Why It’s Important to Ask if You Can Turn in an Assignment Late

My professor told us today that if we wanted to know our actual grades, to stay after and inquire. So I did.

Even asking for extensions in a music class is appropriate. (photo by Gavin Andrew Stewart)

Even asking for extensions in a music class is appropriate. (photo by Gavin Andrew Stewart)

I was the only one to stay after class, which I felt pleased about because I get a bit embarrassed when talking to professors in front of other students. Especially because it’s a music class and I’m self-taught – but without theory – so it’s as if everyone is getting the material easier than I. It’s simply because I know I don’t have one of the top grades in the class – which I know is a bit pathetic, because hey – it’s not they’re grade, they don’t know me, and they don’t care – but I do.

Anyway, my grade was less than satisfactory because about a month ago, I forgot to turn in an assignment that would cost me forty points in the class. That would be fine, but it batters my grade considering there are only five hundred available points in the course over-all.

I shrugged when the professor told me, and replied to him that I did not finish it because I actually forgot about the entire assignment until twenty days after it was late. I thought it was hopeless to have said much of anything to him at all – so I held my mouth shut and took the grade I deserved.

Then he did something I never thought would have happened: he told me I could turn it in for half credit, at best. I knew I could easily make one hundred on the assignment, lest I hadn’t forgotten it’s existence. I stood in class with my mouth drooped open like a deer in headlights.

He said that I should have told him from the get go, regardless of how late it was. He said I should do that for all of my teachers, because the worst that they could say is no.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with accepting credit that I don’t deserve – but I can’t get more than an a fifty percent on this assignment, so I’ll gladly do it if it means I can still receive an A at the end of the semester.

I suppose I’ll have to suck up my pride and simply ask my professors if I can turn an assignment in late. Sometimes life happens. For many of my classes this semester, you have to physically be present to receive the assignments. If say, you get sick and are unable to attend class or your car won’t start – that’s a better time than any to ask your teacher to forgive your absence, but also to turn in your assignments late – if anything.

Although, generally speaking, missing one or two assignments in a semester won’t kill your grade, it can make it nearly impossible to receive an A at the end of the semester. Granted, you might be only striving for a C – but it still matters regardless of who you are.

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