The Rapture of Digital Truancy

Dear Dr. Bacastow from Penn State,

It is crunch time this semester. I just received your email regarding Geospatial Intelligence and the Geospatial Revolution. I will be unable to submit my Final Project (capstone) on time or ever. I hope that you can understand that I have had a very heavy course load over the past few months, including Introduction to Thermodynamics – Transferring Energy from Here to There, Physics I with Laboratory, and The Age of Sustainable Development. I would like for you to be aware that my non-attendance to your course was not unique: like last semester, I didn’t make it to a single course this semester. Before you rush to judgment and ignorantly begin throwing digital stones in your virtual ivory tower, I think that I deserve an opportunity to explain myself. I feel like you never took the time to get to know me as all of your emails were addressed to the fake name that I used when I signed up for Coursera. More importantly though, I feel like your course really wasn’t appropriate for someone who is completely uninterested in the subject matter – possibly you could try and throw in something a little more enticing or provocative from a different field to reach a broader audience. It wasn’t just you though. For Physics I the virtual laboratory felt completely inaccessible. And I am going to be frank here about Thermo: the faces that Margaret Wooldridge – Arthur F. Thurnau Professor made in her course description that made me want to stay away from school.

I will be fair though and admit some fault on my part. Each time I received an email from you or Dr. Sachs I felt a tremendous sense of power and a release when I subsequently chose not to attend your lectures. I have never liked school very much and truancy has been a part of my relationship with academia since my storied career began. It was a costly game to play before, but through technological innovation I am able to not attend courses on a scale that was impossible before. I want you to understand that your work is not in vain though as I read each of your emails with relish and downloaded your lectures, but I then mirthfully choose to do something else like going to the beach or making some food. You are giving contrast to my life – thank you for your regular appearance in my inbox. I am thinking about not attending the following courses during this next session:

-Introduction to Clinical Neurology -Digital Systems

– Sistemas Digitales: De las puertas logicas al procesador (Bilingual)

-On Strategy – What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy  – Part 2

-And possibly Theater and Globalization to round it out with a course from the humanities.

Could this count as my Final Project (capstone)?

Thank you,