We all know that online learning has NOT been easy for any of us. And let’s just say that online classes were some (many) times a challenge, because, let’s be honest, it could be hard to concentrate. But who could blame us? Having lessons in the comfort of our room, with our beds right next to us, it was almost impossible to resist the urge of going back to sleep or just sit back and sit back and relax. Even though the temptation was always there to taunt us, we were strong and chose to focus; however, there were some brave students who chose to challenge online lessons and still get away with it (most of the time). Since quarantine has been coming to an end, thankfully, and we can finally fully concentrate in our lessons, why not remember some of the best excuses students gave when they weren’t paying attention or simply just weren’t in the meetings.
1. The classic: “Internet not working”
I HAD to start with this one since it was one of the phrases we most heard during quarantine. Who hasn’t heard the classic excuse of “the internet not working” from a student (or from yourself) coming in extremely late to the class or arriving 5 minutes before the end of the lesson just to be marked present in the register? It was very easy to get away with it since no one (at least in the beginning) doubted the fact that the student was having internet problems; so, this excuse was a “safe choice”. Of course, there were the ones who actually had internet issues; but, it does start to be suspicious when the same student is always havinghaving internet issuesissues when trying to enter a google meet, but then are seen as “online” in other social networks…
2. No light or electricity failing
Relating with the first point, the excuse of having no light in their house or the electricity failing in the neighborhood was also a common excuse. It was always weird how most students with internet issues had no problems whatsoever with their audio cutting off or even the camera lagging and kept saying that their internet connection was so bad they had to leave the call, while there were other types of students who tried paying attention to what they could during the lesson, but couldn’t hear or say a word because their internet connection was like this:
3. The camera and microphone not working
Another classic. This often happened when the student was actually on the call, but would later refuse to turn on their camera or microphone since it was “broken” or just “wasn’t working”. This became sort of a small pandemic since more and more students also started saying that their cameras wouldn’t turn on. Some students even got creative and let their artistic flow through by actually pretending to have their camera broken with the camera on (with tape or adding a bit of glue to the camera). Were they in the lesson? Yes. Were they actually paying attention? It’s doubtful.
With the microphone, the same thing happened. Some even tried to pretend as if they had lagging audios, which sounded more like a failed beatbox attempt than anything else (the effort put into creating excuses was strangely not the same effort put into actual work and assignments). The highlight of the lessons was when the microphone would accidentally be turned on and you could hear TikTok audios coming from the student and no one would say a word. It was just everyone staring at the camera in silence while the audios kept playing.
4. Computer restarting all of a sudden
Monday. 1st period of the day: Math. Extremely tired, you join the google meet to start the lesson. Everyone in the call seems tired. The class starts and the teacher does the register, however, one student is missing. 15 minutes later, the student joins the call. Looking completely tired, with messy hair, pyjamas on and laying on their bed .They tell the teacher in the sleepiest voice I’ve ever heard “Hi sir. Sorry I’m late, my computer was restarting”, and would just turn their camera off (shoutout to the ones who were brave enough to assume to the teacher that they overslept). Again, computers do have this issue where they restart all of a sudden, but it does seem kind of weird when one computer is “restarting” all the time, even weirder when it’s in the middle of the class.
5. The sudden “glitch” in google meets
Seeing that google would often stop working (for the luck of the students), saying that google meets was glitching became normal to hear. I’ve seen this “glitch excuse” happen at least 4 times a day during quarantine, and funnily enough, it would mostly occur when the teacher would call the student out for a question. It was always the student looking down and trying to hold laughter when the teacher would ask them a question, and suddenly they would leave the call out of the blue. The silence in the room would be too loud, then the teacher would say “okay, seems as if we’ve lost connection with the student. Anyone else can answer the question?”; the silence again. Minutes later, they re-enter the call as if nothing happened.
6. People pretending to be frozen
This one is for the ones who know how to act and was one of my favorite things to watch during online lessons. The acting skills I’ve seen in these situations were impressive, to say the least. It would be absolutely hilarious when the student was pretending to be frozen, and then suddenly, someone would pass by behind them and they STILL continued to be motionless. You could sense the disappointment in the teacher’s voice when they’d say “we know you’re not frozen”, and the student still wouldn’t move. These pupils would most certainly pass the “Red Light Green Light” game in Round 6.
7. I'm in the car right now/travelling
Another classic excuse not to turn the camera on or to participate in the lesson whatsoever, and was used many many times. It would either be “I’m in the car right now, so my internet is not the best” while you could hear other voices behind them or “I’m travelling and my internet doesn’t work”.
8. "I couldn’t find the link”
C’mon. We have been around A YEAR in quarantine and you still say you couldn’t find the link in managebac? I can’t even back you up in this one. Come up with a better excuse next time.
I believe that there are more excuses students managed to come with during quarantine. Hopefully we don’t have to use them anymore since we are face to face (students now have to come up with new excuses to not hand in their homework, that’s the new challenge)! How many of these have you done? Share it with your friends and compare your answers!