Sometimes I get interesting letters, emails, and phone calls from students. I thought I’d share some of them here. I don’t think they really need any explanation, other than to say I changed any names for anonymity, the spelling and punctuation errors are their own, and some I had to pare down a bit.

Dear Professor Howard, I would really like to be a physicist. I love physics. But I have a slight problem. I hate math. You are my advisor, so I was hoping you could help me figure out a plan to be able to graduate in physics and not take math.

Dear Perfesser Howard, Your my advicer and I nead yer help. I have took Englich three times and cant seem to pass. My frends all say I write good so I think the Englich perfessers have mentel issues. I was wondering if you could help me figuer a way to not have to take it again.


Dear Professor Howard, I’m sorry I missed class on Tuesday. My roommate and I take a chemistry class together. Our chemistry professor told us some chemicals we should never mix together. We didn’t believe him and decided to try it. I missed class because I was in the hospital. If you need, I could have my stupid roommate bring a note. He didn’t even get hurt.

Dear Professor Howard, I put my homework in your box today. I hope you won’t mark it late. My wife was in labor all day yesterday when it was due. I was going to bring it up, but she got mad and told me I wasn’t going anywhere. If you need me to prove it, I can bring my new baby in to show you.

Dear Professor Howard, You are my advisor and I need your help. I have decided I want to become a doctor because they make a lot of money. The problem is that I faint at the sight of blood, even when we dissected worms in my biology class in high school. Is there a field where I can become a doctor and not have to see any blood?

Dear Professor Howard, I just wanted to explain why I wasn’t in class today. My friends and I went down to Salt Lake for a concert yesterday. We were on our way back this morning at 2:30 when we hit a deer. I only got back 30 minutes ago. Not only did I miss class, but I am still very sore and now I’m out a car. Stupid deer. 

This was from a phone call that the phone system indicated was put on my phone

just after midnight:

Hi Professor Howard. This is Brandon from your 11:00 Monday, Wednesday, Friday class. I know you said that we had to take our test by Wednesday, and I want you to know that I tried. But do you know that the test center closes at 10:00 PM? No one told me this, and so I just went to take my test before the end of the day, and it was already closed. I think you need to make sure we know these things. So, as you see, it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t take it by then because I did try to take it like you said. Please let me know what to do. Brandon.  By the way, where are you? I checked your schedule and it says you aren’t in class right now. Aren’t you supposed to be in your office when you aren’t in class?


Dear Professor Howard, I was registered for your College Algebra class that meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 11:00, but I hate math, and I decided you weren’t a very good teacher, so I dropped it. I tried 4 other classes, and figured that those teachers were even worse than you are. I tried to add you class again, but now the computer tells me it is full. I was wondering if you could add me in.

Dear Professor Howard, I want you to know that I bombed the College Algebra exam. I studied hard for it, too, and I know the material backward and forward. I think you had a lot of tricky questions. My roommate that is in the class with me did well, and he said that all of the questions were right out of the homework. What’s up with that? Isn’t that kind of a tricky thing to do? Are you just trying to see if we did the homework, or are you trying to see what we really know?

 (Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist, playwright, and author, can be contacted at da***@da*********.com; or visit his website at