Late Work Policy—By Instructor Approval Only


Settle into a chair in the CTLE and begin brainstorming ideas for blog post

Voice frustration over writer’s block

Check faculty email

Type 3 sentences

Delete 3 sentences

Check faculty email (again)

Reread suggested prompt and finally settle in with a general idea

Share progress with colleagues only to find my ideas didn’t transfer

Revise blog post based on feedback from colleagues

Grab ice cream reward for last week’s blog and eat it straight from the carton

Publish blog post

Read blog post…decide I hate it…wrestle with how to remedy the situation…decide that maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is

Read blog post again…nope…still hate it.

Read blog post again….my God, this is the worst thing I have ever writtenhow many people have read this already?…I can’t leave this out in the open!!

Delete blog post


This whole process—procrastination, frustration, distraction, creation, submission— is similar to what some of my students go through when submitting their major writing assignments. Life happens, and before they know it, a paper is due. In a span of about 2 hours, they compose a frantic essay and submit it to Canvas—and then spend the next few hours (or days) stressing over just how bad it is.

But unlike me…they can’t just log back in, delete the submission, and start over.

They don’t get to experience the relief I felt when, upon clicking the aptly-named “trash” button, my subpar words disappeared. And maybe there’s a lesson for me here…

I’m not sure what it is yet, but it’s there. Maybe it’s a lesson in empathy…or expectations…and finding the balance between the two.

If I am going to be honest, I’m not 100% happy with this post either…but I do feel better about it than the one I submitted Friday afternoon; and I think I realize that this feeling is all my students want as well. They just want to feel ok about the work they submit, and maybe I could be more conscious of that fact and not deny them that feeling all in the name of a syllabus policy on late work.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not throwing out the policy. It’s important to have expectations and standards and consequences. It’s even more important to learn how to accept expectations and standards and consequences, especially when we have no other excuse than procrastination and lack of planning.

Me? I’m imposing my own late penalty for this blog. So if anyone who posted during week 2 wants to lay claim to my ice cream for the week, it’s all yours. You earned it!



One thought on “Late Work Policy—By Instructor Approval Only”

  1. Hi Tina,

    I love to type in bullet points and lists, so your post spoke to me. They just want to feel ok about the work they submit, – that line from your post reminded me of something Oprah said. Commenting on her years of interviewing, Oprah remarked that almost everyone she has interviewed asks if they did OK when the interview is over. “Was that OK?”

    I guess it’s part of the human condition. Thanks for your post. I can totally relate. My first week’s post was about writer’s block too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.