One of the biggest differences between high school and university is the death of permission forms.
Back in high school, if a teacher wanted to take their class on a field trip to the downstairs broom closet, everyone’s parents had to sign a permission form first. Usually along the lines of, “If my child sprains their ankle, breaks their arm, has their feelings hurt, or sustains an injury to their epidermal layer after excessive scratching of their nose, I promise not to sue the school board.”
But in university? If one of my professors wanted to take the class on a field trip to the rim of an active volcano, where poisonous sulfur dioxide gases and carbon monoxide fumes had genetically mutated nearby animal life into vicious raptors, there wouldn’t be any need for permissions forms.
Mind you, if we were accompanied by a group of archaeologists, a couple of vulnerable children, and a disposable crew member or two, we wouldn’t be on a field trip anymore. We’d be in Jurassic Park 4.
After the Great Permission Form Extinction of Post Secondary School, I figured that university students would never have to ask their parents to sign a piece of paper again. But after reading through my chemistry class’s course information booklet, I realized that I was completely wrong. Attending the funeral of a family member is one of the valid reasons for missing a term test. But first, students have to provide a note from their parents.
This seems wrong on so many levels. One of the things that I’ve been enjoying the most about university is the fact that everyone seems to treat students with the same level of respect that they’d give an adult. Suddenly requiring a signed note from someone’s parents kind of seems like a step back towards high school.
Not to mention, if someone is actually willing to tempt fate and pretend that a family member has died, asking their roommate to forge a note probably wouldn’t nag their conscience too much.