Civics and Attendance


It’s challenging to evaluate your work. But it is very easy to see if you are absent.

  • Two unexcused absences (beyond the one allowed) will lower your final grade by one letter (A⟶B).
  • Over 20 minutes tardy = one absence. *1st incident will be noted but excused.

It has been said: 80% of success is just showing up. Your presence and civic participation in the class are of paramount importance. You are responsible for what happens in class whether you’re here or not. Organize with your classmates to get class information and material that you have missed.

If you’re going to be absent or tardy, please contact the professor in a timely way regarding your situation. Email is best, but I am also amenable to receiving text messages (Nine one seven, five two zero, seven four five six) and messages on Twitter (@golan). If you’re ill, or if you know you will have a planned absence, please let me know before the beginning of that class session: I can be very understanding and accommodating about planned and necessary absences, family circumstances, and/or medical issues when you inform me in a timely and professional manner.

Mental presence and social media. Focus is precious. Physical presence means nothing if you’re “checked out”; your mental presence is extremely important. During the professor’s lectures or guest presentations, distracted participation is prohibited. You can exist for few hours without tweeting, facebooking, chatting, texting, emailing, or doing work for other courses.


Sometimes, students who haven’t completed their projects skip class during critiques, because they are too embarrassed to come to class empty-handed. This type of absence is particularly self-destructive, and is one of the most objectionable things you can do in this class. Please have courage. Your participation on critique days is essential, even if your own project is incomplete or missing, because these sessions and conversations help you understand our class standards, expectations, and criteria for good work. Even if your own project is unfinished, you are still expected to contribute productively to the class discussion.