Let the sick learn in peace: thoughts on ill students attending class

By Klarke Stricklen
Junior Editor

The slightest sneeze or cough in elementary school meant a trip to the nurse and ultimately a call to our mother saying “come get your kid.” For our mother, this meant convincing her boss or next appointment to stall because she had a sick kid. We were our mother’s burden and hassle for the following day until we “felt better.” Our return to school left classmates filled with luxurious stories of a day spent in bed and the pity of our teacher whose generosity led to little or no make up work.

In high school, a cold meant a day spent in the comfort of our home and in the presence of our all-time favorite, Judge Judy. By that time, we were left to our own regard and expected to fend for ourselves until someone came home. Our homework could wait till the next morning’s car ride and any project could be postponed with a simple note from our “mother.”

But now as college students, we are left to our own regard with the occasional kindness from a neighbor or roommate. We have become our own burden to deal with and baby to nurse back to health.

From exams, essays, and mandatory lectures, we are left with a tough question: bed or lecture? We are faced to choose whether we come to class and risk other’s health or stay in bed and miss a lecture or two. Many professors advocate that missing a class or two is manageable, but who really wants to be drowning more than they already are in mid-semester?

While I too complain about the sneeze or nasty cough of a classmate, can I really blame them? If coming to class means that my weekend is free of the added stress and late night doubts then so be it, sneeze on my friend. Just not on me though.