Sunday, July 17, 2011


Ahh... an accountability chit from college. I remember these well, though I wasn't often the class leader taking accountability. In fact I can't remember ever being the official "section leader" for any one of the many classes I took. I filled in a bunch of times, when the class leader was absent.

This form was the response to an incredibly lackadaisical academic policy that existing prior to and during my plebe year. For example, a close friend attended maybe three physics classes, not including tests and labs, which he showed up for an entire semester. He ended up with a B+, I attended every class and would up with D... In a way, it speaks to his ability to learn physics, and my inability to grasp some of the material at the time. It also speaks to the fact that a number of students, being given a free ride by the tax payers, never showed up to class. It also speaks to the fact that a lot of instructors didn't particularly care if their students showed up, didn't show up, or were napping in the engineering lounge (a story for another day perhaps?)

So, sometime during my plebe year it was decided to have attendance taken not only, by the instructors for their grading purposes, but for regimental purposes. Being absent from class with no valid excuse, subjected you to an automatic 26/2 Class II violation, 26 demerits and two weeks of restriction. I can't remember the policy, but I'm guessing that gun-decking, or falsifying accountability reports, was also frowned upon. My brain tells me it probably would be an honor code violation, but I believe it just carried another mandatory Class II sentence, in this case for some reason it fell into one of those gray areas like having information pre-programmed into the memory of a graphing calculator. If you did it for watch, restriction, or some other regimental type function you'd be in big trouble, but for classes... a slap on the wrists.

The system was never taken seriously, and I'm pretty sure it was more or less abandoned by the time I graduated, though attendance in class at least to my knowledge improved (or perhaps, folks who did well in High School physics needed to pay attention in advanced navigation, or engineering classes) so they were induced to attend.

The question I guess I have for myself is that if I was never an official "Section Leader"... (perhaps I was, it was such a nothing assignment I may just not remember)... and I was filling in for someone who was absent... why is the form filled out "ALL PRESENT"

Very curious!

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