By Jeremy Reed

Sometimes the stresses and pressures of class seem overbearing. Sometimes situations arise that make class seem formidable. On the other hand sometimes you just need to take a break and sometimes you may find yourself in the bitter compromise of missing one class to work on a project for another, more important or tougher class.

Whatever the circumstances, it is certain that sometimes, you just have to skip class.

For me, skipping class is just necessary sometimes. I have to take what I call a J-day. Now if your name doesn’t start with J it’s okay, you can take a (insert first initial) day, it’s all the same.

The various reasons I’ll use to justify a good J-day include but are not limited to hangovers, rain, fatigue, snow, earthquakes in foreign countries (you never know how far these things could spread), and reruns of awesome shows that I want to watch.

It’s important that you skip only the classes that are of minor importance and you may want play a skip day days weeks ahead.

Remember this is chess, not checkers.

Skipping class without any backlash requires a certain skill: That skill is lying.

Lying is key to skipping class because despite the fact that you pay thousands of dollars every year to attend class, some teachers still penalize you for missing, as if wasting your own money isn’t punishment enough.

But not just any lie will work. Most instructors have heard it all and so you must at the very least plant the seed of doubt. And you do that with detail.

First of all, using the death-in-the-family-card is wrong and shameless. But it works. However, I prefer to use more practical lies that require a complex story line. That’s when I dig into the “lie-brary.”

The “lie-brary” is a database of lies that I have stored in my head. The lie-brary is filled with dozens of back-stories and situations that sound true because they are-sort of.

One time a friend of mine happened to get food poisoning. The next week I was overwhelmed and needed a J-day.

Boom, lie-brary.

I injected myself into his lie. Except in my version, I ate with my roommate who was diagnosed by a doctor, and I had decided not to go because I felt too ill and, after all, he just told him to rest and stay hydrated.

No need for a doctor, no need for a note.

Sometimes I’ll do what I like to call “skip-harvesting.” I’ll come up with a reason to skip that would require me to skip again. You really have to use your resourcefulness here.

If you have a nasty scab or cut on your hand, swing by your instructor’s office before class and tell them you have to go have a Staph culture. That next week, if you so chose, you can “go back to the doctor to get the results.”

Or maybe you could skip one day for being sick and then get “tested for mono” the next week.

Now that you have a good story in mind, you must have good delivery.

Always e-mail your instructor before class. That way they’ll know that you were at least awake before class started and that you didn’t just sleep in.

Then you should go to sleep-you earned it.

There is a formula for the delivery. You must communicate to your teacher that your education is an investment and that you are upset about missing. Ask them what section he or she covered so you can be caught up for the next class period.

Ideally executed, your delivery should sound something like this:

“Professor (insert name), I won’t be in class today because I have doctor’s appointment at (insert time of class). I started feeling sick Monday and it’s been getting worse. I know we’re going over (insert class title) today and I really shouldn’t miss because I’ll get behind, but I’m afraid if I’m contagious I’ll get everyone else sick. Please send me any notes from today if it’s not any trouble, and hopefully I’ll see you next class.”

I’m sure that every day, every professor has a student whose grandmother “dies.” If these incidents were recorded, I would project the student-to-grandmother ratio on this campus would be somewhere around 1-to-negative four.

If you have exhausted every other possible skip-card and must use a death in the family, I would recommend something more creative-but don’t jinx your family.

Whatever your reason may be for skipping, just remember that like anything else, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.