment and I would love any feedback/criticism!