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"Hard Lives" in College

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Justifying “Hard Lives” in College In the article “The Myth of Inferiority”, the author, Allan Culpepper, talks about people’s point of views about community college students. Unlike most universities or colleges, community college students are older, first generation students, work multiple jobs, and/or have to take care of dependents. Financial stability is the main issue community college students face. Yes, they do have “hard lives”, but does that justify for excessive absences, rewrite opportunities, and late papers? “Hard lives” do not justify excessive absences; however, they do justify rewrite opportunities and late papers. “Hard lives” do not justify excessive absences simply because they will get too far behind and miss an excessive amount of notes. Along with Mr. Culpepper, “I have also found students who manage to complete a full load of classes successfully while working three jobs, caring for elderly, and coping with chronic illness…” (330). As in most universities or colleges, these students are already given a certain amount of days for absences. In most cases, six absences are allowed for the semester which is two and half weeks of class. If the students save these absences for emergencies, six absences are more than enough for one semester. Rewrite opportunities are justifiable for students having “hard lives”. Unlike students who have plenty of time to write papers, some students have long, late work hours. Therefore, these students are not capable of writing their papers to their full potential. Another reason it is justifiable is because some of them have dependents they need to take care of. This makes it hard to find time throughout the day to write their papers. Then again, Mr. Culpepper said, “many students choose community college for a variety of good reasons such as cost… and flexible schedule” (330). With flexible schedule they do not have an excuse. Bringing in late papers is justifiable for students with “hard lives” to some extent. Unless students plan to be “sick”, they never know when they are going to actually be ill. Also, most community students have multiple jobs working many late hours. Since financial stability is their number one priority, they may need to work a double on school days; especially if they are low on financial income. This means they would not be able to go to class and turn in their papers on time. Under these circumstances, there should be an excuse to turn in late papers. “Student will be students, wherever they are.” (303). However, there should be a limit on the number of late papers you are able to turn in and the consequence of point deduction after so many days.
There should be no excuse for excessive absences; however, there should be reasonable understanding for certain situations that are justifiable for rewrite opportunities and late papers. Agreeing with Mr. Culpepper, community college students should receive the same expectations as universities and private colleges. Mr. Culpepper said it best, “I have learned to maintain a high standard, expect students to meet them, and do whatever I can to help students meet those expectations” (331).

Works Cited
Culpepper, T. Allen. “The Myth of Inferiority.” The Norton Mix.
Ed. Judy Sieg. New York: Norton, 2012. 327-332.

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