Lazy tired=skip class

Sep 212010
Authors: Melissa Donahoo

If you’ve ever found yourself debating whether you should attend class, you may be interested in a tool called “The Skip Class Calculator.”

The calculator, located on, asks 10 questions, such as: How many times a week do you have the class? How many days have you already skipped? When is your next test?
Can you get notes from a friend in the class?

Hit submit and the decision is made for you.

Each answer is assigned a point value and put through a formula, which weighs certain questions more heavily than others. The value produced by the formula will fit into a range of numbers that correspond to the outcome, according to the website.

But is the website valid? According to the website, “the calculator has been run through dozens of scenarios by multiple testers to ensure the most logical and accurate outcome.”

But should people take the calculator’s advice seriously?
Probably not, according to the website’s creator Jim Filbert, who said it was only intended to be a joke.

“The response from students is primarily positive,” Filbert said. “I was not surprised by this; I think students get it. They understand it’s humor.”

Some professors disagree.

“Any student tempted to engage this calculator should not only
skip class, but should drop out of college immediately,” William Briggs, an adjunct statistical science professor at Cornell University, wrote in his blog.

On the other hand, Filbert said he has gotten some positive feedback from educators as well.

“Half get it and understand it’s supposed to be humorous,” he said. “They might not approve, but they still get it.”

Steven Stack, a Colorado State University biology professor, said he wouldn’t go as far as saying ditchers should drop out of school, but said students really should want to go to class.

“Students who skip class are clearly wasting their money,” Stack said. “Any student who habitually misses class is only cheating themselves.”

David Gilkey, an associate professor in the Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences Department, said the calculator might even inspire students to go to class.

“I think that this is a good website,” Gilkey said. “I support all possible methods to motivate students for success.”

Filbert said he intends to set up iPhone and iPod applications
in the near future and that the newest version of the website, launched on Aug. 19, gets roughly 1,000 hits a day. Since its start in February this year, the site has made more than 36,400 calculations.

While this number may be concerning, many students do not view the calculator as a legitimate tool.

“I think it’s an entertaining idea, but the thought of taking its advice seriously is ridiculous,” said sophomore environmental health major Jordan Padlo. “It’s one of those things you do between classes to waste time.”

Staff writer Melissa Donahoo can be reached at

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