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To be shitting myself

(32 Posts)
SisterSage Fri 08-Jan-16 10:31:47

Am at uni atm. Have been summoned to a meeting about my attendance last term. No detail given on what they want to talk about but my attendance wasn't good. The whole term was one disaster after another: I was ill three times (migraine which I get about once a year and wiped me for two days, chest infection that killed me for a week and one random unexplained glutening - I'm coeliac) DS was ill and couldn't go in to nursery twice, DH got appendicitis and needed rushing to hospital, then couldn't cope alone with DS on his days off which killed another two days, we had a burst water pipe and I had to stay at home to sort it, the bus I was on one day crashed into a lamppost(!) so I missed my train and consequently I missed a teaching session where attendance is recorded, though was in for the rest of the day. It just sounds like a catalogue of crappy excuses though. But all the things were genuine problems, not my fault, with no easy or alternative solution and unlikely to recur (apart from DS illness). I'm just shitting myself as I'm never ever in trouble (wasn't at school either) and don't deal well with being told off. I usually cry....

grannytomine Fri 08-Jan-16 10:35:22

You aren't at school, it isn't going to be like being sent to the Head for a telling off. They want you to do well, explain what has been going on, they will probably be looking at ways to help you. One of my kids had an ongoing medical problem which caused a lot of problems for him one year and he started his final year in hospital having surgery. The uni were great and gave him lots of support.

I hope it goes well, try not to worry.

lexlees Fri 08-Jan-16 10:42:44

You are at University, not at school. They will treat you like an adult.

Don't cry like a blubbering excuse maker. Don't make your excuses like a whining teenager either. You are an adult.

They will either want to confirm that you will improve your attendance going forward and confirm your commitment to your studies.

Calmly explain your multiple illnesses and your husbands appendectomy and the fact you are a mother as well. You must bring as many medical certs that you have - even that of your dh. Accept that it is your responsibility to make it to class regardless of your bad luck.

Did you make an effort to contact tutors/ lecturers to explain absence and get lecture notes? Do you have proof of this? This shows commitment.

How are your grades? That will be the crunch factor.

DyslexicScientist Fri 08-Jan-16 10:42:47

They probably just want to help, nothing to concern yourself with imo

Helloitsme90 Fri 08-Jan-16 10:54:05

I used to have students turn up to presentations and exams that I had never seen in my seminars and lectures. The uni are just being proactive and making sure you're okay and that your work won't suffer as a result of the missed days

Wolfiefan Fri 08-Jan-16 10:56:21

These don't sound like crappy excuses at all.
Can you go in armed with a list of dates and why you were off? Also a list of how you have caught/plan to catch up!

SisterSage Fri 08-Jan-16 11:15:46

I have already caught up - I've always made up the work pretty instantly as the lectures are posted online. I've never been late with an assignment/ unable to turn in anything important. I just feel really nervous. I had a GP note for my chest infection but when I emailed in nobody at uni asked for it so god knows where it is now. DH did have a sick note for work he probably has a copy of. DS's things were just toddler bugs - temperature/ vomiting in one case and he was over them in a couple of days, so never took him to GP so no evidence. Though I guess nursery could confirm he wasn't in.

mrsjskelton Fri 08-Jan-16 11:22:11

They will be wanting to see if there is any way they can help - it'll be standard procedure when a student has had X amount of time to detect if there is an issue with your welfare!

ChilliMum Fri 08-Jan-16 11:33:33

It will just be to check everything is OK and to see if they can help in anyway. The same thing happened to my dh at the company he worked the year my dd started daycare. We caught everything going vomiting bugs, severe colds, throat and chest infections nothing serious but it was relentless while we built up our immune systems. He was really worried too (hadn't had a single day sick leave in the previous 15 years) but it had flagged up as unusual and they wanted to be sure there was nothing serious behind the absences. Do you have a course leader or personal tutor you can call now just to put your mind at rest?

MaidrinRua Fri 08-Jan-16 11:49:02

Don't worry!!!! They can't give you a caning! ;)

shovetheholly Fri 08-Jan-16 11:50:31

Good advice given by those above - I just wanted to add that this is also about what YOU want and need. Is there anything the university could be doing to help you out more? Do you need extra support? An extension on your work?

SisterSage Fri 08-Jan-16 11:53:19

It's the head of my 'phase' of the course I've been summoned to see. He seems nice but I've never spoken to him before. I do have a personal tutor but she's very hard to get hold of as she works from home a lot for childcare reasons. The meeting is in an hour - you have all cheered me up at least!

afussyphase Fri 08-Jan-16 12:01:24

The uni I work at has some new link with an short-notice urgent childcare provider. I haven't used it and I don't think we get three free days (which was one plan I'd heard about, would be delightful). I agree with shovetheholly: if there is anything like that which could be made available and would help you, do say so. Your uni may already have such a link for staff, and perhaps students could be given the option to use it (just an example; may only be helpful if subsidised).
Universities should be increasingly aware that students and staff have caring responsibilities for children and seniors (and other family in your case!) and that there are things they could be doing. Don't stress about it. Make the point that having lectures online has really helped you - they'll like that. I doubt anyone will care about certificates and notes but the list of what happened when may be helpful.
Also it's worth knowing that there are strict govt rules about what universities have to do to monitor the attendance of those who are not of UK/EU fee status. If that's your situation then that's all it's about.

TheWindowDonkey Fri 08-Jan-16 12:03:01

I think it is wise to remember as you go into the meeting that you PAY to attend university, therefore you also have a say. You are, in effect, a customer, and although you can be kicked out if they feel you are not taking things seriously they also have a duty to take your issues into consideration.
It pees me off actually that Universities can still do this, chuck (high fee paying) people off of the courses if they are not doing enough or attending enough lectures. Once you have paid it is up to you if you chose to fail. Different of course if someone is disruptive, but you clearly aren't.

TheWindowDonkey Fri 08-Jan-16 12:03:47

Choose to fail, not chose.

LumpySpaceCow Fri 08-Jan-16 12:06:47

As pp have stated, don't worry about it. It will be a standard meeting that they do when someone 'triggers' if they have had a certain amount of absence.
The only thing that I initially thought, is if you are on a course that needs you to do a certain amount of hours e.g. nursing, they may want to speak to you to discuss how you will make them up. If not, it will be to check if everything is OK.

shinynewusername Fri 08-Jan-16 12:07:04

They will be looking for assurance that your attendance will improve. It sounds like you had a run of very bad luck last term but - fingers crossed - there is no reason to think it will happen again.

Once you have paid it is up to you if you chose to fail.
That is very naive. Universities' reputations, funding and popularity depend on their academic results.

OlgaLarina Fri 08-Jan-16 12:07:16

I wouldn't worry at all. It will vary from university to university, of course, but in my experience unless you need something like a deadline extension they won't even want to see your sick notes etc. It will be more of a case of checking that you're okay or need some extra assistance.

I had a similar experience this year as DD started nursery and has been perpetually ill with every bug/virus that has come her way. It happens. Just make sure you're honest with them and let them know if you're having problems keeping up etc.

SoWhite Fri 08-Jan-16 12:09:54

Its not a telling off. Adult education doesn't do that. You are paying your fees, you can choose to attend as much as you wish.

They'll be checking you're ok and coping with the course. That is all.

Sunbeam1112 Fri 08-Jan-16 12:12:19

People say your not at school but in certain courses e.g nursing, physio, teaching etc attendence is required in order to complete the qualification otherwise it would be pointless doing the course.

OP what course is it that your doing? The university is concerned that the absents will affect your course. I doubt they would kick you off but maybe suggest retaking some of the year again or catching up on the work already missed.

All this your the customer is nonsense your not in a supermarket. This is adult education. You are in charge of your learning to some degree but if you miss certain asessments that go towards your grade this will impact you greatly.

purplepandas Fri 08-Jan-16 12:18:53

It will be fine (speaking as a Uni person). Good luck but just reassure them that you have caught up and always turn in assignments on time.

SisterSage Fri 08-Jan-16 12:24:18

I'm doing medicine, so there aren't hours to get done so much as certain clinical skills to get signed off/ procedures to do or observe etc. I've done all that though. The only thing where I think I have taken the piss a bit is in my Spanish module (we do two modules from other courses) which I basically stopped going to, because the teacher is appalling and everyone else talks through the lesson, and I'm getting on better teaching myself in the library. I handed in the assignments and passed the end of term exam fine though.

This is the third university I've attended but I did an arts degree and MA first, and possibly due to the nature of the course/ different institutional ethos nobody cared what you turned up to, provided work was completed on time. Plus I didn't have a child or anything then so had no problems with attendance - being in the naughty corner is a new experience!

CheersMedea Fri 08-Jan-16 12:25:57

You aren't at school, it isn't going to be like being sent to the Head for a telling off.

No but some courses have mandatory attendance requirements in order to pass irrespective of your marks. Once you fall below level that you may have an irremediable problem - they may want to check you are aware of this if your course is one of those.

CheersMedea Fri 08-Jan-16 12:27:04

I'm doing medicine,

Cross post.

I'd be astounded if medicine didn't have a minimum attendance requirement. Most professions do IME.

Musicaltheatremum Fri 08-Jan-16 12:33:43

Fair enough your own illnesses but you are not going to get much sympathy for taking days off when the children are ill when you are in the work place. You will need to have back up care for then. (I appreciate that you will probably do so but its just the ethos that comes with the course too.)

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