When websites where students can rank their professors or anonymously flirt with one another have become enormously popular, I guess it was only a matter of time before I came across a website that allows students to calculate whether or not it’s worth it to skip class.
The Skip Class Calculator uses a quiz that asks students a variety of questions about their course, such as what grade they currently have and how much of the exam material they think comes from lectures only. Based on your answers, it gives you a rough estimate of whether you can duck out of your lecture or not, without letting your grade suffer.
The site was created by Jim Filbert, a recent university grad who says he created the site after waking up on a cold morning and weighing the risk of missing class versus his desire to stay in bed. “I was wondering if there might already be a tool on the interwebs which would run that risk for me,” Filbert explains on his website. After finding nothing of the sort online, Filbert launched the website in March this year, which has since produced over 50 000 calculations.
The website has, predictably, attracted the ire of some professors, namely Cornell University professor William Briggs, who wrote on his blog that those who use the calculator “should not only skip, but should drop out of school altogether.”
“These people are probably only after a ‘degree’ anyway, an item which can be purchased in various places. This maneuver would save them the tedium of sitting in class, relieve them of the necessity of thinking, and lessen the burdens of the professors forced to endure their (occasional) presence,” Briggs wrote.
Yet the website is nothing for professors to get upset over and label all students who ever skip class lazy and apathetic, since the questions asked by the website only mirror those students ask themselves when debating skipping class anyway. To see what all the fuss was about, I took the quiz a few times based on my classes from this past semester. For my French class, I scored an answer telling me that I was safe “but not Ferris Bueller safe” if I decided not to go to class. It seems like it is at most a fun online tool to fool around with, but obviously not to be taken seriously, by instructors or students. Sometimes missing class is inevitable, but if you’re taking the time to use a website to decide if you should go to class or not, you should probably go to class.
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