I handed out the assignment sheet for the first of four "big" assignments in my first year writing class.
The students are pretty anxious. They kept asking about weirdly anxious stuff, like if they're in the hospital, can they email the assignment?
What if they're just really sick?
And so on.
I was reminded of an old George Carlin bit about a priest coming in and talking to a class about heavy mysteries, and the class having all these questions. Carlin's specific example had to do with the need to do the Easter duty (take confession and mass for Easter), and what if you tried, but then this happened, or this happened, and so forth, ending with something about "but then you cross the international date line"!
I finally tried to make clear: if someone's health or well-being is really at stake, then turn whatever it is in late.
If someone's just drunk or forgot to buy paper, then I'm not going to accept it.
It's hard, isn't it, figuring out what's what when you're entering a whole new situation!