My grandfather died in January, and I was really nervous about missing class for his funeral in the second week of the semester. However, my boss and my theatre director saw how upset I was (barely functioning, we were really close) and encouraged me to go home, and said that if anything really bad happened later, they'd help me with trying to get absences excused (like most schools, we have an absence limit, three absences per class per semester, and excused/unexcused doesn't matter). So I missed class. A week later, I wound up in the hospital with a rupturing ovarian cyst. For anyone who's lucky enough not to have experienced that, it HURTS. A LOT. And there's nothing they can do except put you on painkillers. My ER doctor wrote a letter to my professors explaining that I should be out of class for a week. I stayed out of class for exactly one day, as I couldn't afford more. My third absence was for a requirement for a class, and the fourth (this affected one class only) was for an emergency dental appointment as I'd chipped a tooth.
I also underwent severe vocal strain, a side effect of overall poor health, lost my voice, and as a consequence had my senior recital (basically, my thesis) postponed and was not allowed to speak for a whole week. Amidst all this, my mother started chemotherapy, and I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I realize that this sounds like I'm making it up, and I was afraid my professors would think so, so I tried to only explain my own illnesses.
#1- Math. The day I missed class because I was in the ER, I had a take-home test due. My prof wouldn't accept it a day late even with a doctor's letter, because I "hadn't given prior notice that [I] would be absent". She wouldn't accept late homework even if I knew that I was going to have an absence due to a class requirement and was willing to turn it in early. I met with her several times about my grade, as math is not my strong suit and I needed to pass in order to graduate. Every time, I asked her if it was possible for me to pass the class, and each time, she responded "I hope so." She refused to give me my current grade or any idea of my average. She also marked a test on which I had scored a 15.5/20 as being 62% (that's a 77.5%, and she's a MATH PROFESSOR. College level). The final time I met with her, she told me that I should have put more of an effort into talking to her and that she's very understanding. This is a woman who failed me two years ago because I missed four classes since I had tonsillitis.
#2- Biology. My professor entered a test grade into my average as a 54% when I'd received a 79% (she got my test confused with another student who had the same first name). Then she entered a quiz that I had completed as a zero, and did the same with a journal worth 50 points, half the weight of my final exam. Zeros. I ended up with a C+ in a class that I should have an A- in. I'm contesting this one.
#3- I was given an incomplete in my senior seminar in the fall semester, as I passed out during the final exam (low blood pressure from the SSRi I was unneccessarily prescribed) and didn't manage to reschedule. I retook the exam the third day of the spring semester, but still haven't received a revised grade. An incomplete that is not finished by the end of the next semester becomes an automatic zero. I'm trying to get this resolved with my advisor right now.
#4- the Registrar. I've met with him in the past, and he's an extremely nice man, and he's always been quite helpful. But when I went to ask him about help with my math professor, he wouldn't give me any help, just kept repeating "pass" like it was magically simple, and all I had to do was pass when no one would help me or tell me how that was possible!
Luckily, I did pass math, thanks to a friend who tutored me during exam week when there is no tutoring, interrupting her own study time. If I can take care of my incomplete in senior seminar, I will graduate in nineteen days. If I have to stick with the C+ in Bio, I'll be annoyed, but it won't affect whether I graduate.