>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

What is Your Lame Excuse for Being Late?
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 08/07/2017

Running with clock The following is an installment in "Icebreakers 101: The College Edition", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

We all know people who will be late to their own funeral. Try as they might, the state of being early is never in their cards. But that does not exempt the rest of us from occasional delay. Even for those of us that are painfully punctual, we will likely be tardy at one time or another. With so many variables, possible roadblocks and mistakes, the odds simply will not always be in our favor.

It is obvious that classroom participation runs the gamut. But it is important to open communications and interplay. Otherwise, no matter how well written the instruction materials, it will be a two-dimensional endeavor.

To start each class off with a chance for everyone to participate, I write four questions in the board. In formula icebreakers, the first three are almost always the same, generic introduction questions.
  1. What is your name?
  2. What year of school is this for you?
  3. What is your ultimate vocational goal? (“Uncertain” is an acceptable answer.)
The fourth question is the slightly odd, icebreaking question. For this icebreaker, the pivotal question is “What is your lame excuse for being late for class?” I used this on the first week of class this semester with a suitable buildup.

“As you enter the room, the class is already assembled. The instructor stops abruptly in mid-sentence. He looks up from his roster and locks eyes with you, piercing your unsuspecting soul. Ashamed, you nod in a sheepish manner. Without drawing additional attention to yourself, you try to find a seat as far from the front as possible. Murphy’s Law is in effect and the only empty chair is front and center. All is eerily quiet and he inevitably barks out the obvious, ‘You are late! What is your lame excuse for being late to class?’ As you complete the cycle of blushing, you offer this excuse…”

As an example, I stated my answers to the first three questions and offered a twist on the classic excuse (the 4th element) – “The dog ate my car keys.”

The excuses that followed from the students were varied, ranging from common to incredible. But, it was a way for students to think on their feet after delivering basic information to their peers. Plus it gives the instructor the first glance at class dynamics.

None of this is to mitigate the disruption that lateness can cause. However, a light hearted look at odd excuses can set the stage for a creative semester with increased student participation. What is your lame excuse?

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014” and "Operation Icebreakers: Shooting for Excellence". The installments in this series include his opinions.


  1. Cheryls on 05/01/2020:

    You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog. regarder film

  2. Cheryls on 04/29/2020:

    I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. best Instagram panel

  3. Cheryls on 04/27/2020:

    Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! Garden Guide

  4. faizan on 03/21/2020:

    I often benefit from locating a site that offers you quality information since I like learning new stuff. Very often that I have been to this particular site I've truly enjoyed the good post here. We're sure to watch out for the following post.. Thanks for the great article I am going to come again in the future. uae call forwarding

  5. faizan on 03/18/2020:

    Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. زوار مواقع

  6. faizan on 03/11/2020:

    Interestingly you write, I will address you'll find exciting and interesting things on similar topics. мебели за хотели

  7. faizan on 03/11/2020:

    On that website page, you'll see your description, why not read through this. ремонт на принтериа

  8. faizan on 03/11/2020:

    This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. тениски

  9. faizan on 03/11/2020:

    I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work. боядисване на входове софия

  10. faizan on 03/06/2020:

    Profit primarily prime quality items -- you can understand them all within: 검증사이트

  11. faizan on 03/06/2020:

    I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. 토토사이트

  12. faizan on 03/06/2020:

    Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing... 네임드사다리밸런스작업

  13. faizan on 03/04/2020:

    These websites are really needed, you can learn a lot. 안전놀이터

  14. evelynsofi on 02/17/2020:

    Its as if you had a great grasp on the subject matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from more than one angle. layla mattress

  15. evelynsofi on 02/17/2020:

    Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. idle mattress

  16. evelynsofi on 02/17/2020:

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me nolah mattress

  17. LynAllen on 11/28/2019:

    There is no excuse for being late from your class. Students should take their studies seriously and be active to reach their class on time and now edubirdie australia share quality work. These excuses are also called as lies that students use to protect themselves from the punished of being late.

Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   


Forgot password?

correctsource logo

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2022 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015