Trusting the Unreliables

One never knows the threads that run through life. I taught a course called “Religions Founded in the US” as an elective this semester. The class was small already, but one student came and went as she pleased. Mostly, she went, so we hardly saw her face. If I had to pick her out of a lineup, I would be pressed to get it right. She turned her paper in over a month late; actually, the last day of classes with a ‘Sorry this is late’ note. I sent it back with a ‘Sorry you failed’ note.

Alternatively, I have a student in my journalism program who was not able to be at the Blogging/Website presentation. He is a dual major with Biology and had a week long field trip. He desperately wanted to show off his well constructed blog that had received accolades from a US Professor of Microbiology already. We worked on Plan B. We attempted a Skype video call, but the quality was poor and the connection was uncertain in the room we were holding the presentation. He assured me he would work on it and let me know. We had discussed a video.

The presentation night, this last Tuesday, came and went with nothing from Mate. I was disappointed he had not gotten his act together in time. I did a minor presentation of his sites just as a courtesy, but not with the enthusiasm he could have done. I had sent a note to Mate telling him of my disappointment. He wrote back with despair, asking what happened to the video he sent along? He had arranged for one of his roommates to deliver it to me personally as she had a class with me on Tuesday morning. 

Thursday I went in to sign grade books only to find a pen drive on my desk with a note. 

Dear Dr. James,
I was supposed to give this to you. It is late due to my own fault. This is from Mate. It has his video presentation for your Blogging/Website show. I hope you enjoy it. Anna

Anna is the student who appeared in my religion class as often as the Lady of Fatima appears in Budapest cinemas. If I had only known, I could have exorcised the situation in time to save Mate. Not that I needed the contrition, but I did feel for Mate’s blind faith in a false prophet. I uploaded his work to YouTube instead. Here I give you Mate.

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