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A New System of Excused Absences

Over the last two weeks I have had to miss four classes due to interviews. Admittedly, my section truly feels the pain when I am not around, as my well-thought out, clear and concise prose often adds a superior level of intellect to an otherwise mediocre discussion. Unfortunately for my section, I am interviewing with a number of companies that do not subscribe to the HBS model of only interviewing on days that HBS dictates its students may interview. My unfortunate sectionmates will therefore have to suffer a few classes without my esteemed presence, yet they have been surprisingly forgiving.
Professors, however, have been somewhat less tolerant of my indiscretions. I have made the conscious decision to remain honest for now and refrain from “calling in sick” for interviews thereby earning a few unexcused absences and the ire of my professors. I am, however, planning to use a few “sick days” for when the snow is really good in the spring and I want to take advantage of the last days of a second-rate ski season. As a result of all my misgivings, my grades will suffer this semester, though I may actually squeek out a job offer…though nothing is certain.

There is clearly a problem with this system. If a company simply cannot interview a student on an HBS scheduled interview date, then that student should be able to have a pre-printed form signed by the company proclaiming this to be the fact. The student should then be granted an excused absence by the administration. I have spoken to a few students about my proposal and they all feel that they would have no problem approaching a prospective employer to sign such a form. In light of the current market conditions, I think this kind of system would remove some anxiety from the job-search and classroom setting.
Since I came up with this system, I am of the opinion that, much like the Truman Doctrine, the Glass-Steagal Act and the Smoot-Hawley Tarriff, this rule should be named after me…Mike Bor. Therefore, I am proposing that when a class may interfere with an interview, that class should be referred to as one that is “Bor-ing.” In the future, a student may earn an excused absence by approaching a professor and exclaiming, “your class is Bor-ing me, so I won’t be able to make it tomorrow” or “I am being Bor-ed by your class and simply can not attend the next few sessions,” or simply “I am truly Bor-ed by your class.” Professors will appreciate the honesty. I think with a proper bit of explanation, and using the correct terminology, students will be able to find that perfect summer internship without adversely affecting his or her grade.

February 19, 2002
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