Dear Professor: A Chronicle of Absences

Collected Emails from College Students Too Busy to Attend Class

by Filip Noterdaeme

Excerpts:

 11/13/2012

Dear Professor,

I just got out of the doctor’s office:

they wanted to scar my face and kill what’s inside me.

I ran out and did not pay.

Jacob A.

12/5/2012

Dear Professor,

Things on the streets have been really crazy. I have been very distracted watching and listening to what is going on, it is somewhat out of my control. But, I miss you and class. I will be in class on Monday.

Thank you,

Bye

Sandra

5/29/2014

Dear Professor,

I have registered for your [Course Name] starting June 4th and very much look forward to these sessions. Unfortunately two weeks ago while in the Sahara desert I fell off a camel and fractured 4 ribs. I am in Paris recuperating but as you probably know only time and pain killers are the treatment. I will not be able to travel in time to make the first session on 4th June but hope to be in New York in time for the second and subsequent sessions.

I would appreciate your input on the following:

--venue as to where to meet at 3:15pm stating on June 11th

--should I obtain any reading or other materials needed or desirable for the course

--would you have an outline or any notes you could let me have on the material you will cover (and I will miss) for the first session.

I look forward to meeting with you.

kind regards

Paul C. 

4/18/2015

Dear Professor, 

I am very sorry about the lateness of my assignments. And my absences during the semester. I am graduating after this semester and I found myself swamped with a ton of work I was not expecting. All of this piled up with vet visits, caring for my new puppy, and other things getting in the way I lost a lot of my energy this semester. I've attached all the assignments in this email. And if there is anything else I can give you please let me know. 

Thank you for a great semester and for understanding,

All the best,

William

12/7/15

Dear Professor,

Excuses section: I'm sorry that I had to leave early on Tuesday last week and was additionally unable to attend on Thursday. On Thursday something came up and I was sadly unable to attend any of my classes. For Tuesday I do not have such a good reason, if I am honest I left 20 minutes early because of a beautiful girl (the only and last time I would use this reason and I apologize, I let instinctual hedonism take over for better or worse!)

Interesting section: I have been working on this piece "To Fear with Love" and thought you might appreciate it as per our earlier discussion about writing. It is attached below for your enjoyment and I would love any feedback/criticism! 

Best,

Abraham

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Dear Professor: A Chronicle of Absences is a collection of over two hundred often involuntarily comical emails in which students excuse themselves for missing class. The result is a satirical yet unexpectedly sympathetic collective portrait of modern-day academia where both students and teachers feel pressured to comply with the impositions of hyper connectivity.

Filip Noterdaeme is a New-York-based artist and writer. He is is the founding director of the Homeless Museum of Art and the author of The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart (Outpost19) and Growl and Other Poems (Antoine Lefebvre Editions). He teaches art history at a number of universities across New York City and is a frequent lecturer at the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.