It was the evening before the final exam. I received an email from a student who apologized wholeheartedly.
.... due to the lack of background knowledge of economics and my mid term grade, I don't think it is possible for me to pass this course.
I am extremely sorry for late notice but I was wondering if it is possible for me not to attend the final exam.
I replied to him with a citation of the exam regulation of the university, the procedure an absentee should follow if he had acceptable reason for his absence (essentially, only medical reasons are acceptable). I recommended to him:
My suggestion is to overcome your anxiety, come to the exam and try your best. If you have seen similar situations in your past, you may want to visit student counselling service for consultation when you are done with exams this semester.
Late in the night, I got his reply.
Thank you for your kind suggestion. I really appreciate your understanding.
Fortunately, this is my 1st year and 1st semester in the University. I take this course as an elective to see if I can double major BBA in my second year.
However, without any background knowledge, I realised this course is quiet demanding.
I think passing this course is unlikely yet I learned many lessons from this challenge.
Not only economics broadened my point of view but also taught me a lesson that I have to be well prepared before doing something. I think I should focus on my original major. :)
If I am prepared for getting zero for my exam, is it okay for me not to attend the exam?
Once again, I apologise for my irresponsible action and once more thank you so much for your understanding toward student.
As a teacher, it is always sad (and disappointing) to hear that a student had difficulty in learning the subject I teach (and a subject that I love). But, to be honest, this email exchange made my day.
The student seemed to know what he was doing and was prepared to bear the consequence of his mistakes/decisions. That is a quality I wish all students would possess. This quality is more important than grades. I like him!
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