Instructors share most imaginative reasons for not turning in homework


People always tease about the “dog ate my homework” but as it turns out this joke hits on reality. College students tend to be clever when it comes to reasons as to why they missed class, an assignment, deadline or a test. SCCC instructors shared some of the most unbelievable or funny excuses they’ve heard from students:

 Ty Hughbanks, Biology instructor, cited the following excuse:

“I wont be in class tomorrow because I have to go to court. My grandmother is in Mexico and we are in the process of adoption. My reply: Good luck!”



Bret Swanson, English instructor, was giving a test to his class and in the middle of it, he received three different phone calls from three different students. Within 20 minutes, he found out all three of the student’s grandmothers had died. What a coincidence! 



dogbeminehc1402_s_72_c_rMagda Silva, vocal music instructor, stated she had a student last year that explained he was late three different times because his dog ran down the highway and he had to chase it down. After it happened the second time, Magda refused to believe what he told her.

“It hasn’t happened this year, so either the dog is gone, it ran away or he shot it,” stated Silva. 



Bill McGlothing, English instructor, has had years and years of excuses thrown his way. “Funny is probably not the word I would apply to most of the countless excuses for missing assignment deadlines, classes, etc. over the years. Creative? Uh huh,” he said. “Once 20 paper-eating dogs have been dispatched and you’ve mourned at least 10 expired grandmothers, what else can you fall back on?”

Here are a couple of excuses McGlothing shared:

“I let my Comp I students turn in their journals by sliding the folders under my office door – if they don’t turn them in before class, as long as the folders are turned in the day they are due. That means many mornings I opened my door to find the previous day’s multi-colored journal folders spread around my floor.

… he had been in the hospital … the medication prevented him from writing …

— Bill McGlothing, English instructor

“One time, though, I returned from my first class to find a new folder under the door, one that wasn’t there when I picked up the first batch. When I reminded the student that I would not accept the journal late, he told me he had come by the night before to turn it in, but the Humanities Building was locked. I asked him what time it was. His reply: ‘About 11 or 12.’ 

“Another time, I found a journal under my door on the due day which I immediately recognized as not written in my student’s handwriting. His writing was a distinctive semi-legible tortured scrawl. The “hand” displayed in the latest journal was very polished, regular, delicate, ornate, in face – and completely readable. When I asked the student about the difference, he explained that he had been in the hospital and because the medication had prevented him from writing he ‘dictated my journals to my mom, and she wrote what I said.’

“Well, that explained the handwriting, if not the obvious improvement in quantity and quality demonstrated in the content.” 


teen-breakup-poemsGary Damron, Social Science Instructor at SCCC, told this story:

He handed out a study guide to his students and there were multiple choice questions and a few short answers. A girl turned her paper in and her boyfriend turned his paper in right after she did. Damron discovered that the boyfriend had copied the girlfriend’s paper and wrote his name over her name with ink.

“It’s not only cheating, but it’s dumb,” Damron said. The girlfriend finished the semester and two weeks later dumped her boyfriend.