A Note on Absence from (& Presence in) the Classroom

Being Present (& Active Presence):

Being inside the classroom space does not automatically classify as “being present”. Your presence is “felt” through its overall qualitative impact, through  your wakefulness, attentiveness, level of concentration and investment, and significance of the the questions you pose, in terms of where they emerge from and to where they take those in your presence, In our own way, we all contribute (or miscontribute) toward raising (or lowering) the level of our classroom conversation about the subject. Effectively contributing more than what is asked of you is quite welcome.


  1. Should there be a conflict between any class meeting and a religious observance, let SRZ know. Religious observances are allowed by college policies and respected by SRZ;
  2. Life-urgencies and difficulties are also understandable; communicate those to SRZ as they arise;
  3. It is up to you to ‘catch-up’ (e.g., obtain notes). Absence does not seem to be a good excuse for not knowing what happened in the classroom.


  1. Read the note “On Being Used by Technology” here;
  2. Always bring “The Map” & “Text-Guides” (i.e., syllabus and readings) for the week to the classroom;
  3. Do not come in late or leave early—it is usually disruptive.  
  4. Keep track of your attendance. The last day you will turn in a sheet detailing your attendance and your own assessment of your overall participation grade;  

Absence/Presence Sheet:

Toward the end of the term, you will give me an handwritten or typed “Absence/Presence Sheet”. It will have the following details:

  1.  Your full name;
  2.  Number of classes you have missed with respective dates;
  3.  An explanation as to why you have missed these classes, and anything more that you’d like to say in regards to those;
  4.  Provide an assessment of your overall participation this semester. What grade would you give yourself and why?

[NOTE: Attendance policies usually involve “policing” and I am hardly a cop.]




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